Making good on his campaign pledge to wind down the war in Iraq, President Obama during a speech to Disabled American Veterans on Monday in Atlanta, announced U.S. troops would be sliced to 50,000 from 144,000 by the end of the month with the remaining troops responsible for the training and supporting of Iraqi security forces.
According to Mr. Obama's timetable, all U.S. forces will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.
What follows are key dates of the U.S. presence in Iraq
Key Dates of U.S. Presence in Iraq
• October 16, 2002: President Bush signs the authorization for use of military force against Iraq.
• June, 2004: U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1546, reaffirming the authorization for the multinational force in Resolution 1511, while noting that its presence in Iraq “is at the request of the incoming Interim Government of Iraq.”
• May 1, 2007: President George W. Bush vetoed the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, H.R. 1591, partially due certain measure that would have limited the U.S. military role in Iraq.
• November 26, 2007: U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki signed a ``Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship’’ between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America.
• November 17, 2008: U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari sign a withdrawal agreement, which among other provisions, calls for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces no later than December 31, 2011.
• January 1, 2009: The U.S. signs a security agreement with Iraq that requires all U.S. combat troops to move outside of cities by the end of June 2009, while all U.S. troops leave Iraq by December 31, 2011.
• February 27, 2009: President Obama delivers a speech to U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune, stating the U.S. strategy in Iraq was complete and calls for U.S. troops to be reduced to 50,000 troops by August 31, 2010; and a complete withdrawal by December 31, 2011.
Source: Congressional Research Service