Updated 1:32 pm ET
President Obama today made an unscheduled appearance at the White House to announce that the United States is withdrawing all of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year.
“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” Obama said.
U.S military leaders had pressed for a robust continued presence of several thousand troops to continue to train Iraqis and guard against a resurgence of ethnic strife.
But Obama rebuffed the request, seeking a much smaller contingent, and then reportedly abandoning even those efforts once it became clear the Iraqis would not guarantee their immunity from prosecutions.