Obama to Announce Complete Drawdown of U.S. Troops From Iraq by Year’s End

Huma Khan

ABC New’s Jake Tapper reports:

President Obama will announce today that the United States is pulling all its troop from Iraq by the end of the year.

According to a White House official, “this deal was cut by the Bush administration, the agreement was always that at end of the year we would leave, but the Iraqis wanted additional troops to stay. We said here are the conditions, including immunities. But the Iraqis because of a variety of reasons wanted the troops and didn’t want to give immunity.

“So that’s it. Now our troops go to zero,” the official added.

“We will have a very robust diplomatic presence. But it will be a normal diplomatic presence like we have in many countries.

“This country also wants to have its independence. They’re producing 2 ½ billion barrels of oil a day. They just paid something like $1.6 billion for something like 20 F-16s. They have a deal now with GE. By the end of next summer they will surpass Iran in oil production. They could surpass Saudi Arabia in a few years. This will impact the whole equilibrium in the Middle East.

“We want to have a new relationship with this country.”

At approximately 11:30am today, President Obama convened a secure video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to talk with him about this news, a source said.