War to be over by the end of the year
Yesterday it was the end of Gadhafi, today it’s the end of the Iraq war. Newsies broke into regular programming on Friday to cover President Obama’s announcement that the 43,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in the troubled Middle Eastern nation would be home by New Year’s.
NBC, ABC, and CBS all cut in (with Savannah Guthrie, Scott Pelley, and George Stephanopoulos leading coverage for each net, respectively). Cablers went to live coverage of the announcement, as well.
At the peak of the War in Iraq, more than 100,000 troops were deployed to the country.
“As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,” the president told the press corps. He said he had spoken with Iraqi p.m. Nouri al-Maliki, and that the two men had come to an understanding. “We are in full agreement about how to move forward. So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”
Coverage of the announcement was somewhat skeptical; the National Journal reported that a major factor in U.S. departure from the region was the refusal of the government to allow American soldiers to remain in the country.
Simultaneously, NATO announced that it would scale back its operations in Libya following the death of that country’s longtime dictator yesterday.