WASHINGTON (WWJ) – President Barack Obama Friday announced an end to the war in Iraq, pledging that U.S. troops will come home by the end of the year.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Michigan Senator and head of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin, asking if we accomplished our mission there. Levin said he hopes so.
“We helped them to create an Army that ought to be able to keep the peace. We’ve been there plenty long,” Levin said.
“It’s not just the President keeping a campaign promise, but President [George W.] Bush set this deadline as well for December of this year for all our troops to be out, so I’m glad that the President made the decision that he did to stick with this,” he said.
But could setting a specific deadline jeopardize U.S. troops still in Iraq?
“Well, you have to set deadlines to get these other countries like Iraq and Afghanistan to step up to their own responsibilities for their own security,” Levin said. “So, obviously there’s risks to our troops now. There will be risks until they’re all of out there, but those risks would be the same if there were no deadline.”
Levin said the troops coming home will not be redeployed to Afghanistan, as troops levels there are being drawn back.
Hear our complete interview with Sen. Levin:
Michigan Congressman John Dingell was also among those in Washingon applauding the President’s announcement. Rep Dingell (D-MI15) issued the following statement:
“I am so happy we are bringing our troops home from Iraq. It is about time, and I am pleased it is being done in a responsible way. After years of mismanagement and no accountability by the Bush Administration, pulling out the troops too rapidly would have been dangerous for American soldiers and Iraqis alike. In the 111th Congress, President Obama put forward a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq, and his leadership as our Commander-in-Chief is commendable. Time and again, he has put words into action and, as a result, America is safer and stronger. I applaud this announcement. I am grateful to the soldiers and their families who have paid an enormous cost during these long conflicts, and as a veteran, I am more than honored by their greatness as they have performed admirably and sacrificed so much.” – John Dingell
U.S. Representative Candice Miller issued this statement to WWJ:
“The brave men and women who served our nation in uniform are now embarking on the end of their mission in Iraq. We praise our soldiers who liberated the people of Iraq from a bloody dictator and assisted them on the road to democracy. The people of Iraq are now in charge of their own destiny. Together, we thank and honor our troops for their service.”