Nightly News   |  October 21, 2011

Obama: After nearly 9 years, Iraq war is over

NBC’s Chuck Todd reports from the White House on President Obama’s announcement that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

SNOW: Good evening. I'm Kate Snow in tonight for Brian .

KATE SNOW, anchor: After nine years of bloody war costing thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American dollars , President Obama says it is ending. The last American troops in Iraq are packing up and getting out by the end of the year. Home, he says, in time for the holidays. It was March of 2003 when President George W. Bush announced the start of the war against Iraq with shock and awe. Saddam Hussein 's rule soon collapsed. The president famously announced "mission accomplished," but as we know, even with the capture of Saddam himself, the mission would take much, much longer with more violence, some awful revelations, uplifting victories, and finally today's White House announcement. There is a lot of news to cover on all fronts tonight. We begin with our chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd . Chuck :

CHUCK TODD reporting: Good evening, Kate . You know, opposition to the Iraq war was among the central reasons why candidate Barack Obama became nominee Obama , then President Obama , and promises to bring the troops home were a campaign staple, something not lost on the president today.

President BARACK OBAMA: 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. As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. And to date, we've removed more than 100,000 troops. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security. The United States is moving forward from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home . Here at home the coming months will be another season of homecomings. Across America , our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays .

TODD: And while reaction came fast and furious from politicians of all stripes, we did reach out to former President George W. Bush for a comment, and his office said they would not be releasing a statement or issuing a comment about today's news. Kate :

SNOW: Chuck Todd at the White House . Stay with us, Chuck ,