Nightly News   |  November 30, 2011

Biden reconfirms troop withdrawal from Iraq

NBC’s Ann Curry reports from Baghdad, where Vice President Joe Biden is visiting U.S. troops just weeks before they complete their withdrawal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> vice president biden is on a visit to iraq just a few weeks before u.s. troops there complete their withdrawal. among the more than 1 million americans who have now served in iraq over the past eight years, biden 's own son bo and the delaware national guard . ann curry is with us tonight from baghdad. ann , good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian . vice president biden is marking the final weeks of the eight-year u.s. war in iraq . he's saying the obama administration is fulfilling a promise to the american people . he e reaffirmed the final withdrawal will happen before december 31. and after meeting with iraq 's prime minister malaki today he said the u.s. is about to begin a new chapter launching a civilian mission to help iraq rebuild but it's unlikely that u.s. troops will ever return here. we were able to grab a few minutes with the vice president today. he became passionate when asked whether americans have a moral obligation to thousands of iraq war veterans now returning home.

>> if you want somebody who knows how to handle pressure, billions of dollars worth of equipment, who knows how to operate under fire, hire a veteran. we have an obligation. they fought over here. they have gone through these god awful sands and deserts in the middle of a war. they are in god-forsaken places in afghanistan. they shouldn't have to come home and fight for a job.

>> reporter: what is happening here is described as the largest movement of military equipment since world war ii , brian . no one is quite sure what will happen to iraq after the withdrawal. the vice president says the u.s. will have a, quote, robust security relationship based on what iraq decides. the u.s. expected to leave behind a significant presence of u.s. contractors and also cia operatives, brian .

>> you can hear the c-17 and c-130 cargo planes at the top of the report above you. they will be busy over the next few weeks. ann , safe travels to your team. we'll have more of ann 's exclusive interview with vice president biden tomorrow morning on "today."