Today marks a critical step toward the responsible withdrawal of American forces by December 2011 and the end of the war in Iraq, a war that tragically began more than six long years ago. This action is in keeping with the pledge made by President Obama and the Status of Forces agreement with the Iraqi government.
Last month during my visit to Iraq, I met with U.S. military commanders, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki, and Iraqi Parliament Speaker al-Samarraie. All agreed that Iraqi security forces have increased their capacities and are ready to assume responsibility for securing Iraq's cities. The Iraqi people have made clear their desire to assume responsibility for security in their country.
All of us in Congress are forever grateful for the dedication and sacrifices of our troops, and to the brave men and women who continue to serve our country in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.