Obama reiterated his overseas goals in Tuesday's inaugural address, after saying previous generations have faced challenges abroad "not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions."
"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan," the president said in his speech.
"U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged in his address to pull the American troops out of Iraq responsibly, that is to say a gradual withdrawal," said Baghdad resident Ali Abu Mustafa. "We hope he will be sincere."
Obama has also said he will leave a residual force in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions. It's not yet clear how large that force would be.
"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you," Obama said at Tuesday's inaugural.
ABC News' Richard Coolidge and Kate Barrett contributed to this report.