More than one million Americans have served in Iraq this December the last of them will be home. It began more than eight years ago march 19 2003. Was -- -- off. Twenty days later coalition forces to... See More
More than one million Americans have served in Iraq this December the last of them will be home. It began more than eight years ago march 19 2003. Was -- -- off. Twenty days later coalition forces to Baghdad. Weeks after that mission accomplished. But that declaration was a costly mistake the insurgency intensified. American casualties climb. The tide turned only after President Bush ordered a surge of US forces. Today Saddam Hussein is long gone a shaky democracy is taking hold. As President Obama paid tribute to the 4482. Americans killed in Iraq. In the 32213. Wounded. In a moment we'll hear from Martha Raddatz has traveled -- the war -- more than twenty times no American correspondent to spend more time with our troops. But we Begin -- Jake Tapper at the White House where the president made the surprise announcement this afternoon. There are roughly 39000. US troops in Iraq right now. Today President Obama formally announced the by the end of the year that number will be zero the long war in Iraq we -- come to an end by the end of this year. The Iraqi Government had asked President Obama for up to 5000 US troops to stay behind as trainers. That hit a snag when in negotiations the Iraqi refuse to give those troops immunity from prosecution. So they all will -- the last American soldier will call cross the border. Out of -- With their heads -- -- the president began his remarks by reiterating -- central to his campaign was his promise to end the war. As a candidate. For president. -- pledge to bring the war in Iraq. -- responsible. Opposition to the war made his candidacy. Having opposed it back in 2002 when He was still a state senator. Even before the war began. I don't oppose war in all circumstances when I do oppose. -- the dumb war. That opposition propelled him above rivals who had voted to go to war and later said they regretted it. Left unsaid by the president today. Top military leaders say that conditions for today's announcement were created by this surge of US troops in 2007. One that then Senator Obama strongly -- as of this summer the -- -- cost US taxpayers more than 700 billion dollars. And -- cost to troops and their families that cannot be tabulated on any spreadsheet -- at home. The coming months will be another season of home comes. And George President Obama today -- to the announcement as part of a larger transition with the deaths of Osama bin Laden on -- locking Moammar -- and the beginning of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan the president said. The tide of war. Is receding George.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.