President Obama will deliver a major speech August 31 to mark the reduction of US troops in Iraq to below 50,000, and the shifting mission of US forces from combat to support of Iraqi forces, White House staff said this morning.
The president will talk about the progress US forces have made in Iraq, about America's policy going forward, and the bravery and sacrifice of the U.S. troops that have served in the war since the U.S. invasion in 2003, said White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, in a briefing to media on Martha's Vineyard.
Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan said that continued attacks from extremists in Iraq have failed to spark widespread sectarian violence, and that the United States is "reducing our footprint in Iraq on our terms."
"Since the president took office we have removed some 94,000 troops from Iraq," said Brennan.
The time and location for the president's speech have not been finalized, Burton said. President Obama and his family are vacationing on Martha's Vineyard this week, and are due to leave on Sunday.
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