Obama announces end of U.S. combat mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON - (AP) - Declaring no victory after seven years ofbloodshed, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ended the U.S. combatmission in Iraq, telling millions who were divided over the war inhis country and around the world: "It is time to turn the page." From the Oval Office, where President George W. Bush firstannounced the invasion that would come to define his time inoffice, Obama said bluntly: "Our most urgent task is to restoreour economy." It was a telling sign of the domestic troublesweighing on Obama's nation and his own presidency that he would putsuch emphasis on the dire state of U.S. joblessness in a major waraddress. Even in turning control of the war over to Iraqis - and tryingto cap one of the most divisive chapters in recent American history- Obama is escalating the conflict in Afghanistan. He pledged anewthat the United States would keep up the fight in that war, thelongest one since Vietnam. And in Iraq, for all the finality, the war is not over. MoreAmericans are likely to die. The country is plagued by violence andpolitical instability, and Iraqis struggle with constant shortagesof electricity and water. Obama is keeping up to 50,000 troops in Iraq for support andcounterterrorism training, and the last forces are not due to leaveuntil the end of 2011 at the latest.

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