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Senator Akaka on the end of the Iraq war

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees, issued the following statement today: 
“I applaud President Obama’s announcement today that the war in Iraq will be over by the end of the year, and our troops will finally come home to their families.  It is time for the Iraqi government to take responsibility for their own security.  Since the start of the war in 2003, over 4,400 American servicemembers have bravely made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.  I offer my warmest aloha and mahalo to all of the men and women who have served in this war along with their families for their sacrifice.
“The long-term care of our wounded warriors is a sacred obligation and a continuing cost of war, and we must ensure that they receive the care and benefits they have earned and deserve.  We must continue providing employment opportunities, education, job training, and support for veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce.”

From The White House:

Good evening,

I’m writing to tell you that all US troops will return home from Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, the American war in Iraq will end. Our servicemen and women will be with their families for the holidays.

The war in Iraq came with tremendous cost. More than a million Americans served in Iraq, and nearly 4,500 gave their lives in service to the rest of us. Today, as always, we honor these patriots.

When I came into office, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. As Commander in Chief, I ended our combat mission last year and pledged to keep our commitment to remove all our troops by the end of 2011. To date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops from Iraq.

This is a significant moment in our history. For more information, including video, please visit

The end of the war in Iraq reflects a larger trend. The wars of the past decade are drawing to a close.

As we have removed troops from Iraq, we have refocused our fight against al Qaeda and secured major victories in taking out its leadership–including Osama bin Laden. And we’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan.

On the first day of my Administration, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and we’ll continue to draw it down.

As we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll enlist their talents in meeting our greatest challenges as a nation—restoring our economic strength at home. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build is our own.

Today the United States moves forward, from a position of strength.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

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