President Barack Obama says the U.S. is sticking to its timeline in Iraq.
"I made it clear that by August 31, 2010 America's combat mission in Iraq would end," Obama said, during a speech in Atlanta, GA. on Monday. "And that is exactly what we are doing, as promised, on schedule."
The Associated Press reports that about 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq until the end of next year to help train Iraqi forces."Make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing from a military effort led by our troops, to a civilian effort led by our diplomats," Obama said. He added that by the end of August, more than 90,000 troops will have returned home from Iraq since he took office.
The president also acknowledged challenges in Afghanistan. Last month, he signed a war funding bill to cover the cost of sending an additional 30,000 troops to the country, amid mounting insurgent violence. The AP reports that July was the deadliest month of the war, with 66 American casualties. The AP reports that July was the deadliest month of the war for U.S. troop - 66 Americans were killed.
By the end of August, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be 146,000, according to The AP.