Fact Sheet: The Iraq Drawdown

The deadline for the end of the combat mission in Iraq by August 31, 2010 is not a part of the Security Agreement, which was signed by the United States and Iraq in late 2008. It was announced by President Obama in his speech at Camp Lejeune on February 27, 2009.

  • In his speech, President Obama stated that, “After we remove our combat brigades, our mission will change from combat to supporting the Iraqi government and its Security Forces as they take the absolute lead in securing their country. As I have long said, we will retain a transitional force to carry out three distinct functions: training, equipping, and advising Iraqi Security Forces as long as they remain non-sectarian; conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq.”

On September 1, 2010, the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq will change from a combat mission under Operation Iraqi Freedom to a stability operations mission. General Lloyd Austin will assume command of United States Forces-Iraq from General Ray Odierno on that day.

  • This new mission in Iraq will be called Operation New Dawn and will have a civilian rather than military lead.