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Obama Says Pentagon on Track to Withdraw US Troops

FILE - In this May 30, 2008 file photo, an Israeli Merkava tank drives from the Gaza Strip into Israel near the Sufa Crossing. Israel has begun to equip Merkava tanks with the new

FILE - In this May 30, 2008 file photo, an Israeli Merkava tank drives from the Gaza Strip into Israel near the Sufa Crossing. Israel has begun to equip Merkava tanks with the new "Trophy" defense system: a miniature anti-missile system that detects incoming projectiles and shoots them down before they reach the armored vehicles. If successful, the "Trophy" system could radically alter the balance of power if the country goes to war again against Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon. Its performance could also have much wider implications as American troops and their Western allies battle insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, File)

President Obama says, the Pentagon is on track to withdraw most U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of the month.

Other soldiers will remain to help train the Iraqis and protect U.S. bases. However, concerns remain about the ability of the Iraqis to take care of their own security, and handle political conflicts.

President Obama told a group of disabled veterans all U.S. combat troops are coming home from Iraq, on schedule.

“By the end of this month, we'll have brought more than 90,000 of our troops’ home from Iraq since I took office," President Obama said Monday.

On August 31st there will be just 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Their mission will be to train Iraqi forces, and provide security for U-S facilities.

However, serious questions remain about whether the Iraqi people can stop daily attacks like a recent car bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood without U.S. help.

“There are still those with bombs and bullets who will try to stop Iraq’s progress. The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq," President Obama continued.

The President could have a tough time finding support to meet those challenges; the people we spoke to want U.S. troops to come home.

"It’s way past time to be out of Iraq," Grace Rogers, a Texas resident said.

The latest CBS News poll shows most Americans think things are going well in Iraq, but even those who don't, say its time to pull out.

Rhode Island resident Matt Crowley said, "You always say we have to wait until it becomes more stable, but is it going to be one year? Five years? 20 years? Are we ever going to be able to get out of there with a stable Iraq?"

The White House is also worried about stability; it’s pushing Iraq's politicians to stop arguing over election results and form a new government so they can deliver the basic services that could help calm things down.

The president also spoke about Afghanistan, saying only that the U.S. is determined to defeat Al-Qaida and extremist forces, but offering no more specifics on a timeline.


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