The Iraq war ended where it began — at the president’s desk in the White House Oval Office.
President Barack Obama declared the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq with his hands folded on the desk where 7-1/2 years earlier President George W. Bush announced the beginning of military operations.
“Much has changed since that night,” Obama said in the second Oval Office prime-time televised address of his presidency.
Obama in his 19-minute speech praised the former president’s patriotism. But he did not do what Republicans had wanted – credit Bush’s troop surge, which Obama had opposed, with leading to the end of combat operations.
Instead, Obama spoke about the ”rough waters” endured during one of America’s longest wars that divided the country and turned increasingly unpopular.