Maui News

Hawai’i Leaders’ Reaction to Troop Withdrawal Announcement

October 21, 2011, 10:36 AM HST
* Updated October 21, 12:49 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Hawaii flag. File photo by Wendy Osher.

President Barack Obama today announced the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

The announcement carries out a pledge to end the combat mission in Iraq by the timeline projected when Obama took office.

The strategy will effectively remove tens-of-thousands of troops currently in the region.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today said President Obama’s announcement was “welcome news.”

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“The cost of this war – in the nearly 4,500 lives lost and the $1 trillion that has been added to our national debt – has been tragic,” said Rep. Hirono.

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“Our focus must continue to be on keeping our nation safe and honoring our commitment to our returning troops and our military families,” she said.  “The best way to do that is for the leaders of this country to maintain a strong military that is powerful enough to deter and take action against threats, use diplomacy to achieve and keep the peace, and oppose ill-considered international military entanglements,” said Hirono.

During his announcement today, President Obama explained the plans for the next two months saying, “Our troops in Iraq will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home.  The last American soldier will cross the border, out of Iraq, with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.”

He described the coming months as another season of homecomings, saying, “Across America, our service men and women will be reunited with their families.  Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays,” said President Obama.

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