U.S. President Barack Obama headed to Texas to thank troops at a military base ahead of a speech Tuesday in which he will declare the end of America’s seven-year-long combat mission in Iraq. Though U.S. presidents rarely make addresses from their official office, it will be Obama’s second time since mid-June, when he addressed the nation about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama vowed to withdraw all but 50,000 U.S. troops by Aug. 31, a reduction of about 90,000 forces by the end of his first 20 months in office. A White House spokesperson repeatedly brushed aside questions about whether Obama would credit Bush’s troop surge with helping to pave the way for the withdrawal, as he was a vocal opponent to former President George Bush’s plan to boost U.S. troop strength by thousands in 2006.
Obama to announce end of U.S. combat mission in Iraq
President meets with troops in Texas ahead of announcement