|President Barack Obama: Pete Souza/White House Press Photo|
Saying it is "time to turn the page" on one of the most divisive chapters in American history, President Obama declared the U.S. war in Iraq over Tuesday night, telling the nation that he was fulfilling his campaign pledge to stop a war he had opposed from the start.
"Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended," Obama said in his second prime-time address from the Oval Office. He heralded his belief "that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization."
In his speech, the president sought to unshackle the nation from a military invasion, begun by his predecessor, that was supposed to swiftly depose a dictator, seize hidden weapons of mass destruction and leave behind a democratic government.
Instead, it dragged on for more than seven years as U.S. troops battled a growing insurgency. The war became a recruiting tool and training ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)