Officials: Obama Sets Aug. 2010 As Iraq End Date

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to withdraw all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of August 2010. But many of those troops will stay in the war zone throughout 2009.

Senior administration officials say Obama will announce his much-anticipated Iraq strategy Friday at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina. His plan will pull home roughly 100,000 U.S. troops over the next 18 months.

The officials say Obama will keep a substantial number of those troops in Iraq through at least December. The goal is to provide security during important national elections in Iraq scheduled for late this year.

Obama promised in his presidential campaign to end the war responsibly. Some 35,000 to 50,000 U.S. support troops will stay in Iraq through 2011.