Obama: ‘Harder to end a war than begin one’

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“It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything American troops have done in Iraq, all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding, and the building, and the training, and the partnering — all of it has led to this moment of success,” he said.

All troops will be leaving Iraq by Dec. 31, but the U.S. has vowed to continue to assist the country.

In his address, Obama highlighted the length of the war, noting that many of the troops he was speaking to were in “grade school” when it began, when he was an Illinois state senator. Obama had vowed to end the Iraq war as a presidential candidate.

He added that although challenges will remain, American troops will be “leaving behind a solid, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

Read more on Obama's speech at The Hill’s Defcon Hill defense blog.