Aug 31, 2010 8:32 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
President Barack Obama speaks to the nation tonight to herald the formal end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.
The president will say tonight he's fulfilled a campaign promise.
Ahead of the speech, he's thanking troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, for the valor they've shown in Iraq. The sprawling Army base in El Paso, Texas, is home to the 1st Armored Division - "Old Ironsides" - and has been providing heavy armor throughout the seven years of the Iraq conflict.
With under 50,000 U.S. troops left, including troops from Fort Carson, from today their role is not to lead the fight but to train Iraqis and back them up. And Obama will say the Iraq drawdown has made possible his surge in Afghanistan, where he says America's security is on the line.