With his Oval Office speech Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will signal a shift in America's focus from the Iraq War to the war in Afghanistan.
Administration officials have portrayed the 8 p.m. EDT speech as an important pivot point from a war that candidate Obama said should never have been fought to a conflict that President Obama sees as vital to the nation's security.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton says Obama also wants to thank U.S. troops who've fought bravely in Iraq. With the formal U.S. combat mission at an end, troop strength in Iraq this week dropped below 50,000 for the first time since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Before his White House speech, Obama will fly to Fort Bliss in Texas on Tuesday to deliver his thanks in person to troops returned from Iraq.
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