Aug. 31, President Obama will deliver a primetime speech from the Oval Office about
the end of combat operations in Iraq. The speech, which will be about 15
minutes long, will begin at 8 p.m ET. All of the major networks will carry it live. Diane
Sawyer will anchor ABC's coverage of the speech. She'll be joined
by George Stephanopoulos. Brian Williams will anchor NBC's coverage, and
Harry Smith will be on hand for CBS' coverage. Fox, which has on occasion
demurred in handing over prime-time for the President's addresses, also will
carry the speech live.
NewsHour's Jim Lehrer will anchor PBS' coverage, which will be followed by analysis from columnists Mark Shields and David Brooks.
week's speech will be only the second time Obama has addressed the
country from the somber setting of the Oval Office. The last time was June 15 to
defend the Administration's reaction to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
and outline clean-up and restitution efforts.
U.S. military is in the midst of a withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq -
the deadline for which is Aug. 31. There will still be 50,000 non-combat troops
in Iraq for training and operational purposes, less than a third of the height
of the 170,000 troops there during the surge of 2007. More than 4,400 American
soldiers have been killed in Iraq. According to the Committee to Protect
Journalists, 142 journalists have been killed in Iraq.