Obama plans to extend withdrawal plans to 19 months

Obama promised during his campaign to withdraw troops from Iraq within 16 months of his election.  Well, maybe not.

Officials said Obama is prepared to to add three months due to the concerns of ground commanders who wanted more time to cement security gains, strengthen political institutions and make sure Iraq did not become more unstable again.

Even with the withdrawal order, Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions, as he said he would during last year’s campaign.

In recent weeks, Mr. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the three withdrawal options — 16, 19 and 23 months — with the president.

The top two commanders responsible for Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus and Gen. Ray Odierno, have declined to say what options they preferred, but military officials made it clear that the two were uncomfortable with the 16-month plan that Mr. Obama backed during the campaign.

Administration officials said it was possible that Mr. Obama would announce his decision on Iraq withdrawals on Friday during a visit to North Carolina, possibly at either Camp Lejeune or Fort Bragg. Camp Lejeune is the home of some 8,000 Marines who are to be deployed to Afghanistan under a plan Mr. Obama announced last week to send 17,000 more troops to the country.

Promises are easy to make.

New York Times

Posted:  02.25.09


Filed under Barack Obama, politics, President Barack Obama

3 responses to “Obama plans to extend withdrawal plans to 19 months

  1. It’s hardly like he’s broke his promise, and decided to send more troops, install an American government, and call Iraq the 51st state. He’s just had to re-adjust his policy to suit the times we live in.


  2. Didn’t break his promise “This is from the Obama Apologist Playbook” Face it he isn’t being criticized by Liberals because he is a Liberal. That’s called hypocrisy. He is sending 17,000. more troops into Afghanistan without any CLEAR CUT MISSION. NO HE ISN’T SENDING THEM IN TO LOOK FOR BIN LADEN. Google it. That isn’t how the Military works -without a Clear Cut Mission. That’s how Mission Creep happens. I am not surprised he is making these decisions it goes back to his political advisers, nothing to do with National Security. But all to do with Liberal Expediency.

    I would rather the Military deal with who attacked us on 9/11 then got us the Hell out of Afghanistan before we get bogged down there like the Soviets. AKA Afghanistan the Soviet’s Vietnam.
    No Obama is not instilling confidence with his foreign policy, even his old buddy Bill Ayers is criticizing his sending more troops into Afghanistan. Of course his apologist will explain it away. When a Democrat does something unpopular it is the Circumstances, when a Republican does something it is a Mistake. No Change Here.


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