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Obama to pull combat troops from Iraq by August 2010 - Non Combat Troops Will Stay

Posted by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 1:29 AM
  • 22 Replies

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama told congressional leaders Thursday he's planning to pull all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010, which falls short of his campaign promise to bring all combat forces home within 16 months, according to three congressional officials.

President Obama says he plans to keep up to 50,000 support troops in Iraq after combat troops leave in 2010.

President Obama says he plans to keep up to 50,000 support troops in Iraq after combat troops leave in 2010.

Under this scenario, all combat troops will be withdrawn within 19 months of Obama's January inauguration, three months longer than his promise on the campaign trail.

In a meeting at the White House Thursday evening, Obama also told lawmakers that he plans to keep a range of 35,000 to 50,000 support troops on the ground in Iraq after combat troops are out, the officials said.

All U.S. troops have to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011, under an agreement the Bush administration signed with the Iraqi government last year.

White House officials confirmed the president will deliver a speech about Iraq to troops at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Friday, his first visit to a military base since being sworn into office.

The officials refused to comment on the details of Obama's plan.

While liberals may be frustrated that Obama is not keeping his campaign promise to the letter, the president could win credit from lawmakers in both parties for giving military commanders more time and flexibility to finish the mission.

What may turn out to be more controversial is the number of noncombat troops that will remain in Iraq under Obama's plan.

Military officials have stressed that residual, noncombat forces would focus on supplies and logistics to protect U.S. interests in the region. But senior Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have expressed concern over such a large number of troops staying in Iraq after combat forces have left.

One source familiar with the discussion told CNN that Democratic lawmakers complained in private to the president about the remaining troops just as they have in public.

"That's a little higher number than I expected," Reid said Thursday before the White House meeting.

Sen. Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat and a close Obama ally, said before the White House meeting that he's anxious to get troops home. But he defended the administration, saying it is "trying to strike the right balance" between ending the war and maintaining stability in Iraq.

A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Arms Services committee and an attendee at the White House meeting, told CNN that McCain supports the plan to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Rep. John McHugh, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said after the White House meeting that Obama assured him the plan to withdraw all combat forces will be revisited if conditions on the ground in Iraq deteriorate.

"The president's objective to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq is one we should pray for, plan for, and work toward," McHugh said in a written statement.

"However, I remain concerned that the security situation in Iraq is fragile, and we should work to mitigate any risks to our troops and their mission. I specifically raised these points with the president this evening, and he assured me that he will revisit his plan if the situation on the ground deteriorates and violence increases," he said.

"Our commanders must have the flexibility they need in order to respond to these challenges, and President Obama assured me that there is a 'Plan B,'" McHugh said.

by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 1:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
hsteele
by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 2:26 AM

This is interesting. It means he believes we can provide support by being there as a supportive pressence, on the defensive, rather than taking the offensive. Lets hope he's right. I am certain he is recieving a large amount of advice from generals in Iraq, and pentagon officials here.

resamerie
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2009 at 2:32 AM

Did anyone happen to catch the little part that 'yes' he is pulling them out of Iraq, to send them to Afghanistan? Don't be fooled into thinking he's bringing them home. He sort of left that part out in some of his speeches. Why else does anyone think he's getting ready to deploy 17,000 more troops. They're not coming home like people thought he meant, just being re-assigned. 

hsteele
by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 2:51 AM


Quoting resamerie:

Did anyone happen to catch the little part that 'yes' he is pulling them out of Iraq, to send them to Afghanistan? Don't be fooled into thinking he's bringing them home. He sort of left that part out in some of his speeches. Why else does anyone think he's getting ready to deploy 17,000 more troops. They're not coming home like people thought he meant, just being re-assigned. 

Afghanistan has a greater need right now.

resamerie
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2009 at 3:01 AM


Quoting hsteele:

 

Quoting resamerie:

Did anyone happen to catch the little part that 'yes' he is pulling them out of Iraq, to send them to Afghanistan? Don't be fooled into thinking he's bringing them home. He sort of left that part out in some of his speeches. Why else does anyone think he's getting ready to deploy 17,000 more troops. They're not coming home like people thought he meant, just being re-assigned. 

Afghanistan has a greater need right now.

Yes, I agree they do. But I also think that a lot of people were misled by him saying that he was taking them out of Iraq, thinking that he was bringing them home.

Da1nOnlyDestiny
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2009 at 7:18 AM

if they were misled then they were not listening to him its called selective hearing. He has stated all along that afag was in greater need and that our troops needed to be over there. So I do not understand why people are acting appalled or even some surprised over this?


sassyandy124
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2009 at 10:15 AM


Quoting Da1nOnlyDestiny:

if they were misled then they were not listening to him its called selective hearing. He has stated all along that afag was in greater need and that our troops needed to be over there. So I do not understand why people are acting appalled or even some surprised over this?

     No it was not "all along". During his campaigning he was consistently saying he would have them home by 2010. That is one of the reasons he got so much support from military families. He never mentioned Afghanistan until after he was elected, then it was " pull them out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan."

   Those who can't get behind our troops should feel free to stand in front of them!!!!!

Robin
by Group Admin on Feb. 27, 2009 at 10:44 AM


Quoting sassyandy124:

 

Quoting Da1nOnlyDestiny:

if they were misled then they were not listening to him its called selective hearing. He has stated all along that afag was in greater need and that our troops needed to be over there. So I do not understand why people are acting appalled or even some surprised over this?

     No it was not "all along". During his campaigning he was consistently saying he would have them home by 2010. That is one of the reasons he got so much support from military families. He never mentioned Afghanistan until after he was elected, then it was " pull them out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan."


I never thought that the troops leaving Iraq would necessarily be coming home. 

I was hoping Obama would stick to his word and send a lot more troops into Afghanistan to do the job that we should have done 7 yrs ago - get rid of the taliban and find bin laden.

I'm glad this is now the plan.

sweetie00
by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 11:12 AM

I'm not so sure we should even be in Afghanistan right now. After 7 years, maybe we are making a mistake by being there. Maybe more troops is the answer, but I can't help but think that Afghanistan is just a huge abyss. Maybe the Pres. ought to consider investing more in intel and homeland defense. I'm not sure that winning this war militarily is the answer.

cmarielin
by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM

I'm concerned for the safety of the troops left behind in Iraq now....

veterans day

dr_m
by on Feb. 27, 2009 at 11:20 AM


Quoting sweetie00:

I'm not so sure we should even be in Afghanistan right now. After 7 years, maybe we are making a mistake by being there. Maybe more troops is the answer, but I can't help but think that Afghanistan is just a huge abyss. Maybe the Pres. ought to consider investing more in intel and homeland defense. I'm not sure that winning this war militarily is the answer.


I know what you mean, it is like a big abyss, but i think we still have to try to win the war on terror, and i hope we win, but it's very hard, they are hiding all over.  At least we know there is a big concentratin of talilban and alq, near Pakistan and Afghanistan, border, and spreading... I think we need to get the training camps..  

I really hope he sticks to the withdrawal from Iraq plan, I always agreed Saddam was evil, torturing and killling his people, but never saw the connection to our trying to get bin lad and alq.  who literally brutally attacked us here.

 

 

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