Withdrawal of U.S. Combat Troops from Iraq

Promise in the Works President Obama is working on the following promise:

"I will begin to remove our troops from Iraq immediately. I will remove one or two brigades a month and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep in Iraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on Al Qaeda." — 10/2/07, Chicago

Other promises regarding his foreign policy.

UPDATES:

Updated: January 29, 2009

Obama must decide between abandoning a campaign promise or risk a rupture with the military

On Wednesday January 28th, Mr. Obama visited the Pentagon for the first time since becoming president, and he seemed to be looking for an option that would let him stay true to his campaign promise, at least in theory, without alienating the generals.

The White House indicated that Mr. Obama was open to alternatives to his 16-month time frame and emphasized that security was an important factor in his decision.

“We’re no longer involved in a debate about whether, but how and when,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said about a withdrawal from Iraq.

Mr. Obama faces pressure from his political base to stick to his 16-month timetable. “We voted for him because he’s going to get us out of Iraq,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, an antiwar group. “If there are some military people who feel we should stay there, they’re entitled to their opinion, but that shouldn’t be our policy.”

Since taking office last week, Mr. Obama has recommitted to ending the war in Iraq but not to his specific campaign pledge to pull out roughly one combat brigade a month for the first 16 months of his presidency. His top commander in Iraq has proposed a slower start to the withdrawal, warning of the dangers of drawing down too quickly.

As President Obama moves to redefine the nation’s mission in Iraq, he faces a difficult choice: Is he willing to abandon a campaign promise or risk a rupture with the military? Or can he finesse the difference?

Mr. Obama has recommitted to ending the war in Iraq but not to his specific campaign pledge to pull out roughly one combat brigade a month for the first 16 months of his presidency. His top commander in Iraq has proposed a slower start to the withdrawal, warning of the dangers of drawing down too quickly.

Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org, another organization that opposes the war, said, “We have no reason to think Obama’s backed off his campaign promises on a timeline to end the war.”

Sources:

New York Times


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