Light Shed on Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Review
Nancy Youssef at McClatchy reports that the top U.S. civilian and military officials in Iraq, Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. Ray Odierno, have given the White House their assessments of U.S. troop withdrawals that would take 16, 19 and 23 months. Odierno’s predecessor as commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia, helped as well. According to Youssef’s sources, the options don’t come with explicit recommendations for President Obama, but instead list the team’s assessments of the pros and cons.
Obama is expected to make his decision by mid-March. His aides said he wanted to see a variety of options in order to reach the right one — you know, like an adult — but is inclined toward the 16-month withdrawal strategy he developed during the campaign.