July 14th, 2008
08:01 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Iraq's timetable demand 'an enormous opportunity'

Obama repeated his pledge that 'on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.'

Obama repeated his pledge that 'on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, in an op-ed piece in Monday's New York Times, embraced Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's recent call for a timetable for American troops to leave Iraq as "an enormous opportunity."

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's column, titled "My Plan for Iraq," repeated his pledge that "on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war."

Obama wrote that U.S. troops would be redeployed from Iraq to "focus on the broader security challenges that we face" and that "unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea."

Ending the Iraq war is necessary so that the United States can focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, "where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven," he wrote.

"Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been," he wrote.

"As Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently pointed out, we won't have sufficient resources to finish the job in Afghanistan until we reduce our commitment to Iraq," Obama wrote.

Al-Maliki, in a speech a week ago, said there should be a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in any agreement on future ties between Iraq and the United States.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Dave, Illinois

    The joint chiefs are recommending a drawdown of troups already because of the success of the surge that Obama was against. We can start to withdraw due to victory, instead of defeat.

    I cant wait for Obama to spin this. I can hear it now: "I was for the surge before I was against it". Sound familiar? What an empty suit Obama is. A real American will win the Whitehouse this year and his name is McCain.

    July 14, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. George

    Sounds like Hillary Clinton: "On my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war." He has stolen her nomination and he steels her solutions!

    July 14, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Daniel

    All you people talking about WAR. Did Iraq provoke the US in any way? The answer is a BIG NO. This is an INVASION if you guys did not go to school.
    Osama now makes Video and America beign a Blockbuster, he send you the video to subscribe.
    You went to Iraq because of Oil and now its all against you. IF YOU WISH FOR PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR.
    The country is going to cripple if you don't get out of Iraq and the Iraqis are demanding.
    They say they don't want you there and you are insisting you want to be there.

    July 14, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. archiesteel

    To all those idiots who think we can "win" this war, please understand first that this is *not* a war, but an occupation (look up the legal definitions of war if you don't believe me). Next, understand that one of the "winning" conditions include "when the Iraqis are ready to police their state". Well, guess what: the Iraqis say they're ready, and they want the US forces to leave. How can you justifying staying in Iraq considering these facts?

    Obama = plan to end the war
    McCain = 100 more years of war

    July 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Pamela

    Obama's statement that "Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been" shows that he was aware, as many Americans were, that the Bush Administration invaded Iraq for reasons that had nothing to do with terrorism.
    By removing Hussein, this administration opened up the Iraqi terrritories to insurgents. Remember, they were not there prior to the invasion and occupation by US forces.
    A vote for Obama in November is the only hope we have for ending this tragedy.

    July 14, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. texan

    Afghanistan and Pakistan? OK OBAMA , now you want to start a real war with a NUCLEAR ARAB state? In case you did not know most of the Terrorist come from Pakistan and the Taliban was formed by Pakistan and Pakistan will always protect the TALIBAN. So you tell us how are you going to fight terrorism with out going into PAKISTAN?
    You Dum amateur.

    July 14, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The so called surge has had what some can call a success but the truth is the deaths are down because the U.S. has been arming their enemies and for the time being they aren't killing American soldiers.

    This isn't the first remember arming Saddam Hussien, then arming Osama Bin Laden to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Better take a look at history to see what's coming down the road.

    July 14, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    Obama has no knowledge of recent military history. When a super power committs all of it's resources to conquering Afhganistan they will fall. Our miltary did not want to become entangled in a no win war in those mountains. Instead we contain them. Afhganistan does not have the oil that Iraq and the Persian Gulf states have. There is more of an open threat to our vital interest in the region. Afhganistan is going to be hot combate zone than Iraq because the Iraqi government is toughening its grip on the country. But it did where out some of the hatred that would have sent foriegn fighters pouring into the Afhgan mountains instead of the Iraqi streets. The Iraqis were able to drive out Al Queada when they wanted to.

    July 14, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10