[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/09/art.bush.troops.gi.jpg caption="President Bush announced that he plans to withdraw 8,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by February, 2009 ."]
RIVERSIDE, Ohio (CNN) – Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday the Bush administration’s announcement it was bringing some U.S. troops home fell short, calling it a “modest” step that indicated no real change in policy.
“At this point what it appears is the next president will inherit a status quo that is still unstable, Obama told reporters at a high school outside Dayton. “And what’s going to be required is a comprehensive strategy, and that’s what I’ve been offering for the last two years.
“We should have a comprehensive strategy for bringing this war to a close and not what we heard from president today, which is essentially some tinkering around the edges and kicking the can down the road to the next president.”
Obama gave lukewarm praise to the president’s announcement that more U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan, something the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee routinely calls for in his stump speech.
“I am glad that the President is moving in the direction of the policy that I have advocated for years. But the most substantial increase will come when an additional Army brigade is deployed five months from now – in February, after the President has left office. His plan comes up short – it is not enough troops, and not enough resources, with not enough urgency,” he said.
The Democratic nominee also continued his regular practice of linking John McCain with President Bush on foreign policy.
“Last week, we heard a lot of tough talk in St. Paul, but we didn’t hear much about the Bush-McCain record,” he said. “Because seven years after 9/11, we are still fighting a war without end in Iraq and we still haven’t taken out the terrorists responsible for 9/11. That’s where George Bush and John McCain’s judgment has gotten us."