January 17th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to meet with military commanders Wednesday

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/17/art.armyband0117.gi.jpg caption=" Members of the military participated in a recent rehearsal for Tuesday's inauguration."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Incoming President Barack Obama is planning to meet with top military leaders on Wednesday to discuss the war in Iraq and move to begin implementing his campaign promise of removing all combat troops within 16 months, according to two transition officials familiar with the matter.

The meeting with the Joints Chief of Staff and other top military commanders will be on Obama's first full day in office, which suggests the new President wants to send a signal to supporters that despite his heavy focus on the financial crisis he will also address Iraq early in the new administration.

In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" shortly after his election victory, Obama indicated he would move quickly to start implementing his plan to withdraw troops when asked when the redeployments would begin.

"Well, I've said during the campaign, and I've stuck to this commitment, that as soon as I take office, I will call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my national security apparatus, and we will start executing a plan that draws down our troops," Obama said. "Particularly in light of the problems that we're having in Afghanistan, which has continued to worsen. We've got to shore up those efforts."

soundoff (3 Responses)

    It doesn't have to happen in 16 months, just not as long as 6 years.

    January 17, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Independent_me

    Where will these returning soldiers find work to support their families?
    And is the VA ready to deal with the throngs of soldiers who will be needing counseling, etc?

    What a mess Bush has created!!!

    January 17, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. Michael ONeal

    It will be interesting to see if it is a full withdrawal or if you and I (and our great grandchildren) will be stuck paying for a Korea sized 'peacekeeper' force that sits there for a hundred years. Hmmm.... where have I heard that before?

    January 17, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |