February 25th, 2009
12:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Officials: Obama expected to OK 19-month Iraq plan


CNN has learned that President Obama is expected to approve a proposal to withdraw most combat troops from Iraq within 19 months. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama is expected to approve a proposal to withdraw most combat troops from Iraq within 19 months, several Pentagon officials told CNN Wednesday.

The decision will be announced at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Friday, according to one senior administration official.

Although no decision has been officially announced at the White House, a Pentagon official told CNN "that's the way the wind is blowing" in reference to the 19-month option.

A White House spokesman said no final decisions about Iraq policy has been made by the president.

The Pentagon several weeks ago sent the president options for withdrawals at 16, 19, and 23 months.

The 16-month option was Obama's campaign pledge. But shortly after taking office, he asked Pentagon and military commanders for an analysis of additional options, and they submitted the two other timeframes in response.


The details of what the shape of U.S. forces will be in Iraq over the next many months remains unclear until a number of additional decisions are made. It is expected that the announcement will call for the majority of combat forces to be withdrawn, leaving a residual force of as many as 50,000, largely in a training or advisory role.

U.S. military officials point out even those residual forces may find themselves in combat.

For the past two months, the U.S. Central Command has been conducting a detailed assessment of how equipment and personnel would be withdrawn from Iraq, according to a U.S. military official.

He declined to be named because of the sensitivity of discussing withdrawal details prior to the president's announcement. However, he confirmed the U.S. military is looking at exit routes through Jordan and Kuwait.

And they are trying to determine what equipment might be returned to the United States, transferred to the Iraqi or Jordanian governments, sent to Afghanistan, or simply discarded if not needed. Final decisions will depend on the timeframe for the withdrawal, he said.

Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Jeff from Jersey

    1.We need the troops in Afghanistan to pursue Bin Laden WHERE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    2.A sinificant draw down of troops is as close to an "end" as it's going to get.Laura from Boston should be complaining about them being in Iraq in the first place!

    3.iIt's when you finally take office that you find out just how screwed up the guy before you really made things.Everyone should be grateful it's only 19 months and not 19 YEARS as compared to how bad Bush screwed everything else up.

    4.What's the matter with you republican plebes?"You can't HANDLE the truth?"!We've finally got a President that knows what the truth is and is willing to tell it ti us.Have you forgotten "Nobody told us that Hurricane Katrina could be this bad!?I guess you didn't see the conference call when EVERYONE told Bush it was going to be that bad.Or how about those WMD's?

    5.Finally no mention of Palin...."OOPS i DID IT AGAIN!

    February 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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