March 1st, 2009
03:56 PM ET
13 years ago

Dem knocks Obama's Iraq plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Abercrombie wants troops home sooner."]

(CNN) - Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, criticized President Barack Obama's Iraq plan Sunday, telling CNN he thinks a troop drawdown can occur sooner than in the 19 months the president has proposed.

"I think it can be done faster," said Abercrombie, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "It depends on what our - what our strategic idea is, there. If the idea is to continue to occupy Iraq in order to form some kind of stable democracy, a Muslim version of it, or a Mesopotamian version of it, that's one thing. I don't think we can sustain that."

Earlier: Obama lays out Iraq plan

Appearing on State of the Union with John King, Abercrombie also said he disapproves of the president’s plan to leave up to 50,000 residual troops in the country beyond 2010.

"I'm not comfortable with that number," he said. "And I don't think it can be done. I think it's a reluctance on the part of some of the senior military to admit that there is no military solution or resolution in Iraq."

"Any residual troops are by definition combat troops, because the combat isn't ending," he added.

Top Democrats have expressed concern over President Obama's plan to draw down nearly two-thirds of U.S. forces in Iraq by August 2010, while some key Republicans have offered praise.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, indicated earlier this week that she feels the residual force Obama is planning to leave in Iraq is too large.

All U.S. troops have to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011, under an agreement the Bush administration signed with the Iraqi government last year. There are currently 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Filed under: State of the Union
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Soccer Nana

    Is Abercrombie a general or admiral in the armed forces? I thought not; he needs to shut the hell up. The appropriate individuals are advising the president. The president made his decison based on the information he received from the WAR EXPERTS; not some overweight who knows nothing about what's going on on the "ground" in Iraq.

    March 1, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Rory

    If there is anything we learned from President Bush, it's that it's okay to disagree with the president. I support pulling troops out, but this notion that we have to give Obama " a chance" is silly. If you really think it's a bad idea what he's doing, then now is the time to SPEAK UP!

    There's a lot of double speak going on: Obama hasn't done anything yet and in spite of this, he has an approval rating in the low sixties and a legion of followers who fawn over everything he does. These people are allowed to formulate opinions on him even though he has not accomplished much yet, however the skeptics are constantly being told that they should hold off on their own opinions and "give him a chance". lol

    March 1, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Karen in Florida

    Just another political a$$clown from Hawaii. Go back to smoking your rope. Obama's plan is prudent.

    March 1, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. Penn Voter

    President Obam-bush ?

    March 1, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Neocon Cowboy

    Abercrombie is in a state of denial along with many other Dems – can't bear to admit Iraq is on the verge of becoming a self sustaining reasonably democratic state much as Bush and the Neocons planned. A hasty withdrawal would undermine this goal, and prove him right. Abercrombie even thinks the surge didn't work attributing success to paying off the insurgents – which was only a fraction of the new strategy by Patreaus. Abercrombie needs some schooling. And if we can win a war by paying only a tiny fraction of what Obama is spending on his new stimulus plan, good for us.

    March 1, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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