Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Obama still looks to 16-month pullout | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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CHICAGO (AP) – Barack Obama says the U.S.-Iraq security agreement approved by Iraq’s parliament puts the U.S. on a «glide path» toward reducing forces there.

As he named Robert Gates to continue on as defense chief, with a new mission to reduce U.S. involvement in Iraq, the president-elect said he’ll listen to Gates, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders on the ground in determining how to proceed with a troop withdrawal.

Obama told reporters in Chicago that he still thinks 16 months is the “right time frame” for removing U.S. combat troops from Iraq. He said the top priority is making sure troops are safe during that transition, and that the Iraqi people are well served as their government takes on more security responsibilities.