Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Obama deferred to military's advice on Iraq: Gates

Obama briefed Maliki on Iraq plan: White House
US President Barack Obama phoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday to brief him on his newly announced Iraq troop pullout plan, the White House said. Obama called Maliki from Air Force One "and briefed the prime minister on the plan he would announce," said spokesman Robert Gibbs. The president also "sought and received" Maliki's agreement to receive Christopher Hill as the next US ambassador to Iraq. Gibbs said Obama also made a "courtesy" call to his predecessor George W. Bush to brief him about his plan, which sets August 31, 2010 as the date for the end of US combat operations in Iraq and the end of 2011 for the full withdrawal of all troops.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 27, 2009
President Barack Obama heeded the US military's advice in deciding to postpone by three months the pullout of most US troops from Iraq beyond a promised 16-month deadline, his defense secretary said Friday.

Obama chose to slow the pace of withdrawal after hearing the views of the commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Pentagon chief told reporters.

"Frankly, this is where both the chairman and I thought this should come out," Gates said in a telephone conference.

"And it was a very thorough, deliberative process where a lot of different options and a lot of different analysis were examined," he said.

Military commanders in Iraq, "particularly General Odierno," expressed concern that pulling out under the 16-month timeline by May 2010 could leave US forces short-handed at a sensitive time after crucial national elections in December, he said.

"The real concern has been, how do we get through this year and all of the elections that will take place, beginning with the district and sub-district elections early in the summer, the national elections at the end of the year, and have a period of adjustment after those national elections to make sure people are accepting the results," Gates said.

The 19-month plan "provides the maximum available force for General Odierno during that sensitive period," he said.

Pulling out combat troops by May "really would present some significant logistical and security issues."

"And so the extra two months or so was considered to be important."

Gates spoke from a US Marine Corps base in North Carolina where Obama earlier announced he will withdraw most US troops and end combat operations by the end of August 2010.

Obama said the remaining force of up to 50,000 would take on a new mission of training, equipping and advising Iraqi security forces, to protect US civilian personnel in Iraq, and to carry out counter-terrorism operations on its own and jointly with the Iraqi forces.

Gates said the United States should have plans in case Iraq chooses to amend an agreement that requires all US troops to leave by the end of 2011.

"My own view would be that we should be prepared to have some very modest-sized presence for training and helping them with their new equipment and providing, perhaps, intelligence support and so on," he said.

"The Iraqis have not said anything about that at this point, so it remains to be seen whether they will take an initiative."

Key dates in Iraq since US invasion
Key dates in the Iraqi conflict from the US-led invasion of March 2003 up to President Barack Obama's announcement on Friday of a firm timetable for withdrawing Washington's 142,000 troops:


March 20: US-led forces bomb and then invade Iraq, where they allege that president Saddam Hussein is building weapons of mass destruction.

April 9: US forces move into the heart of Baghdad, where they topple a large statue of Saddam signalling the downfall of the regime.

May 1: US President George W. Bush announces the end of major combat operations using a "Mission Accomplished" banner, but the violence continues.

September 3: The first post-Saddam cabinet is sworn in.

October 2: US acknowledges that no weapons of mass destruction were found.

October 16: UN Resolution 1511 legitimises the US-led occupation.

December 13: Saddam captured.


April-August: Clashes between coalition forces and supporters of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

April 28: Publication of photographs of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by American troops in Abu Ghraib prison.

June 28: The US-led administration says it has handed over power to Iraqis.


January 30: Iraqis go to the polls in the first multi-party vote in 50 years despite a spate of deadly attacks, but disenchanted Sunni Arabs largely boycott the vote.

April 6: Jalal Talabani chosen to be president, the first Kurd to hold the office in Iraq's modern history.

October 15: Iraqis vote in force on a draft constitution.

December 15: The conservative Shiite United Iraqi Alliance wins most seats in the parliamentary election for the first permanent post-Saddam government.


February 22: Shiite shrine at Samarra, north of Baghdad, blown up; 450 people die in following surge of intercommunity violence.

April 22: Talabani re-elected president. Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, forms a government in May.

June 7: Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, killed in a US air strike.

July: The United States hands over to Iraqi security control of the first of the country's 18 provinces.

October 11: A law establishing federal provinces is passed.

November 5: Saddam condemned to death for the execution of 148 Shiites in the 1980s.

December 30: Saddam hanged.


January 10: Bush announces the dispatch of 30,000 more American troops in a so-called "surge" strategy.

February 14: Start of security plan for Baghdad.

August 14: More than 400 people killed by suicide truck bombs targeting the ancient Yazidi religious sect in two Kurdish villages in northern Iraq.

September 3: British troops leave the southern port of Basra, moving to a base near its airport.


March 23: Death toll of US troops reaches 4,000 since May 2003.

September 1: The US military transfers control of western province of Anbar to Iraqi forces, the first Sunni-majority province to be handed over.

August 28: Sadr announces a halt to operations by the Mahdi Army.

November 27: Parliament ratifies an Iraq-US security agreement which gives American troops a legal basis to stay in Iraq and sets an end-2011 deadline for their departure.


January 1: The US formally transfers control of Baghdad's high-security Green Zone and other key installations to Iraqis.

January 20: Incoming President Barack Obama says the United States will "begin to responsibly leave Iraq."

February 27: Obama announces that all US combat operations in Iraq will end by August 31, 2010, and that he intends to fully withdraw all American troops by the end of 2011.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iraq not fazed by pending US pullout: Maliki
Baghdad (AFP) Feb 26, 2009
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki insisted on Thursday he was not fazed by a US withdrawal from the violence-scarred country as President Barack Obama prepared to announce a timeline for pulling out the troops.

  • Russian bomber intercepted as Obama visited Canada
  • China, US agree to resume key military exchanges
  • Atlantic Eye: Wesley Clark's touch
  • Obama Gets On With Changes To International Relations

  • Iran says no military agenda in nuclear plan
  • Georgia, US ink deal to fight nuclear smuggling
  • Iran has enough material to make nuclear bomb: US admiral
  • NKorea Warns Against Provocations As Missile Test Looms

  • NKorea assembling rocket ahead of planned launch: report
  • NKorea builds underground missile fuelling station: report
  • Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 126 Successful Test Flights
  • Syria has built missile facility at suspect site: diplomats

  • Russia expecting new US missile defence proposals
  • Obama vows to help troops, cut weapon programs
  • BMD Focus: Biden dances in Munich
  • BMD Watch: LM wins Aegis upgrade contract

  • British, Chinese firms seal major aviation deal
  • Top Chinese aircraft maker launches global recruitment drive
  • Major airlines call for climate deal to include aviation
  • Swiss aircraft firm to cut jobs in Ireland

  • Pakistan wants to discuss US drone attacks
  • MoD Police Try Out UAV
  • US drones are based in Pakistan: senator
  • AeroVironment Launches Production Of Its New Digital Data Link

  • Obama deferred to military's advice on Iraq: Gates
  • Analysis: First U.S. case for Iraqi terror
  • Iraq a 'success,' withdrawal plan unlikely to change: Gates
  • Obama ready to set out Iraq withdrawal plan

  • Elbit Systems Introduces Cpnet
  • ATK And AFRL Test Development Motor For IHPRPT Program
  • BAE To Equip US Army Stryker, Abrams Vehicles With Thermal Cameras
  • GE Selected For AV-8B Harrier Technology

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement