President Barack Obama met with top military commanders today to get a full update on the situation in Iraq and to ask them to begin drawing up an Iraq exit strategy.
“I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq,” Obama said in a statement after the meeting. He says he also plans to consult with them on his planned escalation in Afghanistan at some point in the coming days.
Aides said before the meeting that Obama intended to “ask for planning to redeploy combat troops within 16 months.” Mysteriously, Obama’s post-meeting comment made no mention of the 16 month timetable, one way or the other. Comments from Gen. Odierno also suggested that the military may not be operating on the same timetable as the new administration.