Obama set to unveil plan for Iraq
US President Barack Obama is expected to reveal his plan for the war in Iraq during a speech on Friday that will reportedly include a timeframe for a sharp drawdown in the US presence, dpa reported.
Obama will arrive in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Friday morning for the address at the Marine Corps base. He will reportedly announce the withdrawal of all US combat forces by August 2010, or about three months later than his campaign pledge to pull them out within 16 months of taking office.
There are about 140,000 US troops in Iraq and the withdrawal is expected to reduce that number to about 50,000 soldiers who will remain as trainers and for force protection.
Obama has identified Afghanistan as the top military priority for the United States and wants to shift forces from Iraq to that country. He has already announced the deployment of 17,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan this year.
According to an agreement reached by the Bush administration with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, all US troops must leave Iraq by the end of 2011.