Are generals disputing Iraq pullout? + Obama Nixed Full Surge After Quizzing Brass by Gareth Porter

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February 19, 2009
12:00 PM
Contact: The Real News Network
Geraldine Cahill 416.916.5202 Ext:423


Are generals disputing Iraq pullout?
Do disagreements amongst top generals and Obama on Iraq pullout plan represent a more profound debate?

With President Obama’s plan to “withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months” being met with resistance by top U.S generals, The Real News spoke to historian/investigative journalist Gareth Porter to discuss the implications of this internal disagreement.

Porter says that Obama’s 16 month withdrawal plan, “generated a good deal of resistance within US command both in Baghdad and from General Patraeus at CENTCOM in Tampa Florida. Petraeus let it be known that they felt it was too risky and that they favored a longer plan to withdraw.”

While U.S. command claims that without a U.S. presence in Iraq major conflicts will breakout, Porter feels that conflict in this region is an inevitability and that “U.S. troops frankly are not going to be able to prevent (it).” While top generals are offering an alternate 23 month withdrawal plan, Porter makes it clear that regardless of having a 16 month or 23 month plan, “there will be fighting in the future over..oil wells.”

Porter offers an alternate perspective stating that, “the 23 month plan, which Odierno and Petraeus are now backing is really kind of a front,” noting that it is basically a continued attempt to prolong what would essentially be a permanent presence by the U.S. in Iraq. Porter references a recent interview with Odierno showing that the interest of the U.S. command isn’t a 23 month plan but a continuation of presence. “Odierno said look, we’re going to need to stay here long beyond 2011…I would like to have a force of 30 or 40 thousand troops (here) in 2014 and 2015.”

For complete coverage of this story visit our website:…


Obama Nixed Full Surge After Quizzing Brass

By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (IPS) – President Barack Obama decided to approve only 17,000 of the 30,000 troops requested by Gen. David McKiernan, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and Gen. David Petraeus, the CENTCOM commander, after McKiernan was unable to tell him how they would be used, according to a White House source.

But Obama is likely to be pressured by McKiernan and the Joint Chiefs to approve the remaining 13,000 troops requested after the completion of an Afghanistan-Pakistan policy review next month.

Obama’s decision to approve just over half the full troop request for Afghanistan recalls a similar decision by President Lyndon B. Johnson to approve only part of the request for U.S. troop deployments in a parallel situation in the Vietnam War in April 1965 at a comparable stage of that war. Johnson reluctantly went along with the request for additional troops within weeks under pressure from both the field commander and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


via US-AFGHANISTAN: Obama Nixed Full Surge After Quizzing Brass

3 thoughts on “Are generals disputing Iraq pullout? + Obama Nixed Full Surge After Quizzing Brass by Gareth Porter

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