Obama’s stance

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Illi­nois Demo­cratic Sen. Barack Obama,whois­con­tem­platin­garun for the pres­i­dency, on Nov. 20 called for a “grad­ual and sub­stan­tial” re­duc­tion of U.S. forces from Iraq that would be­gin in four to six months.

Speak­ing to the Chicago Coun­cil on Global Af­fairs, Mr. Obama en­vi­sioned a flexible timetable for with­drawal linked to con­di­tions on the ground in Iraq and based on the ad­vice of U.S. com­man­ders. He also called for in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to train Iraqi se­cu­rity forces, U.S. aid pack­ages tied to Iraqi progress in re­duc­ing sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence and new diplo­macy with Syria and Iran.

“I be­lieve that it re­mains pos­si­ble to sal­vage an ac­cept­able out­come to this long and mis­guided war,” he said. “But it will not be easy. For the fact is that there are no good op­tions left in this war.”

Mr. Obama was not in the Se­nate when Pres­i­dent Bush sought and re­ceived sup­port from Congress in 2002 to use mil­i­tary force against then-dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein. But he has pub­licly op­posed the war since then.

Mr. Obama was care­ful not to set a spe­cific timetable for with­drawal of troops, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

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