Obama's "Iraq withdrawal plan" calls for a pull out of the 142,000 U.S. forces (comprising of Marines and Army personnel) on August 31, 2010.
Here's the Fox News story which, in part, describes the unveiled plan to congressional lawmakers yesterday:
The Iraq war will come to an end on Aug. 31, 2010, senior officials said, following President Obama's decision to end all counter-insurgency missions by that time.
Obama told top leaders in Congress on Thursday that he will transition the mission in Iraq to training, advising and engaging in limited counter-terrorist operations, according to congressional sources.
The president is expected to deliver a speech Friday at the Marine base in Camp Lejeune, N.C, in which he will order the immediate drawdown of the 142,000 Marines and Army personnel in Iraq.
Obama's decision reflects his belief that "there have been real advances" in the country and, as result, the U.S. military should now be ordered to carry out "a fundamental change in mission," senior administration officials said.
With 142,000 U.S. forces in Iraq now and counter-insurgency operations conducted on a near-daily basis, "it is a war, no question," a senior adviser said.
And this war, senior officials said, will officially come to an end on Aug. 31, 2010, when the president orders all U.S. troops to focus their efforts on advising, equipping and training Iraqi security forces as well as assisting in reconstruction and political reconciliation.
"This is a plan that responsibly ends the war in Iraq," said a senior official who participated in the deliberations. "He is living up to a commitment he made as a candidate but is doing so in a way that has the support of the inter-agency task force on Iraq."
The president will order U.S. military commanders to leave a residual force of between 35,000 and 50,000 troops in Iraq. Under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, the U.S. must remove all military personnel by Dec. 31, 2011.
This is going beyond the 16-momth plan that Our Great Leader set forth throughout his campaign and even after he was elected to and inaugurated into office, even though some thought it would be "difficult" to implement it. 19 months? It's no secret that he had soft pedaled and somewhat backed off from his plan in the beginning of his term last month, despite what the Obamameter on PolitiFact.com shows.
I'm not confident that the war in Iraq will end or that Obama will pull the troops out. Perhaps he'll prove me wrong in the final analysis, but I'm not counting on that.
[Cross-posted to The Freeman Chronicles.]