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Published: Feb 9, 2009
Iraq Troop Withdrawal Decisions Delayed
by Staff

U.S. military officials have delayed implementing Iraq troop withdrawals to give President Barack Obama more time to consider his options, sources say.

Quoting two unnamed senior Pentagon officials, CNN reported Monday that Obama has asked military leaders to assess the risks and implications of three timelines that envision withdrawing U.S. combat troops over 16-, 19- or 23-month periods.

Also reportedly delayed pending the reviews are plans to send more troops to Afghanistan.

A 16-month troop Iraq withdrawal timeline would be consistent with Obama's campaign pledges but recent discussions with military leaders and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has made it clear the president wanted to look over other options and fully discuss each of them, the officials told CNN.

"The president is not fixated on a time frame. He has taken a step back and is reflecting on what's at stake," one of the Defense Department officials said.

Obama didn't specifically ask for the 19- and 23-month options developed by the military, the broadcaster said. (c) UPI

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