Sticking to the Iraq Withdrawal Timetable
While President Obama grapples with his proper role in dealing with the
For the first time since the overthrow of
The numbers reflect President Obama's commitment to end the U.S. involvement in
In an interview with the
Despite continuing squabbles in
Obama, in his recent speech at West Point, said however that after the all U.S. forces leave, scheduled for the end of 2011, "a strong American civilian presence will help Iraqis forge political and economic progress."
Meanwhile, Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism,
Brennan continued: "We have a clear mission. We will not simply degrade al-Qaida's capabilities or simply prevent terrorist attacks against our country or citizens. We will not merely respond after the fact -- after an attack has been attempted. Instead,
At the same time, Brennan said the Obama administration will be employing a more discriminating strategy against changing terrorist tactics that have moved from large-scale model of the 9/11 attacks to individual acts seen in the
"As our enemy adapts and evolves their tactics," he said, "so must we constantly adapt and evolve ours, not in a mad rush driven by fear but in a thoughtful and reasoned way that enhances our security and further delegitimizes the actions of our enemy."
The reference to fear as a motivation for American action could be taken as a rebuke of the previous Republican administration, which after 9/11 used the attacks to stoke domestic support for the war in
Nevertheless, the Obama administration's pivot from former President
Obama in his earlier West Point speech told graduating cadets that American military strength must and will be maintained, but that administration embraces a return to multilateralism in dealing with foreign-policy challenges of all kinds. America, he said then, "has not succeeded by stepping out of the currents of cooperation" with international allies.
That theme was struck again Thursday in an annual
Still, the presence of American forces in
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Sticking to the Iraq Withdrawal Timetable | United States
(c) 2010 Jules Witcover