Drawing Down Troops in Iraq

Sunday, September 6, 2009

With more deployments likely for Afghanistan, the administration is determined to withdraw the bulk of about 130,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq during the first half of 2010 despite signs of resurgent sectarian violence and political upheaval there.

U.S. forces drew back from Iraqi cities in June. Obama has pledged that all but about 50,000 troops will leave the country by next August, but Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the U.S. commander, wants to delay major withdrawals until after the country's January elections.

If that does not happen, Obama may be faced with the choice of whether to leave one unpopular war unfinished in order to escalate another that is rapidly losing public support.

-- Karen DeYoung

© 2009 The Washington Post Company