Analysts debate feasibility of Obama's Iraq withdrawal plan

In 2002, a little-known Illinois state senator named Barack Obama launched himself onto the national stage by opposing the invasion of Iraq. As a presidential candidate, Obama laid out a 16-month timeline, starting on Inauguration Day and ending in summer 2010, to withdraw major combat forces from Iraq. The Iraqi government, meanwhile, has insisted on a Status of Forces Agreement calling for a U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2011.

But the Iraqi government consistently slips deadlines, and Obama's plan is full of caveats. Is it realistic that all combat brigades will be out of Iraq in 16 months? If not, what might be a more realistic timetable -- shorter or longer? Do you have an estimate on how many troops might still be in Iraq 16 months after inauguration? And what are the factors -- political and military, in the U.S. and in Iraq -- that will shape Obama's choices on how quickly to draw down?

In's Expert Blog on national security, Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. posed these questions to a series of national security specialists.

Click here to see their responses.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by eSignLive by VASCO

    Mobile E-Signatures for Government

    Learn 5 key trends that accelerate government demand for mobile signing.

  • Sponsored by Management Concepts

    SPONSORED: Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector

    How governmental agencies implement organizational change management.

  • Sponsored by Kronos

    Solving the Workforce Compliance Challenge

    Download this eBook to learn how data and automation can help state and local agencies.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.