Behind the Get-Out-of-Iraq Plan

During the campaign, President Barack Obama discussed a 16-month withdrawal from Iraq, but yesterday he revealed a 19-month plan. Where’d those three extra months come from? According to the Associated Press, he added them at the request of field commanders in Iraq. Obama chose the 19-month plan over 16-month and 23-month alternatives after a dozen working groups and 10 interagency meetings. Obama’s plan also backloads the withdrawals, rather than removing one brigade a month as he had discussed during the campaign. Politico says “one reason [for the changes] was that presidential advisers calculated that whatever option Obama chose, even the most passionate in the anti-war camp would most remember that he ended the war — not when.”