Military Officers Applaud Obama’s Plan for Iraq Withdrawal

For Immediate Release

Military Officers Applaud Obama’s Plan for Iraq Withdrawal

President’s Strategy is a responsible way to exit Iraq

WASHINGTON - The Center for Arms Control
and Non-Proliferation today applauded President Obama's plan to remove
U.S. combat forces from Iraq by August 2010, a date which, 16 months
after the plan's commencement in March or April 2009, conforms to the
President's campaign pledge.

At the same time, the Center cautioned that today's announcement is a
crucial first step in actually bringing an end to the war in Iraq - but
it is only a first step.  The Center urged the President to make sure
all our troops come home as the combat troops return, and to refrain
from keeping tens of thousands of "noncombat" forces in Iraq long after
this deadline.

Three retired military flag officers affiliated with the Center agree
that the administration's plan is the most responsible way for Obama to
execute a strategy that was an integral part of his presidential
campaign.

"The plan that President Obama announced today is the most
feasible way to disengage combat forces from Iraq and offers us the
best chance to leave the country safely and responsibly,"
said Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (USA, ret.), who serves as chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Gard, along Brig. Gen. John Johns (USA, ret.) and Col. Richard Klass
(USAF, ret.), recently authored a report that parallels Obama's plan
for withdrawal.  The report details how the President could execute a
16-month withdrawal timetable which would begin in April of this year.
The report also calls for a diplomatic surge to help stabilize the
country while U.S. troops withdraw. 

Read the full report online here.

"President Obama has kept his campaign promise to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in," said Col. Richard Klass.
"He has shown that he understands the job of commander-in-chief by
listening to a range of options presented by his military advisors and
the field commanders, assessing risks, and making the final decision
based on sound analysis, not gut feel."

All three retired military officers are available for comment. Please contact Travis Sharp at 202.546.0795 ext. 2105 or tsharp@armscontrolcenter.org to schedule an interview.

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The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.

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