"Mullen ‘Pleased’ With Current Iraq Withdrawal Schedule"
The Obama administration is reportedly considering keeping a small military presence of 3,000 troops in Iraq past the 2011 total withdrawal deadline. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attacked President Obama, saying 3,000 isn’t enough (the White House denied the reports and the Iraqis haven’t agreed to any extended troop presence), with McCain claiming that all “military people” want a large U.S. force in Iraq past 2011. Yet Army Chief of Staff and former top U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno warned against a large force. “I always felt we had to be careful about leaving too many people in Iraq,” he said. And today, in an interview with USA Today, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said he’s fine with the planned withdrawal as is (i.e. down to zero by Dec. 31, 2011). “Mullen also says he is pleased with the current withdrawal schedule of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year,” reports USA Today.