Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack Obama, Day One Meeting to discuss Iraq Poilicy

Top of the Agenda:

Reporting from Washington -- President Obama will discuss U.S. military involvement in Iraq with his senior national security team this afternoon, a critical first meeting as the new administration reshapes the Pentagon's war strategy.

"Running up to the inauguration, the president made clear this is one of the important items on his agenda," said Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon spokesman. "This is a logical first step for a new president that wants to speak to the people most directly responsibility for managing and executing the wars."

Obama is scheduled to meet with White House National Security Advisor James L. Jones and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates

along with Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. forces in the Middle East.

In addition, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the top commander in Iraq, will participate by video teleconference.

At the meeting, expected to begin around 4 p.m. Eastern time, Obama could order a change in war policy and direct the military to speed up its withdrawals.

But some officials believe it is more likely that the president will ask the Defense Department take some time to draft new plans for his approval. Military officials said that will give them a chance to reconcile commanders' current plans with the wishes of the new president.,0,1363695.story

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