WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to withdraw all
U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of August 2010. But many of
those troops will stay in the war zone throughout 2009.
Senior administration officials say Obama will announce his
much-anticipated Iraq strategy Friday at the Camp Lejeune Marine
Corps base in North Carolina. His plan will pull home roughly
100,000 U.S. troops over the next 18 months.
The officials say Obama will keep a substantial number of those
troops in Iraq through at least December. The goal is to provide
security during important national elections in Iraq scheduled for
late this year.
Obama promised in his presidential campaign to end the war
responsibly. Some 35,000 to 50,000 U.S. support troops will stay in
Iraq through 2011.