Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Obama Adviser: Keep 80,000 Troops in Iraq ’Til Late 2010

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on April 8, 2008

From Democracy Now and TPM

In other campaign news, the New York Sun reports a key adviser to Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep up to 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010. Colin Kahl’s plan is at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within sixteen months of taking office. Kahl serves as the day-to-day coordinator of Obama’s working group on Iraq but denied the paper represents the campaign’s Iraq position.


TPM:

WASHINGTON — A key adviser to Senator Obama’s campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

The paper, obtained by The New York Sun, was written by Colin Kahl for the center-left Center for a New American Security. In “Stay on Success: A Policy of Conditional Engagement,” Mr. Kahl writes that through negotiations with the Iraqi government “the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000–80,000 forces) by the end of 2010 (although the specific timelines should be the byproduct of negotiations and conditions on the ground).”

Both the Obama campaign and Kahl, who is day-to-day coordinator of Obama’s working group on Iraq, say his views expressed here are not those of the campaign in any way. Obviously, candidates surround themselves with multiple advisers with a range of views about stuff, and can’t be responsible for all of them.

It’s unclear right now whether the Hillary camp will try to make an issue of this today.

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