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Mullen Warns Against Obama's Iraq Troop Plan

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The nation's senior military official warned against a plan, put forward by presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010.

"I think the consequences could be very dangerous," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on "Fox News Sunday." "I'm convinced at this point in time that ... making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important."

Obama has argued that a drawdown in Iraq is necessary to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The Illinois Democrat was in Afghanistan on Sunday and reiterated his call to add up to 15,000 U.S. troops there.

"This is where [terrorists] can plan attacks. They have sanctuary here. They are gathering huge amounts of money as a consequence of the [opium] drug trade in the region," Obama said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Continue reading at The Talk »

Posted at 1:10 PM ET on Jul 20, 2008  | Category:  Sunday Talkies
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Comments

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When will Mullen write his book about being mis-led by the Bush Administration? Was he against talking to Iran before he was for it? Did Faux News offer him a job as an on air military analyst after he's run out of Washington? Has the Bush administration completely politicized the Military as it did the DoJ, the EPA, the SEC and every other corner of the Federal government? I hope we make it to January '09 before the unthinkable happens.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 20, 2008 7:37 PM

Let's see. The Admiral works for the Shrub administration. Isn't it a punishable offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to speak out against the President? So, what else is the Admiral supposed to say, "Sen. Obama is right!"? Didn't Admiral Mullen start off the interview on a very neutral tone and pointed out that his "current orders are" blah blah blah? When Chris Wallace prodded him further with the Shrub's talking points that they were given earlier, that's when the Admiral went off and spewed this BS. Wasn't it the Shrub administration that paid retired generals to go on all of the news programs to promote this oil war and spread its propaganda? Again, what else was the Admiral supposed to say?

Posted by: DDC | July 20, 2008 6:45 PM

"to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010."

HUH?! Where exactly do you get this "fact"? If Obama is elected President, he will most likely begin removing combat troops within a month of his inauguration, on Jan. 20, 2009. On his stated pace, which has always carried caveats about conditions on the ground, we would redeploy 1-2 combat brigades a month, putting the near-complete removal of combat brigades--not all troops--from Iraq at about June 2010. That's not ALL troops, and that's not "early 2010."

"There now are technically 13 Army and two Marine combat brigades in Iraq -- the same as before the buildup -- but the force is as much as 10 percent larger than it was in January 2007."
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hcWJu9bbzrJZ7uNHjvMn0BuTGqHQD91V48K00

Posted by: along | July 20, 2008 4:42 PM

Admiral Mullen will be among the very first to go when Senator Obama becomes President next January. He has always been a Bush bootlicker and toady, and has done little to improve the U.S. military during his tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He won't be missed.

Posted by: David S. Robins | July 20, 2008 4:19 PM

I feel that the choice of Adm. Mullen was typical of Bush's selection of advisors. They were yes men. Diversity of opinion was discouraged and professionalism was not a requirement, examples, the choices for Chairmen of the Joint Cheifs, all three, Gonzales for AG, Rumsfeld for Defense, Norton for Interior and many others.

This is an infringement on our Democracy and will not be tolerated by Obama.

Posted by: Ronnn | July 20, 2008 3:55 PM

I have lifted a quote from The Talk blog because this man says it without the anger I feel and he is to the point.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"As an active member of the armed forces, I believe that Admiral Michael Mullen should refrain from political speeches and campaigning. It's the law and it's a good one. I am tired of having our servicemen and women used as political footballs. If Mullen wants to enter the campaign, then he can retire and comment to his heart's content."

Posted by: Cornfields

I quote another blogger:

"Going on Fox News to criticize the plan of a specific presidential candidate is over the top. Mullen should be dismissed forthwith."

Posted by: Bob22003

These men have expressed it more succinctly than I could

Posted by: Ronnn | July 20, 2008 3:45 PM

"War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men."

Georges Clemenceau

=======

Some of the best soldiers we have are also some of the stupidest people you will ever meet. And some of our smartest military leaders have absolutely no clue about real soldiering.

These people should stick to the military and stay the hell out of politics. If you want to be a soldier, be a soldier. If you want to be a politician, be a politician.

The whole notion that the military should be politicized was stupid to begin with. But what else do you expect from Republicans who have stooped so low as to pervert their preferred brand of Christianity into a racist subculture.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 20, 2008 2:43 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 2:59 PM

Some of the best soldiers we have are also some of the stupidest people you will ever meet. And some of our smartest military leaders have absolutely no clue about real soldiering.

These people should stick to the military and stay the hell out of politics. If you want to be a soldier, be a soldier. If you want to be a politician, be a politician.

The whole notion that the military should be politicized was stupid to begin with. But what else do you expect from Republicans who have stooped so low as to pervert their preferred brand of Christianity into a racist subculture.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 20, 2008 2:43 PM

The problem is the alternative is far worse. Experience is not a very big factor. In washington there is 10,000 years of experience walking around the next president will have access to. By the way you would not want most of them as president, but you do want their knowledge and counsel. You used an example of yourself hiring someone. You don't demand they be lawyers as well as accountants as well as know how to fix the delivers trucks. You hire them for their ability to get things done, work with people and learn and grow with the job. Mccain is, I am sorry to say, little more then a dime a dozen politician you will find on any corner in Washington. Nothing great in his future, just marking time. If there was greatness in the man it would have surfaced by now. Obama although unproven has the elements of greatness in him. It would be exciting to see what a man like him could do in the job. I am afraid there is little mystery with Mccain, he will do it about the same way he does his current job. Just marking time.


+++++++++
As we embark on this most fundamental right of Americans to select our leader it still amazes me that we do so with so little regard. If I am interviewing some one for a position regardless of its importance to the whole company I will vet out that person to be sure they have the capabilities to perform the task so that others will not have to carry them. I am not swayed by personal opinion or rhetoric but by experience and history. Obama may be a fine young man but I would not select him to be a leader in my company until he had proven himself in lesser positions or the same in a similar company. Since we will not hire an ex president from another country it lends itself to one choice only. More experience at a lesser position such as a governership. Let him run a state before running the 50 (or 70). Let him have experience in the military before running the military, let him excel in congress before having him run congress, let him exceed in business before running the business. Take out the emotion, look at the facts and make a clear decision.

Posted by: Randy | July 20, 2008 2:07 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 2:22 PM

As we embark on this most fundamental right of Americans to select our leader it still amazes me that we do so with so little regard. If I am interviewing some one for a position regardless of its importance to the whole company I will vet out that person to be sure they have the capabilities to perform the task so that others will not have to carry them. I am not swayed by personal opinion or rhetoric but by experience and history. Obama may be a fine young man but I would not select him to be a leader in my company until he had proven himself in lesser positions or the same in a similar company. Since we will not hire an ex president from another country it lends itself to one choice only. More experience at a lesser position such as a governership. Let him run a state before running the 50 (or 70). Let him have experience in the military before running the military, let him excel in congress before having him run congress, let him exceed in business before running the business. Take out the emotion, look at the facts and make a clear decision.

Posted by: Randy | July 20, 2008 2:07 PM

I have to agree with the previous blogger's response that men like Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, see the world through a military prism. These type of men are singularly focused on tactical military matters. Spending $10 billion per month in taxpayer money on the military ir Iraq is good news for people like Michael Mullen.

If the surge has reduced violence in Iraq but the violence in Afghanistan is re-surging then America must step our efforts where the Al-Qaida and the Taliban reside.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 20, 2008 2:05 PM

People like him can only view the world through a military prism. It is easy to understand why he says that. The fact is, that is why our country is not run by the military. When I was in Viet Nam there was a funny saying among career military men. "Don't knock the war, it is the only one we have". It is how these people define themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 1:27 PM

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