Obama: Iraq Now Needs a Political Solution
Sen. Barack Obama says there have been security gains in Iraq, but the country needs a political solution. Obama is continuing his overseas trip with stops in Jordan and Israel. (Video by the Associated Press.)
His full remarks at the Amman news conference this morning can be read here. And Dan Balz, reporting from the scene, writes with Sudarsan Raghavan:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Tuesday defended his proposal to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq over a 16-month period and send more troops to Afghanistan, despite what he acknowledged was the opposition to any pullout timeline from the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.
"The situation in Afghanistan is perilous and urgent," Obama told a news conference. "We must act now to reverse a deteriorating situation."
Looking ahead to meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders Wednesday, the Illinois senator also pledged that, if elected president, he would provide "sustained energy and focus" on helping to forge a Middle East peace agreement, while noting that "it's unrealistic to expect that a U.S. president alone can suddenly snap his fingers to bring about peace in this region.
Wrapping up a four-day tour of Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama declined to speak in detail about his discussions with Petraeus but said the U.S. commander wants as much flexibility as possible on troop strength. Obama said that, if elected in November, he would neither ignore the advice of military commanders nor accept it outright.
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