Obama to Visit Pentagon on Wednesday
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama is scheduled to visit the Pentagon tomorrow afternoon, where he is to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military leaders about his plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq while beefing up the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Obama has called for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months, a mission he conveyed to military leaders during a White House meeting last Wednesday, one day after taking office. Meanwhile, U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have called for 30,000 more U.S. troops to be sent there to help stabilize a situation that Obama has described as "perilous."
The visit to the Pentagon will be Obama's first since taking office. The president made the State Department his first Cabinet department stop last Thursday, underscoring his administration's stated intention of emphasizing diplomacy in foreign relations.
"That process that started at the beginning of this administration continues tomorrow at the Pentagon," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "I think they'll talk about a number of issues. Obviously, one of them will be Iraq and Afghanistan."
Posted at 5:37 PM ET on Jan 27, 2009
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