NPR logo Top Military Chief 'Optimistic' About Obama's Plan


Top Military Chief 'Optimistic' About Obama's Plan

The nation's top military official says he's optimistic that U.S. troops will accomplish their new mission in Iraq. Adm. Mike Mullen's appearances on two Sunday talk shows bolstered President Obama's recent announcement detailing his withdrawal plans for Iraq.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Fox News Sunday that conditions are set for the Iraqi government to assume control of the country. But he did not speak of victory.

"I'm a little bit reluctant to talk specifically about winning and losing," Mullen said. "We've turned it around over the last two years, and in great part that's because of the incredible young men and women who've served us so well."

Obama's plan calls for all combat troops to leave Iraq by August 2010. A transitional force would remain temporarily. Mullen said the president arrived at his decision through very deliberate, thorough consultation with military leaders. He added that if past is prologue, he expects the president to continue listening if conditions in Iraq should change.