U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Monday that he would set a goal of having all U.S. combat brigades out of Iraq by summer 2010 and shift more resources to fighting al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL), speaks at the National Council of La Raza convention at San Diego's Convention Center July 13, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
In an op-ed in The New York Times, the senator from Illinois criticized John McCain, his Republican opponent, and the Bush administration for "refusing to embrace" the idea that Iraqis should take over responsibility for military control of the country and the fight against terrorist and insurgent forces.
He also dismissed the troop surge that McCain supported because he said it's been too costly and has not led to Iraqi political reconciliation.
Obama said current U.S. strategy "is not a strategy for success -- it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war."
He pointed to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's request for a U.S. timetable for withdrawal as an opportunity to "seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States."