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Obama Meets With Officials on Iraq, Signaling His Commitment to Ending War

Published: January 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama gave his national security team on Wednesday a new mission to end the war in Iraq, nearly six years after United States-led forces invaded, but he held off ordering a troop withdrawal right away to hear concerns and options from his military commanders.

The President Obama, the new administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. On his first full day in office, Mr. Obama summoned senior civilian and uniformed officials to the White House to begin fulfilling his campaign promise to pull combat forces out of Iraq in 16 months. Among those meeting with Mr. Obama was Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander of American forces in the Middle East, who had not seen him since the Nov. 4 election.

“I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq,” Mr. Obama said in a written statement after the meeting. He added that he planned to “undertake a full review of the situation in Afghanistan in order to develop a comprehensive policy for the entire region.”