Joint Chiefs Chair Warns Obama and Clinton on Iraq
America’s top military leader is warning about rapid withdrawal from Iraq.
The Joint Chiefs chairman has a word of warning to Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: A rapid of withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a “chaotic situation” and would “turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.
Admiral Mullen’s comments came in a response to a question about what the Joint Chiefs are doing to prepare for a new president, given that two of the candidates have called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. “We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring,” Mullen said. “I do worry about a rapid withdrawal. . . [that would] turn around the gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight.” Asked to define a “rapid withdrawal,” Mullen said, “a withdrawal that would be so fast that it would leave us in a chaotic situation and the gains we have achieved would be lost.”
That said, Mullen added: “When a new president comes in, I will get my orders and I will carry them out.”
Despite early rhetoric in the campaign, it has become rather clear that none of the three serious candidates for the presidency would order a “rapid withdrawal” under that definition. John McCain is obviously more committed to the mission’s success but neither Clinton nor Obama wants to be blamed for failure.