Monday, January 25, 2010

U.S. pullout from Iraq

Another secret mission for Vice President Biden -- this time to Iraq.

Biden landed in Baghdad earlier today. As he has on previous trips, Biden plans to "meet with Iraqi leaders; receive updates from U.S. military and civilian leaders; and visit U.S. troops," according to a White House statement.

The meeting list includes Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and Speaker of the Council of Representatives Ayad al-Samarrai. Biden is also speaking with Ad Melkert, the United Nations' special representative of Iraq.

Topics include efforts to ease sectarian tensions ahead of Iraqi national elections scheduled for March, as well as ongoing plans for a U.S. pullout by the end of 2011.

The U.S. pullout of Iraq by the end of 2011? The so-called "pullout" plan now includes keeping 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in permanent bases after we "pullout".

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