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BREAKING 7-15-08 Obama on Iraq War: "A Dangerous Distraction" - Focus More on Afghanistan
Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008 9:41am

WASHINGTON, D.C. From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS 12N 7-15-08 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama levelled a broadside at the Bush administration today, saying if elected President, on his first day in office, he would give the military a new mission -- ending the war in Iraq.

Pointing to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's recent call for a timetable, Obama said "now is the time for a responsible redeployment of our combat troops that pushes Iraq's leaders toward a political solution, rebuilds our military, and refocuses on Afghanistan and our broader security interests."

Obama also said his plan would be to remove combat brigades from Iraq by the summer of 2010. He also said he would send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan. 

"This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize. This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century," Obama said.

"By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe."

Obama vowed to take the country in a new direction, should be become president.

He said his strategy rests on five goals: "ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

Obama has faced accusations that he has shifted his policy on Iraq. Earlier this month, he told reporters questioning his stance that he will "continue to refine" his policies as warranted.

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