Barack Obama outlined today what he described as a “tough, smart and principled national security strategy.” In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Obama said he would focus on “five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly, finishing the fight against al-Qaida 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.”
Monday, Obama had a commentary in the New York Times presenting his plan for Iraq. He said that the recent call by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of U.S. troops presented an enormous opportunity. “We should 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,” Obama wrote.
Meanwhile, the public is evenly split on whether the United States should set a timetable for withdrawing troops. Fifty percent favor of a timetable and 49 percent don’t, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Americans also split on which presidential candidate they trust more to handle the war, with 47 percent favoring John McCain and 45 percent Obama.
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