Iraq troop withdrawal

February 27, 2009 1:57:06 PM PST
It's been nearly six years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Too late to debate the merits of it. But not too late to debate how quickly the U.S. should leave what many argue has been one of the worst foreign policy decisions the country's ever made. (Until you include how the White House handled Afghanistan.)

Now Pres. Obama, trying to at least come close to his campaign promise, has outlined his plan to get U.S. troops out of Iraq.

It's not as fast as he had pledged, nor is it as complete.

But, hey, after two terms of pledging to stay the course in Iraq, the president's plan is a leap forward.

The first troops will start leaving this summer and, by August, 2010 (19 months after he assumed office, not the 16 he promised on he campaign trail), the military "combat mission in Iraq will end," the president said today.

Here are some numbers to keep in mind when thinking about the beginning and end of the war: When the U.S. invaded, there was a force of 143,000. The current troop level is 142,000.

At its height, in Oct., 2007, there were 166,300 troops - during the "surge."

We'll have the latest on the plan to end the war, at 11.

We'll also have the latest on the President's economic recovery plan - huge amounts of spending and large tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year. The budget proposal now goes to Congress. That should be a fun process.

And late this afternoon comes this tidbit involving GMAC, which received $6 billion taxpayer bailouts. Turns out GMAC's CEO, Alvaro de Molina, received $11.6 million in compensation last year - that's double what he earned the year before.

Maybe 'cause he did such a good job that his company required $6 billion in bailouts?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus the weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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