In Jordan, Obama Urges Iraq-to-Afghanistan Shift

With security improved, US must focus on fighting terror, Dem says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2008 11:29 AM CDT
U.S. Presidential contender Barack Obama, center, carries a helmet on his arrival in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, July 22. 2008. Obama arrived in Jordan from Iraq for talks with King Abdullah expected to deal...   (Khalil Jermi)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama said today that, with improved security in Iraq, the US should turn its attention to Afghanistan. “There is security progress, but now we need a political solution” in Iraq, Obama said in Amman, Jordan—in his first news conference abroad, the AP reports. Afghanistan, the “central front in the war against terrorism,” is in “a deteriorating situation."

He reiterated his goal of withdrawing combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of becoming president, but said he would consult with military commanders to determine how many non-combat troops to keep in the country. Obama acknowledged that Gen. David Petraeus does not want a withdrawal schedule, but—in apparent reference to shifts from Iraqi PM Maliki and President Bush—welcomed “the growing consensus in the United States and Iraq for a timeline.”