Morning Brief: Obama to announce withdrawal date

Top Story President Obama will announce a plan today to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 2010. He will make the official announcement at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune later today. After 2010, according to the plan, a “transition force” of 35,000 troops will remain in Iraq for another year to train Iraqi security ...

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588171_090227_return5.jpg

Top Story

President Obama will announce a plan today to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 2010. He will make the official announcement at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune later today. After 2010, according to the plan, a "transition force" of 35,000 troops will remain in Iraq for another year to train Iraqi security forces and protect U.S. contractors.

As he rolls out the plan, Obama has an unlikely supporter in his former election rival John Mccain. The New York Times reports that McCain was among a group of Republicans who met with Obama at the White House last night and expressed cautious support for the withdrawal plan.

Top Story

President Obama will announce a plan today to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 2010. He will make the official announcement at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune later today. After 2010, according to the plan, a “transition force” of 35,000 troops will remain in Iraq for another year to train Iraqi security forces and protect U.S. contractors.

As he rolls out the plan, Obama has an unlikely supporter in his former election rival John Mccain. The New York Times reports that McCain was among a group of Republicans who met with Obama at the White House last night and expressed cautious support for the withdrawal plan.

If the plan succeeds, all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. “The path is not towards any sort of a Korea model,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Asia

The Bangladeshi military successfully put down a mutiny by border guards, but a mass grave thought to contain the bodies of soldiers killed by the mutineers has been discovered.

The U.S, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have agreed to hold regular three-nation talks.

China fired back at a critical U.S. State Department report on its human rights record, accusing the U.S. of hypocrisy.

Middle East

Iran’s envoy sharply criticized the Obama administration at the United Nations.

Iran is planning a ten-fold expansion of its nuclear enrichment capacity within the next five years.

EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana is touring Gaza. He is the highest ranking European official to visit since the Israeli invasion.

Europe

Five once high-ranking Serbian politicians were convicted of war crimes at the Hague.

Bishop Richard Williamson has apologized for any offense caused by his comments on the Holocaust.

Multilateral lending institutions have pledged over $30 billion to help Eastern Europe’s struggling banks.

Africa

While his country asks neighbors for aid, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own birthday party.

French authorities have frozen the accounts of Gabon’s President Omar Bongo. 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the U.N. may consider sending a peacekeeping force to Somalia this summer.

Americas

The U.S. is expected to file charges soon against an al Qaeda suspect who has been held at a military prison in South Carolina for over five years.

Mexico’s Felipe Calderon told the AP that Barack Obama should focus on the economy over immigration reform. 

Paralyzing strikes continue for a sixth week in Guadeloupe.

VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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