The presumptive Democratic Party U.S. presidential nominee, Barack
Obama, says he will begin ending U.S. troop involvement in the war in
Iraq on his first day in office.
Obama told reporters Thursday
that on his first day in office, he will instruct the five top U.S.
military officers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to end the war
"responsibly and decisively." He also said he intends to remove U.S.
troops from Iraq at a pace that will lead to a total withdrawal in 16
The Illinois senator said this is the same position he has long held on Iraq.
Obama's Republican rival, John McCain, accused him of reversing his
position on Iraq. In a statement, McCain said Obama has adopted
McCain's view that the U.S. cannot risk progress made in Iraq by
starting to withdraw U.S. troops immediately without concern for
conditions on the ground.
Senator McCain has said U.S. troops
could be in Iraq for many years and that a greater military commitment
is needed to achieve long-term success.
Obama pledged to improve care for U.S. veterans if elected president.
He spoke ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday Friday.
McCain is finishing a three-day visit to Latin America. The veteran
Arizona lawmaker discussed free trade and combatting drug trafficking
during stops in Colombia and Mexico.