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Top U.S. military officer concerned about Iraq withdrawal timetable
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10:37, March 06, 2008

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A top U.S. military officer on Wednesday voiced concerns on any mandate timetable of withdrawal from Iraq but vowed to follow whatever decision made by the next president.

"I think a precipitous withdrawal, any withdrawal which puts us into a situation where we sacrifice the gains in Iraq, where Iraq falls apart in that part of the world is something that would concern me greatly," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, at a Pentagon press conference.

Mullen said he would send proposals to the new administration next year on the situation in Iraq, but follow the decision of the president "whoever that might be, he or she."

Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both vowed to start a phased withdrawal from Iraq in their first 60 days in office.

The Republican presumptive candidate John McCain opposed a scheduled withdrawal and planned to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for the near future.

On the scenario that a woman or an African American serves as the Commander-in-chief, Mullen said "the United States military is ready to accept whoever the American people elect as their president and follow that president, as we have any president that's been in office."


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