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Obama shifts focus from Iraq to Afghanistan

January 21, 2009 16:05 IST

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On his first full day in office, President Barack Hussein Obama [Images] is set to roll out his new war strategy as he chairs a crucial meeting of his top military and national security advisers today at the White House.

The meeting, according to officials, will draw out the strategy for Obama's shift in emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan.

During the crucial meeting, the new president would conduct a video-conferencing with his top field commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The meeting would be attended by Defence Secretary Robert Gates -- the lone Cabinet member to be retained from the Bush regime -- and Chairman  Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Michael Mullen and the Joint top Commander for Iraq and Afghanistan General David Petraeus and other members of the National Security Council.

From the battlefield, he will talk to Gen Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, and Gen David McKiernan, the top Commander in Afghanistan.

Obama in his election pledges has already set out that he wants US forces out of Iraq in 16 months and wants greater American efforts in Afghanistan.

In his inaugural speech last night, Obama gave a glimpse of what he intends to do when he said: "We will begin to leave Iraq and attempt hard-earned peace in Afghanistan."

But at the same time, the new Commander-in-Chief of the US forces has made clear that Washington will not waiver in its commitments to end terrorism and slaughter of innocents. 

In his first move as the President, Obama issued an order to stop prosecutors at the controversial military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.




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