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Two Reporters Talk about America’s Changing Iraq Policy

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge:  The war in Iraq has surely been the most contentious long-term political issue America has faced since the invasion took place in 2003. Today, there are still nearly 150 thousand troops in the country. Our incoming president spent much of his campaign promising to pull American trooops out within 16 months. But in recent days Barack Obama has made it clear that he was only talking about pulling out combat troops. And that will probably mean that tens of thousands of American troops will remain in that country for years to come. So are we ending the war in Iraq or not?

The reality of Iraq, and our Iraq policy, is a lot more complex than what gets addressed in campaign speeches. That's clear. The other card in this deck, of course, is Afghanistan. While the troop surge has certainly calmed things down in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse. And there's been plenty of talk from Obama and others of making a major shift in our troop presence from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Guests

Tony Perry, San Diego Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times who covers locally-based marines in Iraq. Late last month he returned from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. He writes for the LA Times blog called Babylon and Beyond .

Tom Bowman, reporter for National Public Radio who covers the Pentagon.

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