Obama: All US troops out of Iraq by year's end - World news - Mideast/N. Africa - Conflict in Iraq | NBC News
Pulled the troops out for the wrong reasons.NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 10/21/2011 6:58:45 PM ET
But prominent Republicans criticized the president. Sen. John McCain told Reuters the decision went against the advice of U.S. military commanders, could embolden Iran and likely will be met with alarm by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is already concerned about U.S. commitment to his country.
"In retrospect, I don't think the political side of the Obama administration ever had any serious intentions of keeping a residual force there because none of their actions were serious," said McCain, ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
But administration officials said they feel confident that the Iraqi security forces are well prepared to take the lead in their country. McDonough said assessment after assessment of the preparedness of Iraqi forces concluded that "these guys are ready; these guys are capable; these guys are proven; importantly, they're proven because they've been tested in a lot of the kinds of threats that they're going to see going forward.