President Barack Obama will meet Wednesday -- his first full working day in office -- with his team of national security advisers to discuss the way ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, receiving the head of Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus at the White House.
Obama campaigned on a promise to remove combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of the time he takes office and to commit to a greater troop presence in Afghanistan.
Another likely topic of discussion will include a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Obama has expressed interest in shutting down the base as quickly as possible but knows significant hurdles must be crossed in reaching that goal. He’ll be looking to this team for options.
Obama will hear recommendations from Petraeus as well as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is being retained from the Bush administration. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top general in Iraq, will join via video teleconference. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will also attend.
The meeting will not include the five other members of the Joint Chiefs, those being the heads of the military services and the vice chairman. Obama is expected to hear from them in a separate meeting sometime in the near future.