Mullen: DoD developing plans to get US troops out of Iraq, into Afghanistan

The top US military officer said Defense Department is developing plans to get American troops quickly out of Iraq and into Afghanistan to battle a more confident and successful Taliban. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the AP in an interview that the military has already identified and practiced traveling out of Iraq along exit routes through Turkey and Jordan to determine "what the challenges might be." The governments in those two countries, he said, have supported that effort. While he was careful to note that he is still following the orders of US President George W. Bush, Mullen said he was clearly aware of US President-elect Barack Obama's battle plan to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months. "I've been listening to the campaign, and I understand," Mullen said. "And he has certainly reinforced that since the election, so from a planning standpoint we are looking at that as well."