September 1, 2010 / 1:47 AM / 9 years ago

Obama slips on Afghan pullout date

WASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama raised eyebrows on a major subject — the timing of the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan — by misspeaking in his address on Tuesday on ending U.S. combat operations in Iraq.

Making the point that the shift in Iraq would free resources to go "on offense" against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the prepared text of Obama’s speech said U.S. forces would begin to withdraw in July 2011, the date that had been set.

But when he delivered the 17-minute remarks, Obama said: "And, next August, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility."

White House officials said the change in date was not a change in policy.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNN it was "just a slip."

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Editing by Sandra Maler)

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