U.S. troops may be out of Iraq in 16 months: Obama

CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama said on Monday he believed U.S. combat troops should leave Iraq within 16 months of his taking office but he would listen to advice from military commanders.

“I believe that 16 months is the right timeframe but, as I’ve said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders,” Obama said after unveiling his nominees for top national security posts.

Obama said a new security pact between Iraq and the United States already put the United States on a “glide path” to pulling out of Iraq. He also noted that a “residual” U.S. force may need to remain in Iraq longer than combat troops.

Reporting by Andrew Gray, Editing by Sandra Maler