Vice President Dick Cheney said on Thursday that Iraq would one of the top foreign policy challenges President-elect Barack Obama, according to an interview with the Associated Press.

He also said an irresponsible withdrawal from Iraq at this time would be ill-advised. The responses were part of a wide ranging interview with Cheney just days before his term in office ends to make room for the Obama administration.

Cheney acknowledges that although there is still a lot of work left to do in Iraq, much progress has been made.

I hear a lot of people, among our critics, who keep saying `Iraq's a mess, pull out.' We'll that's not true. It's not a mess, he said. We have made major progress. We have come close to achieving a significant proportion of our objectives, and an irresponsible withdrawal now is exactly the wrong medicine.

When asked if removing U.S troops would result in renewed violence at levels of a few years ago, he said it all depends on what the U.S. does during the next administration.