Earlier this week, Condi Rice said the current level of U.S. troops in Iraq probably wouldn’t be needed much longer. That’s a long shot from what she was saying earlier this year. Could it be due to the immense pressure being put on the Bush administration by everyone to leave Iraq? Probably.
In a departure from previous statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer.
President Bush will give a major speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in which aides say he is expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.
The administration’s pivot on the issue comes as the White House is seeking to relieve enormous pressure by war opponents. The camp includes liberals, moderates and old-line conservatives who are uneasy with the costly and uncertain nation-building effort.
Sounds like those that oppose our presence in Iraq will be getting their way soon. Iraq will be worse off than it was before if we leave now. Hopefully I’m proven to be a doomsayer and the islamo-crazies will just leave us alone as soon as we leave. I don’t think it’ll work that way though, unfortunately. In their eyes, American’s don’t suck cuz we’re in Iraq. We suck because we’re Americans and not muslim.
I just think it’s a bad idea to start talking about these things now. Justin Gardner at Donklephant thinks it’s a bad move too.
Don Surber seems to think it’s time for us to pull some troops out:
The left can pretend they were “right” all it wants. America has done what it set out to do: Stopped Saddam from developing more WMD, stopped Saddam’s support of terrorism and stopped Saddam. Time to turn Iraq over to Iraqis.
I don’t know that I agree with Don’t rationale there, but he does have a good point. Something I can easily agree with:
We are now being inundated with innuendo suggesting an early troop withdrawal from Iraq. The only way that such a withdrawal can possibly take place is if the government of Iraq expressly demands our departure.
John Cole over at Balloon Juice also thinks these pullout plans are sprouting from the recent press and debate instead of facts:
While drawing down 40k of 160k troops over the next year is certainly not cutting and running, I think it is pretty clear this decision is being based on domestic political considerations rather than facts on the ground.
Which, of course, makes this administration no better than the cynical Democrats who have been using this issue for their own political reasons. Worse, some might argue, since this adminstration led us into this war, and now seems unwilling to win it.