Withdraw from Iraq

I thought this screenshot from today's Washington Post was quite interesting:

So, it would seem that the “unrealistic pullout” is what the vaunted Iraq Study Group is prepared to recommend.  Makes for a nice juxtaposition at the Washingtonpost.com, but the drawdown recommendations does not seem to recommend all that much of a withdrawal:

Under the recommendations of the commission, led by former secretary
of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton
(D-Ind.), the emphasis of the U.S. military presence in Iraq would
shift from fighting the insurgency and containing sectarian violence to
backing up Iraqi security forces dealing with those problems.

This
approach would place less emphasis on combat operations and more on
logistics, intelligence and training and advising Iraqi units. Also, a
large residual combat force would be required to protect all the
personnel involved in those operations and to provide a security
guarantee to the Iraqi government.

Thus, even if the combat
forces were withdrawn, the person familiar with the group's thinking
noted, the recommendation envisions keeping in Iraq a “substantial”
U.S. military force.

It will be quite interesting to see what the various responses are to this when the report is officially released next week.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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