As anyone who had been paying attention figured out the so-called surge was creating a deeper embed than officials were willing to admit at the time–just like in the run up to the war itself.
Troop levels in Iraq would remain nearly the same through 2008 as at any time during five years of war, under plans presented to President Bush on Monday by the senior American commander and the top American diplomat in Iraq, senior administration and military officials said…But it now appears likely that any decision on major reductions in American troops from Iraq will be left to the next president. That ensures that the question over what comes next will remain in the center of the presidential campaign through Election Day.
This is the real reason Admiral Fallon was canned from Central Command. He opposed the surge and now this new “pause” tactic. i.e. No troop reductions until this summer when the military does not have the numbers to keep them at the current level.
On one level of course this is sad because I worry about the troops in the battlezone. 4,000 are now dead and many many more psychically and physically wounded, scarred.
On the other hand, from a tactical perspective, since a Democrat will likely hold the White House next, and they will be left holding Bush’s bag, I guess it is better that Petraeus do what he can to stabilize whatever can stabilized of the completely disasterf–k known as the former country of Iraq.
Because Obama (assuming he wins) is going to start the draw down and it will be horrific to watch. Everybody is waiting for the US to leave and the notion of a “responsible withdraw” as Michael Ware said might accurately describe safe sex practices but not Iraq. The non-alternative of course is to stay a la McCain and continue the slow bleed and decline of US influence and actual power worldwide–not to mention how many more dead and wounded.
This news also means (as the article correctly points out) this issue will be front and center in the Presidential debates. Bush’s dereliction of duty and McCain going around saying that history will look back on him as this foresighted great leader.
I know the patriotism stuff with Obama will hurt in some quarters, but with Iraq (where McCain is so against the grain of the populace) and his economic policy–which is to give more tax cuts to an even slimmer percentage of the rich than Bush…i.e. more regressive–he is deeply deeply out of touch. How can a man who embraces a failed occupation/war and recessionary (or “sharp slowdown”) economic policies not get hammered?
The three top issues will be (not necessarily this order): Iraq, Health Care, and the Economy. And McCain is in a serious minority on all three. His party lacks the organization and the finances.
Except of course Obama is a member of the Nation of Islam/Black Nationalist Power Movement and hates America, especially hates crackers (er white people sorry), right? So I guess that’ll even out the playing field a bit.