Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rumsfeld given Iraq withdrawal plan

CNN reported The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq, according to a senior defense official. Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades -- usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each -- begin pulling out of Iraq early next year....

I am not surprised that some troops may be withdrawn after the December election, but it will not mark the start of the steady withdrawal, irregardless of what else happens in Iraq, that the Democrats are calling for.
Rumsfeld has yet to sign Casey's withdrawal plan but, the senior defense official said, implementation of the plan, if approved, would start after the December 15 Iraqi elections so as not to discourage voters from going to the polls. The plan, which would withdraw a limited amount of troops during 2006, requires that a host of milestones be reached before troops are withdrawn. Top Pentagon officials have repeatedly discussed some of those milestones: Iraqi troops must demonstrate that they can handle security without U.S. help; the country's political process must be strong; and reconstruction and economic conditions must show signs of stability.
Precisely. The milestones must be met, not some arbitrary calendar date.

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