Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Britian Bailing

WaPo reports:
LONDON -- Britain will withdraw around 1,600 troops from Iraq in the "coming months," aiming to cut its force to below 5,000 by late summer if Iraqi forces can secure the southern part of the country, Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday.

British troops will stay in Iraq until at least 2008 and work to secure the Iran-Iraq border and maintain supply routes to U.S. and coalition troops in central Iraq, Blair told the House of Commons.

"The actual reduction in forces will be from the present 7,100 _ itself down from over 9,000 two years ago and 40,000 at the time of the conflict _ to roughly 5,500," Blair said.
Like it or not, this year is the beginning of the end in Iraq. Soon we will be standing alone and it won't be the swell of Peacenicks pushing for withdrawal as much as it will be the sentiment of the international community.

The Surge proposal by the president comes at the perfect time. A final effort to cull the country of resurgents that are creating the instability, and then turning over the cleaned out areas to Iraqi troops. The people of the region must become responsible for their own security sooner rather then later, and this is their last opportunity.

I made my case clear when the President presented his plan last month:
Regardless of what you think of this President, there was one indisputable truth in his speech tonight: "defeat in Iraq would mean a sanctuary for extremists"

I may be in the minority, but I am willing to give President Bush till November, and then I expect a timetable for redeployment. Iraq needs to take ownership, and we will now give them a deadline, not open ended promises.
Now is not the time for faux resolutions that will only hamper this final effort. I was embarrassed for those that pushed and supported the recent resolution. (Can you believe I am actually on the same side as Kline and Bachmann on this one) Now is the time to rally around our troops and support this effort. It is clear that the anatomy of this war will change over the course of the next 12 - 18 months. Some decisions will be based on Iraq's ability to govern and secure themselves, others will be based on politics, and the race for the White House. But one thing is clear, the American people will not allow us to stand alone in this fight, so let's work together to see the surge and purge succeed so that we can bring our troops home.


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