Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Timing is Everything

A WaPo editorial is already speculating on what will happen come November when the President said he would hand over Iraqi' security:
It's not about whether the United States should pull out troops. That is now inevitable. The real challenge is to figure out the right timetable for withdrawal, whether a residual force should be left there and which American objectives can still be salvaged.

This is not the debate President Bush wants to have come September, when a slew of reports will be issued assessing the results of the troop surge. Already, the administration is preparing the ground for kicking the real choices into next year. Where once the White House seemed to be saying, "Give us until September," its spokesmen now seem to be insisting that we won't know much by then after all.
This is the President's last chance. There is no other alternative. The Surge works, security is turned over, and redeployment begins. Or, the surge doesn't work, and redeployment begins. Either way the outcome is the same.

Dione continues:
Time is running out, because most Americans no longer believe the administration's promises that the commitment in Iraq will turn out well if only we are patient. This is why we need to begin planning our withdrawal now rather than waiting until the Army and the reserves hit the breaking point. Oddly, President Bush has more of an interest in this than anyone. "The more time passes, the more our options narrow," says Kurt Campbell, the chief executive and co-founder of CNAS. "Left unchallenged, the president would fight to exhaustion, and we can't afford to fight to exhaustion."
The dialogue needs to begin in how to leave, because leaving will happen, how is crucial to regional stability.

A new 'middle of the road' think tank has produced some of their own reports. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
the report, written by James Miller and Shawn Brimley, has the virtue of defining three sensible goals for American policy: to prevent the establishment of al-Qaeda havens in Iraq; to prevent a regional war; and to prevent genocide. Miller defines the right objective for those who want to end the war: "There should be a much better plan for withdrawal than there was for entry."
Some may say to at least have a plan, 'cause as each day passes, it sure seems this administration is playing it by ear.

But that's just me!


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