Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bush willing to consider troop "general time horizon" for troop withdraw

President Bush has agreed to make discussions on a general time table for troop withdraws from Iraq part of the negotiations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on a comprehensive security agreement between the two nations.

Bush's willingness to consider a "general time horizon" for drawing down U.S. forces has renewed hope that U.S. and Iraq will complete the security agreement by the July 31 deadline.

The White House said Maliki and Bush agreed that the improved security situation should allow for the negotiations to include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals, such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.

U.S. media calls this a "dramatic reversal."

AP White House correspondent Terrence Hunt wrote that Bush's willingness to consider a withdraw time line was, "a dramatic shift from the administration's once-ironclad unwillingness to talk about any kind of deadline or timetable."

Democratic leaders, including presumptive presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, hail it as a "belated recognition of the need to hasten the end of the Iraq war," according to an AP story.

Once again, the media and the Democrats got it wrong.

This does not represent a dramatic reversal of position. Bush and U.S. officials have long held that they would consider force reductions based on military and political progress in Iraq, but not on a rigid time line.

Anyone paying attention understands that the situation on the ground has improved dramatically due to the troop surge. (which Obama opposed, saying it would fail) The Iraqi Army and police forces have taken on more and more responsibility for security and the government continues to become more stable.

These improvements make troop withdraws possible and prudent.

The Democratic proposals Bush refused to consider called for absolute withdraw dates, regardless of what the situation on the ground dictated. They were calling for this cut and run approach, saying the war was a lost cause, at the same time the administration was planning the surge.

Obama's plan called for all combat forces to pull out within 16 months.

Anyone willing to look at facts will understand which side held the correct strategy.

There exists a clear difference between Bush's willingness to consider a future plan to draw down forces and the Democratic "strategy" to leave. Bush has adjusted to the success the coalition forces have enjoyed. He recognizes that the fledgling Iraqi government continues its slow movement to self sufficiency.

As White House spokesman Gordon Johnroe said, "There's a right way and wrong way to withdraw troops from Iraq."

This plan does not jeopardize the mission or U.S. national security. It recognizes impending victory and hinges on actual conditions on the ground.

The Democratic plan considers only their political expedience, or perhaps their lack of a spine to push on toward victory.

No comments: