Monday, June 12, 2006

Like it or not, there is a timeline

Draw down is in the air (again).

A prominent Iraqi official on CNN yesterday:
BLITZER: This is what the new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, said on May 24th.

He said: "Our forces will be able to take over the security file in all Iraqi provinces in a year and a half."

That sounds like a very ambitious schedule that he has in mind, because if Iraqi forces can take over security in all the provinces, that means U.S. and other coalition forces can leave within a year and a half.

Is that realistic?

AL-RUBAIE: Let me tell you something, Wolf. We have what we call a condition-based agreement with the coalition forces, with the coalition in Iraq.

Basically, the more our Iraqi security forces, our police, our army, the more they grow in number, in training and are ready and able to perform and to protect our people, then the less we need of the multinational forces.

I believe, by the end of the year, of this year, I believe that the number of the multinational forces will be probably less than 100,000 in this country.

And by the end of next year, most of the multinational forces will have gone home. And by the middle of 2008, we will not see a lot of visibility, neither in the cities or in the towns, of the multinational forces.

So the overwhelming majority of the multinational forces will leave, probably before the before the middle of 2008.
The Washington Times:
The top U.S. military commander in Iraq yesterday predicted a gradual drop in American troops deployed there through next year, while Iraq's new national security adviser said all multinational forces could be out of his country by 2008.

"I think, as long as the Iraqi security forces continue to progress and as long as this national unity government continues to operate that way and move the country forward, I think we're going to be able to see continued gradual reductions of coalition forces over the coming months and into next year," Gen. George Casey told CBS' "Face the Nation."
The Baltimore Sun covers the two-day conference beginning today:
The high-level retreat comes at a pivotal moment: Bush is under pressure to show progress in Iraq amid growing calls for a new strategy that could hasten the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Few expect the president to relent on his refusal to give a timetable for troop reductions, but the meetings are an opportunity for Bush to convince critics that he is eager to roll up his sleeves - outside of a formal governmental setting - and deal with the issue.


Post a Comment

<< Home