Hey Barack, guess where Northern Iraq is?
Dem rock-star Barack Obama called for a "gradual withdrawal" of U.S. forces, without a firm end date, "linked to conditions on the ground in Iraq and based on the advice of U.S. commanders."
Could you get any mushier?
And the troops aren't necessarily coming home. To where might they withdrawal? "He proposed redeploying troops to Northern Iraq and to other countries in the region."
God bless Obama, but I don't think he's really getting this whole withdrawal concept.
I actually have heard one analyst suggest that the U.S. could pull its troops into the relatively friendly Kurdish-controlled areas in the hope of salvaging something. If the Baker Commission is considering whether to "go long," "go deep" or "go home," this plan would be "go build a tree-house and hide from the bad guys."
Anyway, while some people I respect favor a gradual withdrawal without a specific end date, it seems to me that it would be the worst of both worlds; it decreases U.S. forces' ability to keep major battles from breaking out but it doesn't give the Iraqi government the boost in legitimacy that a date-certain might -- might -- give it (especially if we have them demand it) and it doesn't provide Iraqis a guarantee that the U.S. won't maintain some permanent bases in the country.