Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is Obama weakening on Iraq withdrawal timeline?

Tis true that during the general election campaign — though NOT true during Democratic primaries, IIRC — that President Barack Obama always caveated (did I just utter a Haigism?) his Iraq withdrawal timetable by saying it depended on the analysis of the brass hats. (Likewise, Obama uttered his “combat troops only” caveat ONLY after the general election started; he never mentioned that, IIRC, during the primaries.)

Anyway, it sounds like The One might be warming up his caveating vocal chords. Are you really that surprised?

But, given that there just aren’t enough troops to up the numbers in Afghanistan beyond 55,000 AND keep Iraq totals at their current level — and that’s with the Army still worn-out, and Obama no closer to “easing its pain” — B.O. is going to have to either force Centcom head David Petraeus to get Iraq theater commander Ray Odierno and Afghanistan theater head David McKiernan to come to consensus, or else craft one.

At the same time, for Petraeus to move the ball too much further down the road, Obama the C-in-C is going to have to start making some policy decisions.

Besides, if he’s serious about talk of how he plans to plans to halve the deficit in four years, what better place to start than by getting ALL troops out of Iraq?