Friday, August 17, 2007
The Pre-Petraeus Report
In yet more telegraphing of next month's report to Congress, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno has suggested that troops rotated out of Iraq next year won't be replaced, meaning American troop levels will gradually be drawn down in 2008. This is fairly consistent with what Lt. Gen. Petraeus said in an interview a few days ago, but which no one seems to have picked up on. The line seems to be "We've made gains, although there have been no miracles. Should they hold, we'll start rotating troops out as their tours come to an end."
Outside of a brief spike this fall, when five brigades rotating in will briefly raise troop levels to their highest level for the Iraq War (171,000), it seems clear that from here on out it's one-way tickets Stateside. The Iraq War debate has for all intents and purposes been settled. Declare victory, rotate home, and blame the Democratic President who orders the last man out.