Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bringing the troops home . . . by 2011

I believe that President Bush was correct in refusing to set a timetable or specific deadline to withdraw troops from Iraq.  Spelling out how long one side is willing to fight creates an incentive for the opposing side to hunker down in a defensive mode and wait for the withdrawal before stepping into the power vacuum.

On the other hand, I believe that I have long believed that if the Iraqis no longer want American troops on the ground, we shouldn't be there.  If they don't want or need our help anymore then we shouldn't be spending our money or placing our heroes' lives on the line.

Now the Iraqi Parliament, with broad-based support from Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, has approved a security agreement that specifically authorizes the presence and action of U.S. forces within their country's sovereign borders.  But it also sets out a timetable "requiring American troops to withdraw from cities and towns by June 30, 2009, and for all troops to leave the country by the end of 2011."  (Link to New York Times story here.)

That's good enough for me.  If Iraq no longer wants or needs the help of the American military, no problem.  Best wishes.  Good luck.

Let's just all hope and pray that when American troops do finally leave, they never have to go back.

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