Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bush Iraq Strategy Based On Conditions, Not Tied To Dates

The White House has released a 35 page plan for the withdrawal from Iraq that, thankfully, does not specify dates. Despite the growing chorus of calls for immediate withdrawal or date-specific drawdowns, Bush has adhered to his intent to leave Iraq when it can stand on its own as a nation, free of civil war.

While we'll have to wait to read the entire document, the report in the Times includes this key quote:

The document emphasizes that the American strategy in Iraq will take time, and that it must be based on conditions rather than deadlines. Troop levels are expected - but not guaranteed - to change over the next year, the document says, as the political process takes hold and Iraqi troops gain more experience.

"No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one," the plan says.

It also notes the broader consequences of a failed effort in Iraq. Tribal and sectarian chaos would result and Middle East reformers would no longer trust American assurances of support for democracy and human rights, according to the document.

Update: The White House has now placed the full document on its website.