PETRAEUS’S DRAWDOWN….This slide from Gen. David Paraeus’s testimony today is a work of art, isn’t it? It looks like some kind of timeline for withdrawal, but all it actually says is that we’ll withdraw five brigades by next July, something we already know is driven not by strategic considerations but by operational realities, and that eventually — someday — we’ll draw down to five brigades. Could be tomorrow, could be ten years from now, but hey — the slide shows troops levels going down, and that’s the graphic that counts.

And the target date for deciding whether the actual date is tomorrow or 2017? March of 2008, exactly six months from now. Sometimes these guys make Atrios’s job too easy.