REVOLT AT THE PENTAGON?….OK, that’s enough non-Iraq posting for the day. Back to business. Michael Hirsh tells us that a significant faction within the Pentagon wants to withdraw from Iraq considerably more quickly than Gen. Petraeus:
Newsweek has learned that a separate internal report being prepared by a Pentagon working group will “differ substantially” from Petraeus’s recommendations, according to an official who is privy to the ongoing discussions but would speak about them only on condition of anonymity. An early version of the report, which is currently being drafted and is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year, will “recommend a very rapid reduction in American forces: as much as two-thirds of the existing force very quickly, while keeping the remainder there.” The strategy will involve unwinding the still large U.S. presence in big forward operation bases and putting smaller teams in outposts. “
Two things. First, this report isn’t due until “the beginning of next year.” That’s plenty of time for it to get planed down until it essentially says whatever Bush and Cheney want it to say. I wouldn’t get too excited about this.
Second, even if the generals do stand their ground, can someone explain how this makes sense? We’re not fixing things now even with 168,000 troops, and if we draw down we’re supposedly going to unleash a massive civil war. So what are 50,000 troops in scattered outposts going to do while that’s going on? Hunker down? Head out and get slaughtered? Evacuate? I just don’t see how this makes any sense at all.