• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Behind the Scenes on Iraq Drawdown

    Following the president’s speech on the drawdown, at the White House Friday, a senior government official sketched out the details behind the plan. Here is my takeaway. While the words “change of mission” and “ending the war” sound different—there is a lot more continuity than change between the goals and the plans of the last administration and the new one.

    There are only three key dates in the plan. (1) Combat troops out of the city by June of this year. (2) Combat troops out of the country by August of next year. (3) All the troops out by December 2011.

    More troops and a slower pace than some “critics” want is an insurance policy. The White House knows it is not out of the woods yet. They want to be ready for the “bumps” in the road to withdrawal. They might include: (1) flair-up of violence in Kirkuk; (2) trouble with political reconciliation; (3) Iranian meddling; or (4) backtracking by the Sons of Iraq.

    All eyes are now on the upcoming national elections (not scheduled yet but could be December or January) and the period afterward to get the government seated. If that goes well, the timeline and drawdown numbers should hold.

    The Administration now turns to Afghanistan. The plan is to have a new plan ready to pitch the allies at the NATO summit in April. Looks like the White House plans to follow the same book—start where the last administration left off. Over the last year there have been major reviews of Afghanistan policy by the Joint Chiefs, Central Command, and the National Security Council. All those are feeding into a sixty-day review of the strategy that is underway as we speak.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Behind the Scenes on Iraq Drawdown

    1. markeldertexarkanate says:

      The proclaimed pull out time is like standing on your roof and screaming out "I am going on vacation next month so all of you thieves start making plans to clean me out!" I think that is a bad move.

      And I still think we should take some of their oil to help pay for our expenses of freeing those people and the largest expense was the blood loss and wounds sustained…I am still not far removed from the notion that Obama still plans on a war with Pakistan to spur on our economy that is why he is building up Afganistan…

    2. Phil, NC says:

      Someone needs to tell President Barack Hussen Obama that these are "real" combat troops and military commanders…not the toy plastic ones he played with and put back in the bag when it was time to eat supper.

    3. dls Washington, DC says:

      Will you be extending your remarks and offering more insight on this subject in the future?

    4. James Carafano James Jay Carafano says:

      I would be happy to answer more questions or provide more details.

      One of the interesting things is removing "all the combat" troops really means. And it does not mean that all the troops that can perform combat will leave by the end of next year. the administration plans to leave troops in place to conduct counterterrorism operations. Plus in some cases the units will be "combat" units reconfigured slightly to do other operations. Plus there will be troops there to protect other troops, so there will still be plenty of combat power in Iraq through 2010 and part of 2011.

    5. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      This is just to take our eyes off the new SPEND and SPEND MORE Budget now being assembled to put

      us in debt through Generations.But we are not to

      see or Talk about such things!

    6. Claude Cornell says:

      Does it matter that much ? By the end of his 4 years in office he will have gutted the CIA and neutered the military. Like Clinton, liberals don't think they need the military or CIA.

      They think they can talk their way out of any conflict. By the time he finds out that doesn't work it will be too late.

    7. John, Colorado says:

      I once had a business doing soil evaluations for new septic systems. The name 'Soil Smart' seemed like a catchy one so I adopted it. How wrong. The engineers and other technical professionals thought it sounded gimicky, and the excavators and many builders thought it smart-elicky.

      So, too, I think Morning Bell is not a great name for this feature. It connotes elementary school children lining up in their desks each day and sitting at attention to hear the day's announcements. Yes, I know the goal of Democrats and other communists is for us to read at a 4th grade level. And that too many Americans don't read at a high enough level as it is. And that is part of what the Heritage Foundation is working against, but maybe Liberty Bell would be a better name, if it's not taken.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.