President Bush has decided to maintain present levels of troops in Iraq at least until sometimes next year. There might be a reduction when about 8,000 return home by next February. Bush apparently has listened to requests by military leaders in Iraq who are still uncertain as to the length of time the present reduction of violence will last, and believe it necessary to keep troops at the current level until it is certain the Iraq government can handle the situation on its own. General Petraeus has argued against any reduction in the number of American troops until at least next June.
It is uncertain whether Senator McCain or Senator Obama will benefit from the announcement. Most probably, McCain would have benefited if troops began coming home and he could have boasted it was the result of the surge he has supported. On the other hand, Obama could argue troops coming home prove he was right in forecasting there could be a reduction in force.
Of course, one unanswered question is how those fighting in Iraq feel about the delay.