Proposals emerging from Senate Democratic members are somewhat ambiguous regarding the exact nature of what is to be done concerning complete withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. The Democratic proposals ensure thousands of troops will remain for years in Iraq even though there is hope US forces can cease engaging in combat duties by December, 2008. Part of the difficulty in creating firm deadlines is the uncertainty as to how many logistical and intelligence personnel would be required to sustain those involved in combat operations. No one at this point in time knows if the current reduction in terrorist attacks reflects a momentary level or is it a long term end result of the surge? Are insurgents biding their time until American forces are reduced in number in order to resume large scale terrorist attacks. How many US soldiers will be needed in order to complete training of an Iraq army?
As one who believed the Iraq war from day one was a mistake and who has opposed the disastrous Bush policies, the realist side of me recognizes all American forces can not be quickly withdrawn. George Bush’s mistakes have left a legacy that will require years to handle. Unfortunately, this may not be what those seeking immediate withdrawal wish to hear, but it is the reality of a mess that requires time to clean up.