January 30, 2005


Chief Senate Dem to request Iraq exit plan (DAVID ESPO, 1/30/2005, The Associated Press)

In a pre-State of the Union challenge to President Bush, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid intends to call Monday for the administration to outline an exit strategy for Iraq.

Reid plans to raise the issue as part of back-to-back speeches in which he and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will sketch outline their differences with Bush on two issues likely to dominate Congress' work this year, the war on terror and Social Security.

U.S. troops out of Iraq within next 18 months? (WorldNetDaily, January 30, 2005)
U.S. troops stationed in Iraq could be out of the war-torn country by the middle of next year, if all goes well.

That according to Iraqi interim Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib, who told Britain's Channel 4 News that coalition forces would likely not be necessary in a year and a half.

"I think we will not need the multinational, foreign forces, in this country within 18 months," al-Naqib said. "I think we will be able to depend on ourselves, if everything goes in the right direction.

"We are building our forces and I think we will need 18 months. It's my estimate that we will have quite a reasonable-sized force, trained, well-trained force, well-equipped to protect the country. So I believe very much that we won't need more than 18 months."

His optimism was tempered, though, by Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who told CNN he believes the U.S.-led force should remain in Iraq for "at least a couple of years" until Iraq's security force is up to speed.

The Democrats remain several beats behind the tempo of the march.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 30, 2005 10:37 PM

I'm no military expert, but 18 months sounds quite doable. Hopefully much sooner than that we can fall back to become essentially the rapid reaction force for the legitimate government that we are in Afghanistan when we're not doing public works type of projects. This would be the best of all worlds in that we'd maintain a presence next to Iran and Syria but not have to do the patrolling that leads to the feeling of occupation.

Posted by: JAB at January 31, 2005 12:25 AM

Here's the Bush response on the demand for an "exit plan":

1) After Saddam's trial.

2) When the Iraqis can defend their borders.

3) When the Iraqis thank us and ask us to leave.

That would twist Nancy's knickers no end ...

Posted by: Steve White at January 31, 2005 1:03 AM

When are we going to get exit plans for Germany and South Korea?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 31, 2005 3:56 AM

Or Japan. Or the Spanish-American war.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 31, 2005 9:26 AM

South Korea - The next time they say "Yankees go home!" we say "Okay." It might be geopolitically suboptimal in this paricular instance, but then the lesson to everyone else who badmouths us would be worth it. Sadly, one must show a little fang every now and then to be treated respectfully.

Posted by: Tom at January 31, 2005 7:19 PM
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