Two prominent Republican senators, John Warner and Dick Lugar, have crafted a bill that would require the White House to draw up plans for a U.S. redeployment OUT of front line combat and INTO border security and counterterrorism roles. The bill would require the White House to present these plans to Congress in mid-October.

Is this the beginning of the end for our combat involvement in Iraq? Obviously, the bill doesn’t contain any real teeth to it (no cut-off of funding, no firm withdrawal date, etc.). But, it does show a willingness to break with the White House that heretofore had been absent amongst prominent Republicans. Warner and Lugar are smart guys who see that the political progress we had hoped would accompany our troop surge in Iraq just isn’t happening. I think Warner and Lugar are hoping to serve as a “third wheel” that plays a significant role in the coming months as a mediator between the Democratic congress and the White House in regards to a substantive shift in our Iraq policy. One other consideration is that Warner is up for re-election in ’08 and doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of the political fallout over Iraq that will probably continue from ’06.

Beginning of the end?
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5 thoughts on “Beginning of the end?

  • “Warner is up for re-election in ’08 and doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of the political fallout over Iraq that will probably continue from ’06.”

    Good point. Isn’t this true of all politicians?

    If/When we do exit left from Iraq, what do you think the fallout (if any) will be and do you think this is relevant?

  • My guess is that after the exit from Iraq, the political fallout will be that many of those who are perceived as “holding tight until the end” with the White House will pay dearly come election time.

    “Good point. Isn’t this true of all politicians?”

    Yes, obviously, all politicians want to be on the right side of any fallout. But, not all politicians realize that such a fallout is going to happen nor do they correctly position themselves in anticipation of it. I think this is important and relevant because it is Warner’s way of doing both.

  • Thanks. I apologize for not clarifying. As far as fallout, I was speaking of the fallout in Iraq, Middle East, etc (not the US political fallout). Any thoughts?

  • I haven’t read the bill, but on the face of it, it makes sense. The best way we can help Maliki now is to keep more weapons from coming in from Iran and Syria.

    That…and hold him (and the Iraqi Gov’t in general) accountable. Maliki, et. al., has not been keeping their end of the deal, and need to be forced to if they continue to want our help.

  • A few minutes of pure speculation:
    I think that there will NOT be a region-wide conflict that engulfs the Middle East. The major players (Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia) will continue to covertly support their respective favorites. I say covertly because they know we will still be watching matters closely. There will be violence WITHIN Iraq for months, maybe even 1+ years. The Sunni’s will turn on Al Qaeda and their role will diminish. The country formerly known as Iraq will break into multiple pieces. There will be greater interest and involvement by Western Europe, and they may even play a role in the peace process.

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