Looking more and more like Vietnam huh?
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in an interview yesterday that the United States could withdraw as many as 50,000 troops by the end of the year, declaring there are enough Iraqi forces trained and ready to begin assuming control in cities throughout the country.
After the White House and Pentagon were contacted for comment, however, a senior adviser to Talabani called The Washington Post to say Talabani did not intend to suggest a specific timeline for withdrawal. “He is afraid . . . this might put the notion of a timetable on this thing,” the adviser said. “The exact figure of what would be required will undeniably depend on the level of insurgency [and] the level of Iraqi capability.”
In the interview, Talabani said he planned to discuss reductions in U.S. forces during a private meeting with President Bush today, and said he believed the United States could begin pulling out some troops immediately.
“We think that America has the full right to move some forces from Iraq to their country because I think we can replace them [with] our forces,” Talabani said. “In my opinion, at least from 40,000 to 50,000 American troops can be [withdrawn] by the end of this year.”
Remind me again, how long ago was it that Biden stated only 4,000 Iraqi’s had been trained?
Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat of Delaware, asked Ms. Rice how big an Iraqi security force had actually been trained. When Ms. Rice, the national
security adviser, offered an absurdly inflated 120,000, Mr. Biden said the people doing the training put the total at 4,000. He then suggested that Ms. Rice “pick up the phone or go see these folks,” as if that has not been her job all along, especially in the year since the administration said that all information on operations in Iraq would flow through her.
Ed Morrissey has a few thoughts:
Talabani’s statement makes clear that the US has worked efficiently to rebuild Iraq’s army and national security capability. This kind of training
takes time, especially when building from the ground up in the middle of a bloody terrorist insurgency. It has been just seventeen months since the US returned sovereignty to Iraq, and in that time we have built up over 200,000 Iraqi troops with at least preliminary training, and a large percentage now have battle experience and operational expertise, thanks to the impulse of Zarqawi to seize towns and expose his assets to the concerted force of American and Iraqi
Talabani’s timeframe may be somewhat optimistic, and the upcoming elections are too important for the US to withdraw anything more than a token prior to the vote. However, it shows that the Iraqis feel increasingly able to handle the insurgency themselves, and if they can reach an accommodation with the Sunnis on a constitution, their optimism may well be justified. Too bad some Americans can’t have as much faith in America and our military as Talabani does.
That last sentence is so true. The Iraqi’s have been optimistic and generally happy with the pace of their independence whereas we got the MSM and the left crying about another Vietnam. Just too bad that people don’t have confidence in our Country.