Friday, December 08, 2006

Waiting for The Decider

By Creature

Days pass, people die, and Bush spins a "way forward":

Bush's goal is to outline a shift in course in a speech to be delivered before the Christmas holiday. He has given a cool response to two key recommendations -- talks with Iran and Syria and pulling back U.S. combat forces by early 2008.

"I understand that Secretary Baker's comment yesterday about the fruit salad is descriptive, I think, of how they feel about it; however, I don't think the president considers it as any type of food," [White House spokeswoman] Perino said.

"I think that he is going to digest it, however, and he will take the time that he needs in order to figure out how he wants to move forward."

ABC News has the early word on the eagerly awaited Pentagon report that the president will be digesting:

The recommendations are not complete yet, but sources familiar with the reviews conducted by Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace and National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, tell ABC News that military leaders will advise the president that he change the primary mission from fighting insurgents to training and supporting Iraqi troops.

The plan for U.S. forces seems to mirror the one suggested by the Iraq Study Group. But there's one big difference.

Under the Iraq Study Group plan, released earlier this week, combat troops — about half of all the forces in Iraq — would return home by the first quarter of 2008.

But under the Pentagon's plan, those combat troops would remain in Iraq — with a new mission. Entire companies of U.S. combat forces (units of about 150 troops) could be embedded in Iraqi army and police battalions.

The Pentagon is also considering "taking steps to curb Iranian interference in Iraq." Taking steps? That doesn't sound very diplomatic to me.

So, if I read this right, our combat troops are pulling back. Some are splintering and embedding. The remaining will be resting up for the big fight with Iran. All the while we arm the Iraqi army to the teeth. This sounds fucking brilliant (and I haven't even mentioned the part where special operation troops target the "leaders in Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army.") Who says the neo-cons no longer have influence? This is Cheney's answer to the ISG.

Read more.

UPDATE: For more on Dick "80% solution" Cheney's wants and desires I send you to The Washington Post, Laura Rozen, and the Carpetbagger.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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