Gen. David Petraeus announced on Thursday the prospect of additional U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq beginning in the fall, a move that contradicts his recommendation last month to halt withdrawals due to security concerns. The turnaround suggests political motivations, as conditions in Iraq remain chaotic and the U.S. presidential race looms in the distance.
According to a new New York Times/CBS poll, 56% of Americans support a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Of that group, more than half support a withdrawal even if it leads to insurgent control of the country.
The fierce debate on the Iraq war that began in Congress on Thursday will culminate on Friday with a nonbinding resolution that includes: labeling the Iraq war as part of the war on terror, and opposition to setting an “arbitrary” withdrawal date. Democrats decried the vote as an election-year sham.