Saturday, January 12, 2008
No hurry in Iraq
Americans seeking the rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq are certainly going to be disappointed by President Bush's statement today that he might slow down plans to cut troop levels this year. Bush also said in Bahrain that he expected the U.S. military presence in Iraq to continue after his presidency ends next year. But is anybody surprised? No one who is paying attention should have expected anything different; the situation in Iraq, while reportedly improved, is far from settled. The suicide bombers seem to have switched their attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan as U.S. forces expand their control north of Baghdad. Even the U.S.-supported government in Iraq appears to be moving towards reconciliation with the Sunnis who were in power when Saddam Hussein was in charge. Bush stopped in Bahrain on his way home from Israel, where he tried to advance negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a peace agreement, which he said was possible before he leaves office.