Iraq Study Group to Call for Troop "Pullback"
Iraq Study Group to Call for
But Iraq panel has no timetable.
By Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright
The Washington Post
Thursday 30 November 2006
Truthout.org Editor's Note: The news report below does not definitively state that US military forces in Iraq will leave the country and return home. It is unclear whether "pullback" means reducing the number of US troops in Iraq or simply redeploying soldiers to a neighboring country in the region. Moreover, it appears the Iraq Study Group has decided not to set forth a timetable of any kind, so it's unclear when a "pullback" would take place. The Iraq Study Group will release its final report publicly December 6th.
The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, shifting the US role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.
But the recommendation includes a series of conditions and qualifications that would govern any drawdown of forces, the source said. "It describes a process by which combat brigades could be pulled out, but there wasn't a specific timetable on it," he said. The source demanded anonymity because members of the bipartisan panel have been pledged to secrecy until the report is officially issued Dec. 6.
The issue of a timeline for drawing down troops - both a specific date to begin a withdrawal and the pace - had been major points of contention within the panel. The Bush administration has firmly rejected specifying a date for withdrawal, but Democrats have favored setting a time frame as a way to put pressure on the Iraqi government.