The Only Consensus on Iraq: Nobody’s Leaving Right Now
By DAVID E. SANGER | NYT | December 1, 2006There's more here.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — In the cacophony of competing plans about how to deal with Iraq, one reality now appears clear: despite the Democrats’ victory this month in an election viewed as a referendum on the war, the idea of a rapid American troop withdrawal is fast receding as a viable option.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are signaling that too rapid an American pullout would open the way to all-out civil war. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group has shied away from recommending explicit timelines in favor of a vaguely timed pullback. The report that the panel will deliver to President Bush next week would, at a minimum, leave a force of 70,000 or more troops in the country for a long time to come, to train the Iraqis and to insure against collapse of a desperately weak central government.
Even the Democrats, with an eye toward 2008, have dropped talk of a race for the exits, in favor of a brisk stroll. But that may be the only solace for Mr. Bush as he returns from a messy encounter with Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
And then there's this:
Bush, in Meeting on Iraq, Rejects a Quick Pullout
By JOHN M. BRODER and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG | NYT | December 1, 2006There's more here, too.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — President Bush on Thursday rejected the idea of a quick troop withdrawal from Iraq, even as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq said his country’s forces would be ready to take over substantial security responsibility by next June.
Mr. Bush, at a news conference with Mr. Maliki after a meeting in Jordan, directly referred to reports the day before that the bipartisan Iraq Study Group would recommend to him next week that the United States begin a substantial troop pullout in the near future. Some analysts have suggested that the report could offer a face-saving way for Mr. Bush to begin withdrawing from Iraq, but he adamantly rejected that view.
“I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq,” the president said. “This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever.”
But you get the idea.
Security developments in Iraq, Nov 30
BAGHDAD - A total of 52 bodies, with gunshot wounds and bearing signs of torture, were found in different districts of Baghdad on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry source said.
BAQUBA - Iraqi soldiers found 28 bodies in a mass grave on south of Baquba 60 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement on Thursday.
BASRA - Police found the bodies of Nasser al-Qatrani, the deputy manager of Sunni Endowment in Basra, along with three guards and four members of the Facility Protection Services who were ambushed on the northern outskirts of the city on Wednesday.
SAMAWA - Four civilians were wounded when clashes erupted between Mehdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces in the southern city of Samawa, 270 km (168 miles) south of Baghdad, a hospital source said.
BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed in combat in Baghdad on Wednesday, the U.S. military said.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen killed a police colonel on Wednesday near the national stadium in east-central Baghdad, police said.
MOSUL - Six bodies were found with gunshot wounds on Wednesday in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a hospital source said.
JURF AL-SAKHAR - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed three policemen and wounded three others on Wednesday in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, about 85 km (53 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.