As we await General Petraeus’s report to congress, news is already breaking about what to expect. According to the paper of record:
"The top American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, has recommended that decisions on the contentious issue of reducing the main body of the American troops in Iraq be put off for six months, American officials said Sunday."
If the Times report is to be believed, it seems that the Bushies have won a limited victory. (Perhaps the Dems sensed this, as they have been noticeably talking-down the report over the weekend.)
For months the administration has been telling us, “Just a wait a few months until the Petraeus Report, and in the mean time, support the troops!" – (read, don’t question the rationale of U.S. foreign policy.)
Now it seems that Petraeus will open up more space for the administration to say, “just a wait a few months until some other is report is presented in March, and in the mean time, support the troops!"
The Times claims that Petraeus will speak of his plans for a small drawdown by December of this year, but then serious discussion of a clear exit-strategy does not seem to be in the cards.
"The general has also said that it is too soon to present recommendations on reducing American forces below that level because the situation in Iraq is in flux." [emphasis added]
“The situation is in flux" would be a good talking point for the Bushies, a good way to further avoid any kind of serious debate about war aims, what constitutes a victory, and how in the hell we’re going to get out of this mess.