Iraq and Back: Time for a Timetable?
The linked post above is very good. I’ve generally agreed with the notion that a timetable in Iraq just gives jihadists a reason to lie low until we leave. But on the other hand, there is something to be said for setting benchmarks, defining goals, measuring progress, and creating timetables. (And no one ever said the enemy has to know about them either.)
However, I would think the ultimate political pressure should be on Iraqi leadership, not necessarily on our U.S. troops. But the troops have done a tremendous job under the surge strategy probably because it is in itself a benchmark of sorts with the defined goal of stablizing tough areas of Iraq by not leaving them void of law enforcement and order. The surge is creating political breathing space for the new Iraqi government which is good, but I do wonder if more political pressure on the Iraqi Parliment would better or worsen the situation. I’m not sure there is any way to know. But the “bounding” point is well taken.