The not utterly reliable Times of London says there is a secret plan to end the war — by leaving Iraq before 2008.
American and Iraqi officials have set a date for giving Iraqs forces responsibility for security across the country.
Under a plan to be presented to the UN Security Council next month, the Iraqi Government would assume authority from coalition troops by the end of next year.
Only hours after Donald Rumsfeld was replaced as US Defence Secretary, American, British and Iraqi officials spoke openly about accelerating the handover process.
If, as increasingly seems to be the case, our troops are not actually doing any good and are being pounded for it, then ignominious retreat is the right thing to do. And I’d just as soon it be done sooner rather than later. On the other hand, I accept that having wrongly invaded and created a mess brings with it some moral duty to try to sort it out if there seems a way that can be achieved. At present, however, I don’t know anyone who knows how to do that.
On the radio yesterday, someone said that a majority of the American people no longer support the Iraq war. However, a majority also don’t support pulling out. That will change as casualties mount. I hope, without much hope, that the reason for staying another 12 months or more, is something more substantive than saving face, or the PR war, but is tied to achievable objectives on the ground.