The Washington Post is reporting that the United States and United Kingdom are planning on pulling out most of their troops from Iraq in the middle of next year.
This is somewhat shocking news after W just went on TV two weeks ago saying that the US was going to stay the course. If this memo is true, it's a clear sign of a few things:
1) The White House is admitting their mistake. They should never have gone into Iraq and it's only made the war on terror more difficult.
2) Public opinion is now playing a heavy role in the planning of the administration. With most of the public now saying Iraq was a mistake, the White House's decision to pull out of Iraq means that they are worried about the 2006 elections. So worried that they're planning on leaving Iraq in hopes that it will allow them to continue to hold power in both the Senate and House.
3) It's pretty clear that establishing a democracy in Iraq was now a lie too. US troops are necessary to protect and provide a stable democracy in Iraq, but by taking troops away, without Iraqi troops able to do the job that US troops are doing, this Iraqi democracy will probably disintegrate into some sort of non-democracy.
Or of course the White House feels that by next year, the Iraqis will be able to governor and control their country. This seems highly unlikely and setting the bar too high. At the moment, there is no reason to believe that Iraqi troops will or would be able to keep peace in Iraq. If US troops left Iraq today, there is little doubt that civil war would break out.
All in all, if this is true, that the US is planning on leaving Iraq the decision to invade Iraq becomes even more of a headscratcher. What was the point? Weapons of mass destruction? Get rid of Saddam? Revenge for 9/11 for the American public? Something to get our minds off or forget about bin Laden?