What tactical elements are being applied to this yet chronologically un-specified set of "phases?" Meaning do all the troops in Anbar province go first, then Baghdad, then the southern regions?
What is the opinion of the Army and Marine Corps General Staff of "phased withdrawal?" How often and deeply were you in consultation with them before the "phased withdrawal" plan was drafted?
Do you have the codified endorsement of the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader for "phased withdrawal? There is no House Majority Leader yet? I see.
Assuming all of the leadership positions are fully behind "phased withdrawal," what political and communication strategy is in place? Is there a plan to engage and solicit help from the netroots? Has Professor Lakoff been consulted? What precise media strategy is in place?
What if something goes horribly wrong--say, 2,000 GI's killed in a week from road ambushes as they head south? What if the country explodes into regional fighting during the middle of a "phase?"
Does the US then abandon a "withdrawal" and return to past force structures or crash full speed ahead with "total withdrawal" and abandon Iraq to the fates?
Where do forces in "withdrawal" go? Kuwait? Turkey? Home? Will some stay if most are to come home? How many? Where will they stay?
What are we to tell our allies and few friends left in the world? Will we guard the region with significant naval and land forces for x number of years to provide regional security? If yes, what components, and how will that be paid for?
What mental and physical health plans are in place for our returning veterans? We lied to them, maimed and killed them, and then left them with horrible mental burdens to go along with loss and failure. Are we just going to dump them back on US bases and abuse them with neglect as we did in the past?
Given all the acute complexities and dangers involved in "phased withdrawal," why was this option chosen over the much safer and simpler option of total immediate withdrawal?
Senator Levine, I have been lied to a daily basis for four years as this tragedy of epic proportions unfolded. The United States has disgraced itself to unthinkable lows of degradation while blowing off a trillions dollars in a fiasco that will make us manifestly less safe for decades to come.
This is not some highway project or policy experiment. It is not Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands of lives are at stake in the most strategically critical area of the planet with zero room for error. I am not prepared in any sense for some half-assed thinking with no planning to flip the United States and the Democratic Party into a flaming conflagration where somehow Democrats get tagged for the debacle.