I've been waiting to see how Wesley Clark is going to handle Iraq in his run up for "08. Thursday brought this clue. The Boston Globe online
reported that, at a New Hampshire fundraiser, Clark said the U.S. would announce [editor's note, by Ms. American Pie]
bringing home substantial numbers of troops from Iraq by the end of the summer because of the insecurity situation there.
This seems like a shift away from his testimony at the April 6, 2005 House Armed Services Committee hearing on Iraq's past present and future, where he said
On the first track, the U.S. military must shift away from the battlefields and move into more of a reserve role, relying on a cadre of U.S. advisors to strengthen the newly-minted Iraqi forces. This will entail risks, as U.S. forces turn over combat responsibilities, so it must be paced to improved Iraqi capabilities and the development of an advisory structure.
On the second track, our Embassy obviously has to play a behind-the-scenes role. Without usurping Iraqi responsibilities, we should be able to do more to gain local political information, shape alternatives and facilitate the emergence of democratic governance inside Iraq.
On the third track, we should to be talking to all of Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran in a regional framework. Delaying this until we can change the governments in Damascus and Tehran, which seems to be the current policy, puts increasing pressure on our troops and raises the risks inside Iraq.
I'm not sure it's fair to read advocacy for bringing them home into his statement, just that it will happen because of the increasingly bad security situation, the inability of the Iraqi government to address it, and the difficulty of recruiting replacements for American personnel. Pin the blunder on Bush, but protect the troops. Is any other contender speaking as frankly?