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Monday, June 26, 2006 

US "Plan" to Leave Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House confirmed on Monday that the top U.S. military commander in Iraq has drafted a plan for U.S. troop cuts there, but said the plan was just one option.

President George W. Bush said he had met with Gen. George Casey, but reiterated that any decision on troop reductions would be based on conditions on the ground.

"In terms of our troop presence there, that decision will be made by General (George) Casey as well as the sovereign government of Iraq based upon conditions on the ground," Bush said. Any recommendation by Casey would be "aimed toward achieving victory," he said.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Casey had drafted a plan that would first reduce U.S. troops in Iraq in September and cut the number of combat brigades to five or six from the current level of 14 by the end of 2007.

There are currently nearly 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Democratic critics of the president reacted angrily, saying over the weekend that the Casey plan appeared similar to their calls for the administration to draw up a timetable for troop withdrawal. Yet when they urged this they were accused of wanting to "cut and run" by Republicans.

Two things I note here:

1. Democrats are really trying to whine about this under the umbrella of “we thought of this first”? Give me a break already, yelling “Get our troops home!” in protest rallies is not the same as a militarily designed withdrawal plan.

2. Anyone else notice the uncanny timeline this “plan” has in conjunction with certain upcoming elections and campaign efforts?