Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle


Here's something I've been wondering lately: could it be that the LACK of a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal is making the reconciliation task of the Iraqi National Congress harder?

It seems to me that with a timetable, it would be easier for the Iraqi leaders to make the case for solidarity amongst factions who are sane enough that they'd prefer to see the existing government succeed. It also seems as if this might provide the same focusing effect that deadlines provide in any other context: in particular, the delegates might be less apt to take a break and go home at critical points (which has already happened at least once), and it puts a time limit on the ability of the formerly-dominant sect to hold out for an unreasonably better deal.

As I think back on it, it seems like the debate here on whether a timeline should be set only ever gets brought up as a partisan issue. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd be seriously irked if it turns out that setting a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal would have actually helped the Iraqi politicians get their work done, but we rejected that option because the issue was more appealing to use as a domestic political football.
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