Daily Revolt

July 01, 2007

Report: Australia Plans Iraq Withdrawal

Now the Australians, and their 1,500 troops, are abandoning the Bush ship:
Australian Prime Minister John Howard is secretly planning to begin withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by February 2008, Australian media reported today.

The Sunday Telegraph, quoting an unnamed senior military source, described Howard's withdrawal plan as "one of the most closely guarded secrets in top levels of the bureaucracy."

The Australians probably realize that the only solution is for the Iraqis to take over the war. Although, at this point, it might be too late:
The harder President Bush has pushed to win in Iraq, the closer he has come to losing. The question no longer is whether the U.S. military can fully stabilize Iraq. It cannot. That was a possibility four years ago, immediately after Saddam Hussein's government fell. Before the insurgency took hold. Before U.S. occupation authorities lost any chance to avoid the sectarian strife of today's Iraq. Now only the Iraqis can save Iraq.

The surge was just a ploy to buy time, but it failed:
They need the U.S. military's help, no doubt. But the Bush administration has made no secret of the fact that the U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad is simply buying time for the Iraqis to sort out their differences, create a government of national unity and show they can defend themselves.

So it is not whether the U.S. can win the war. It is whether the Iraqis can, which is in great doubt.

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