The bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached a compromise on Wednesday, and although the report isn’t suppose to be released until next Wednesday, the leakers are in full force. What we know so far:
- the report will call for a gradual pullback of troops
- there will be no timetable for their withdrawal
What’s not clear is the meaning of the term “pullback”.
The report leaves unstated whether the 15 combat brigades that are the bulk of American fighting forces in Iraq would be brought home, or simply pulled back to bases in Iraq or in neighboring countries. (A brigade typically consists of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.) From those bases, they would still be responsible for protecting a substantial number of American troops who would remain in Iraq, including 70,000 or more American trainers, logistics experts and members of a rapid reaction force.
The devil’s in the details, more of which will be revealed in the coming days.