Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) — Senator John Warner, an influential Republican on defense matters, urged President George W. Bush to announce by Sept. 15 a plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, a suggestion the administration rejected.
“We simply cannot as a nation stand and continue to put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action,” Warner, who returned from Iraq last week and met with top administration officials yesterday, said during a news conference at the Capitol.
Boy, did the media go nuts over this! Everything will change now, right? Not so fast, kids….
Warner did not call for a timetable to end the war. He did not push for US troops to leave in a reasonable amount of time, such as a year. He only asked President Bush to begin a “symbolic” pullout of 5,000 troops by Christmas.
It’s worth remembering that the US had 130,000 troops in Iraq last fall before adding 30,000 more in the “surge.” So withdrawing 5,000 troops doesn’t even come close to getting the US back to pre-surge levels.
By this point in time, Warner should know that President Bush is likely incapable of ending the war he started, especially if given wide latitude on how and when to do so. If Warner was serious about getting our troops out of harm’s way, he’d make his symbolic withdrawal number far more concrete.
Keep moving, kids. Nothing to see here.