So much for "conditions." Under questioning from Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Gen. Petraeus conceded that his timetable for ending the surge by July 2008 is due to the five extra active-duty Brigade Combat Teams coming to the end of their scheduled deployments and the lack of available units to keep U.S. troop strength at 162,000.Why is this important?
The whole Petraeus kabuki show depends on President Bush making a recommendation for a draw down of troops based on data presented by the general in his report. For all of his smarts, Petraeus screwed the pooch by pulling out the one card that was holding the whole deck up. How did he do this? By clearly stating that his recommendation for the draw down of troops has nothing to do with the conditions outlined in his very own data. I repeat: nothing.
BTW: The president still has to go on the TV tomorrow night saying otherwise.
The White House immediately jumped into action with this amazingly dishonest attempt at spin (because the president's entire speech/plan/etc depends on it):
I can't believe there are people out there who are still buying this.