One might have thought that Democrats would regard General Petraeus’s recommendation to draw down the level of our troops in Iraq as good news, at least compared to the alternative of not drawing them down. But that’s not how Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) treated it. Instead, sensing a gotcha moment, Ackerman asked Petraeus how, if Iraq is part of the overall war on terror, we can think of drawing down our forces at this time.
Ackerman was trying to make a debater’s point — since we’re planning to draw down our forces, Iraq must not really be part of the war on terror. But General Petraeus had already explained that the drawdown is consistent with recent improvements on the ground associated with the surge. Indeed, our biggest recent success has been against al Qaeda, a primary adversary in the war on terror, and this success has seen Sunnis take over the lead in fighting against al Qaeda. Iraq’s role in the fight against global terrorism does not imply a particular fixed level of troops in that country, particularly given the competing demands on our forces.
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