President Bush said yesterday that future administrations will have to grapple with how and when to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, indicating that he doesn't see an end to U.S. commitments until at least 2009.There are, in my mind, a few things that need to happen before we go.
"That'll be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq," Mr. Bush said at his second press conference of the year, during which he also said Iraq is not in the middle of a civil war and defended his continued commitment of U.S. troops.
"If I didn't believe we could succeed, I wouldn't be there," he said. "I wouldn't put those kids there."
- America must complete the training of an Iraqi security apparatus that is capable of defending, and loyal to, the system of government.
- The political factions in Iraq must demonstrate that they can work together effectively in government, and peacefully transfer power from one elected government to another.
Once Iraq can do those two things, we can depart.