Top US general says he's received plan for complete Iraq withdrawal
MSNBC's Hardball reported Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was recently "in Kuwait, scoping out what will at some point be a critical staging ground for a US exit plan from Iraq."
According to correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, "Military officials in Kuwait suggest that they could easily handle the 160,000 troops in a matter of months. But that would be extremely risky, because a hasty retreat would increase the troops' vulnerability to attack. And then there's all that equipment – one million tons – that would have to be driven out of Iraq and shipped out of Kuwait by sea. ... It could take two years for a complete withdrawal."
"Tonight, a top US general here in Kuwait said, from a logistics standpoint, he's already got the plan, and he's ready to go," concluded Miklaszewski. "All he needs is the president's orders."
The unnamed general's willingness to discuss withdrawal plans is in contrast with the attitude of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, who recently made headlines when he cited fears of 'reinforc[ing] enemy propaganda' in rejecting Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton's request for a briefing on troop-withdrawal contingency plans. Vice President Dick Cheney supported his former aide, saying that contingency plans "should remain unseen by lawmakers" until ready to be executed.
The following video is from MSNBC's Hardball, broadcast on August 1.