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What She Got Wrong

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"Hillary will begin immediate phased withdrawal [from Iraq] with a definite timetable to bring our troops home."-- Clinton campaign leaflet, New Hampshire

The claim by the Clinton campaign about a "definite timetable" for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq is untrue. The Democratic front-runner has said she "wants" to begin troop withdrawals in the first 60 days of her presidency -- but she has not provided a timetable for bringing all the troops home. Instead, she has said that she "envisions" leaving a "vastly reduced residual force" in the country for "a limited period of time."

While Clinton has promised that she would "end the war," she has also outlined several "vital U.S. national security interests" in Iraq, including fighting al-Qaeda, protecting the U.S. Embassy, training Iraqi troops, protecting the Kurds and countering the influence of Iran. She has refused to commit herself to pulling all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of a second presidential term. Her pledge to "get out of Iraq" contains so much fine print that it is hardly a pledge at all.

-- Michael Dobbs

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