It may be wishful thinking, but the increasing evidence that the US military does not think highly of the way the Iraqi leadership has used the extra time afforded by the surge in American troop strength raises the possibility that Bush could begin to order a draw down of US forces in Iraq by the end of the year.
While he could not claim victory, he certainly could lay the blame (with justification) on the Iraqi regime for failing to bring about a genuine coalition with the Sunnis and for not dividing up the oil revenue. He could begin to pull out American troops based on Hillary’s rationale that American troops have done their share but the Iraqi government has not done its share.
Would such a move work politically? You bet it would! Nixon, forewarned by Republican loses in Congress in 1970, accelerated troop withdrawal from Vietnam and even had Kissinger announce that “peace is at hand” in the days before the 1972 general election. It worked like a charm and propelled him to an easy re-election victory.
Bush could still do a lot to save his party by beginning to pull out.