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McCaffrey's Mistake

7:05 PM, Jan 19, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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On Thursday, Barry McCaffrey told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs that the president's plan to surge troops into Iraq was "a fool's errand." He went on, "Our allies are leaving us. Make no mistake about that. Most will be gone by this summer."

Well it turns out it was McCaffrey who was mistaken. From Defense News:

Britain's senior representative in Iraq on Jan. 19 said British forces will remain in Iraq through 2007 and perhaps into 2008 if the Baghdad government asks for continued help.

"Do I see ourselves being here throughout 2007? Yes," said British Army Lt. Gen. Graeme Lamb, deputy commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq.

"Do I see that commitment being carried on to 2008? That will be for discussion among this sovereign government, my government, our part in the coalition and the like," he told reporters at the Pentagon in a teleconference from Iraq. "But if we're asked to stay here then I don't see any reason, although it's a political one, that we would not continue to remain committed to the Iraqis."

Australian troops are also unlikely to withdraw any time soon, and Howard has vigorously supported the president's new strategy.

Other coalition members have expressed support for the new strategy as well, including Japan and South Korea, though the South Koreans will draw down the size of their contingent by 900 troops in April, leaving a total of 1,200.

So to which allies was the retired general referring? Looking down the list of coalition members it's difficult to tell. The Czechs might pull out, but that seems unlikely given Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek electoral victory this week. Poland, unlikely. Mongolia, unlikely. Who then?