2.18.2007

Clinton: Cap Iraq Deployment at 130,000

Shedding her carefully designed war hawk costume, Senator Clinton today urged that the administration begin reducing the number of U.S. troops deployed in Iraq.

Clinton's change in tactics is clearly a response to Senator Obama's comments last week that it was unclear how Clinton planned to end the conflict. Senator Obama has called for a phased withdrawal to be wrapped up by the end of March 2008.

However, Clinton's proposal is really a cap and not an actual plan for withdrawal. What she's proposing is to maintain the current deployment of only 130,000 troops and prohibit an increase without congressional approval.

Clinton's proposal is again designed to meet the political requirements of the moment. The purpose is to make her appear sufficiently anti-war in order to placate the Democratic base, while preventing her Republican presidential opponent--assuming she's the Democratic presidential nominee--from painting her as a "cut and run" Democrat.

We'll see how this clever tactical maneuver goes down with her restless and increasingly emboldened political base.