Today, the Iraqi Parliament postponed a scheduled vote on the U.S.-Iraq Security agreement. In order to get broad support in Parliament for the security agreement, Maliki and his allies appear to have given into a Sunni demand to hold a national referendum on the agreement in 2009.
With only two weeks left until the election, John McCain had another difficult week on the national security front. From Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, to the Iraqi government's undermining McCain's position on withdrawal of US forces, to the Al Qaeda web-video vote for the Republic nominee for President, the Maverick has had a rough couple of days.
The President’s announcement today that the U.S. will begin a modest redeployment of American forces from Iraq to Afghanistan – a recommendation progressives have been advocating for years – is a welcome shift. But the redeployment is so modest and will take so long to arrive that, effectively, the President remains fixated on Iraq - regardless of the larger implications for U.S. national security.
Reports out of Baghdad are that the Bush administration and the Iraqi Government are close to an agreement that would include a timetable for the withdrawal of American combat forces by the end of 2010. While close to the timetable proposed by Barack Obama, John McCain continues to cling to the idea of a permanent American presence in Iraq.