While some will reflexively attack any mention of "withdrawal", it would be irresponsible for the military not to think about how to make it happen when the time eventually comes. It is proper and responsible planning.
The first article comes from Army Reserve officer ( and long time blogger) Phil Carter:
Military planners always begin their work by making assumptions to guide their efforts. Before the invasion of Iraq, Pentagon planners assumed we would be "greeted as liberators" and that the troops would be ordered home quickly, and these assumptions resulted in a deeply flawed (or nonexistent) occupation plan. To plan the withdrawal, planners must assume certain things about the security and political situation in Iraq. Given some kind of middle-ground scenario between a totally secure Iraq and utter chaos, which is roughly the situation today, the exit plan might unfold like this....Also mentioned in Carter's article is an earlier article from Marine father and son team Bing & Owen West, who call for an 'Adviser' model:
How can U.S. soldiers stay in Iraq and accomplish what needs to be done? Our best hope is the Adviser Model. With the surge still under way, Gen. David Petraeus obviously cannot discuss a Plan B. But given U.S. public opinion, a Plan B for 2008 and beyond is a certainty. Its central feature is likely to be the buildup of a combat-advisory corps as our combat units are drawn down.Read them both.
Also read the following article on how while some want to 'Support the Troops' by bringing them home, the troops want to stay and press the fight:
Haunted by Vietnam, Democrats are determined to express support for the troops. This is admirable. The truth of the matter, however, is this: many troops in Iraq, perhaps even most of them, want to stay and fight. That doesn’t mean that we should stay in Iraq any longer. It does mean, however, that if Democrats want to bridge the divide between themselves and the military—an effort further complicated by their opposition to the war—they’re going to have to recognize that arguing in the name of the troops isn’t going to work.Thans again to Noah for digging out some great reads...