Stephen Biddle makes the point that while withdrawing some troops and leaving many behind to continue training makes a certain amount of political sense as a compromise, it’s nonsense on the merits. If you’re going to have a whole bunch of troops in the country, you need enough troops to make a difference. Withdrawing tens of thousands of Americans is only going to leave the tens of thousands who remain in a more dangerous and fundamentally untenable position. If we want to withdraw troops — and we should — we need to get essentially all the way out.
Defense Department photo by Corporal Samuel D. Corum, US Marine Corps.