In keeping with moving to the center, Obama seems to be changing his stance pre primary Iraq stance. That is good news for John McCain. It makes the Obama brand less differentiated!
The presumptive Democratic nominee set off media firecrackers last week by hinting at further refinements to his strategy for withdrawal. Previous strategies include his January 2007 call for a complete withdrawal by March 2008, followed by his March 2008 call for a complete withdrawal by July 2010, or 16 months after he takes office.
Now Mr. Obama tells us that the 16-month timeline is contingent on (1) "[making] sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable" (my emphasis), and (2) the opinion of "the commanders on the ground." Also in question is the size of the "residual force" that the Illinois senator envisions for Iraq after the bulk of U.S. forces is withdrawn. Will it be an embassy guard, plus some military advisers and special-ops forces?