Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin called for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2006. He became the first Democrat to call for a complete U.S. withdrawal.
This weekend, Army General Peter Schoomaker said the Army has begun planning for 2009 and that those plans call for 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the second Bush/Cheney term.
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, appearing on ABC News' "This Week", in effect, asked what Schoomaker was smoking. Here's a quote:
Hagel described the Army contingency plan as "complete folly."Mission Accomplished?
"I don't know where he's going to get these troops," Hagel said. "There won't be any National Guard left ... no Army Reserve left ... there is no way America is going to have 100,000 troops in Iraq, nor should it, in four years."
Hagel added: "It would bog us down, it would further destabilize the Middle East, it would give Iran more influence, it would hurt Israel, it would put our allies over there in Saudi Arabia and Jordan in a terrible position. It won't be four years. We need to be out."
Well, at least the 256th will be back. But, if Senator Hagel is right about those numbers, how long will it be before they are sent back to Iraq?