Subtle But Significant Shift
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
Unless I missed something there was a significant shift in the Clinton, Obama and Edwards positions on Iraqi training security forces. While all of them spent a good deal of time talking about residual troops for force protection and counter terrorism missions, no one talked about training. This has been a staple of Democratic plans for years, and is still part of the various plans in Congress to drawdown forces.
For months folks at the Center for American Progress have been pushing their Strategic Reset plan, which among other things argues that we should not be training Iraqi security forces unless political reconciliation can be achieved. The rationale is pretty simple. We may just be arming various sides in a civil war.
The shift didn't happen at the debate itself. All of the candidates' positions have been evolving in recent weeks. But it was significant that the three leading candidates are all heading in this direction. They are starting to catch on.