The War's End

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A person affiliated with a rival campaign directed my attention to this Ted Koppel commentary on NPR in which he observes:

I ran into an old source the other day who held a senior position at the Pentagon until his retirement. He occasionally briefs Senator Clinton on the situation in the Gulf. She told him that if she were elected president and then re-elected four years later she would still expect U.S. troops to be in Iraq at the end of her second term.

I find that the tendency when I talk to people leaning in a Clintonish direction is that they express confidence, as Clinton herself does in the debates, that all of the Democrats will, if elected, move rapidly to end the war. If anything, I think the stronger argument for Clinton is the reverse -- that while she seems disinclined to really end the war, it's not clear that her main rivals are inclined to do so either. Neither Edwards nor Obama has, after all, exactly come out swinging against Clinton on Iraq in a forward looking sense. There have been some indications that Clinton's envisioned "residual" force would be bigger than what other candidates have in mind, but her main rivals haven't argued this explicitly.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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