McCain Surrogate Suggests Troops Could Come In Fewer Than 16 Months

That's the word from Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM).

She was speaking on the now daily Scheunemann-McCain campaign policy call.

(Listen here.)

"He’d like troops to come home earlier than 16 months if the conditions allow it," she said.

Now, put aside the politics. One of the reasons why McCain opposes a 16 month timetable to remove all combat troops is because it would be next to impossible to arrange the logistics, or so say the commanders on the ground. (See ABC News's report here).

This tells us that under no circumstances would most combat troops be redeployed within sixteen months if McCain were president. And if Obama were president, 16 months would be too ambitious a task.

Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy aide, e-mails:

Representative Wilson said "..[McCain would] like troops to come home earlier than 16 months, if conditions allow it." The point she made is that Senator McCain is driven by conditions on the ground (security situation, capability of Iraqi forces, status of the enemy, logistics, etc. ) and the advice of military commanders that led our troop in achieving the successes to date. Senator Obama's unconditional 16 month timetable is artificial and ignores all these critical factors. Note too that the real focus of discussion is not all troops, since even Senator Obama leaves room for a residual force with, depending on the day or venue, varied missions and sized, according to 1 of his 300 foreign policy advisers, at 60,000 to 80,000 troops.