'Over the Horizon', Indeed!
The Democratic takeover of Congress has predictably led to a rise in calls for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The authors of these calls, like Carl Levin and Joe Biden, frequently maintain that their proposals are not for "withdrawal" but for "redeployment."
U.S. forces would remain poised on bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, Kuwait, or elsewhere in the region to support the Iraqis with "rapid reaction forces." The United States would thereby both "incentivize" the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own security and give them an over-the-horizon safety net. The trouble is that this "safety net" is illusory. It serves only to mask out-and-out withdrawal and