August 1, 2007  

To the House of Representatives

For its latest vote to pull most U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by April. The new legislation — the third attempt to quit Iraq — calls for the Pentagon to begin withdrawing combat troops within four months. Although this bill would allow some U.S. forces to stay in Iraq to train the Iraqi Army and carry out counterterrorism operations, any withdrawal plan with dates attached is flawed. And a withdrawal deadline without a clear plan for guarding against the potentially disastrous consequences of Iraq abandonment is immoral. To make this third withdrawal vote at a time when generals are calling for the necessary time to deliver the hoped-for outcome of the surge effort is not about supporting the troops, as the Democrats, and now some Republicans, would have it. Gen. David Petraeus and his troops deserve the backing and patience they are asking of the American people to allow them to give it their best shot.