Signs of Withdrawal?

John Burns’ New York Times piece on Iraq’s slow slide into civil war had this tidbit near the end: “Despite these gloomy trends, American commanders have continued to hint at the possibility of at least an initial reduction of the 140,000 American troops stationed here by next summer, contingent on progress in creating effective Iraqi units. Some senior officers have said privately that there is a chance that the pullback will be ordered regardless of what is happening in the war, and that the rationale will be that Iraq – its politicians and its warriors – will ultimately have to find ways of overcoming their divides on their own.” Meanwhile, Helena Cobban argues that the U.S. should be doing just that, although she’s quite clearly wrong when she suggests that the U.S. wouldn’t be morally responsible for the inevitable post-withdrawal bloodbath.