The Dangers of Deadlines (The Weekly Standard)

There is perhaps no greater danger to the success of American efforts in Iraq than the prospect of a congressionally mandated timeline for withdrawal. Depriving commanders on the ground of the ability to make decisions about required force levels dramatically increases the likelihood of losing our recent hard-fought gains. And congressional attempts to legislate a timeline based on the military command's current estimates of its ability responsibly to reduce American forces in Iraq will restrict our ability to respond to unforeseen developments in a complex and rapidly changing situation.