“During a recent trip to the Middle East, Gates told the Iraqi government that time was running out and praised Democratic efforts in the U.S. Congress to set a timetable for withdrawal, saying it would help prod the Iraqis. He reiterated that point during a meeting with reporters last week,” report Peter Spiegel and Julian E. Barnes.
A spokesman for Gates says that the Defense Secretary shares the views on troop withdrawal held by the White House and General David Petraeus, who commands US troops in Iraq.
“But his warnings to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki are just the latest indications from Gates that he believes the window of opportunity for the administration to get Iraq right is closing sooner rather than later,” say Spiegel and Barnes.
Could the military establishment be turning its back on Bush, or are they just preparing for the inevitable?