A UW mideast expert thinks the administration is trying to redefine the terms of staying in Iraq.
Just as the administration is trying to define the ongoing violence in Iraq, UW-Madison political scientist Jon Pevehouse believes the administration is working on a new definition of finishing the mission. (Pevehouse says all signs in Iraq point to a civil war.)
He believes that definition would include some sort of troop withdrawal. One way to get the troops out sooner is for President Bush to convince Prime Minister al-Maliki to take over security duties in his own country quicker. But is Maliki the man to do it or does he need to step down?
But if the US pressures Maliki to leave or the administration gets the Iraqis to do it then, Pevehouse says, American credibility erodes even further because Maliki will look like an American puppet.
The hard line, anti-American members of the current government, the ones who supported Maliki, have already quit the government in protest of his meeting with President Bush. If Maliki leaves, who fills the vacuum?
Pevehouse says the current violence is all about politics and control.