The Spectacle Blog

Iraq Convergence?

By on 7.16.08 | 1:18PM

While substantial differences obviously remain, it's worth noting that for all the back and forth between the campaigns, McCain and Obama are closer in their Iraq policy proposals than they've ever been. The Bush administration, without McCain's objection, is considering stepped up withdrawal from Iraq. McCain has suggested he would like the war to be more or less over by 2013 and his budget projections assume substantial withdrawals. (Some critics argue they would require near-total withdrawals.) Obama has indicated a willingness to withdraw more slowly than he originally proposed if facts on the ground warrant, without making the reduction in violence following the surge the only relevant fact. While his position is not conditions-based enough for the liberal hawks at the Washington Post it nevertheless has plenty of doves aflutter. I'm not the first person to notice this. McCain's position has been more consistent and stable, which gives supporters of the war more reason to trust him. Obama would still draw down troops faster than McCain. But the differences between the candidates on this issue are getting smaller, not larger.

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