What's really going on with this handover/pullout/withdrawal talk is twofold: getting Bush through the mid-term elections and setting the GOP up for some kind of "victory" just before the 2008 elections.
Take a close look at this "explosive" (not) news from SMH:
AUSTRALIAN troops are set to start pulling out of Iraq within 12 to 18 months, Australia's top officer in the Middle East has said.Bush has two years left to run. The coded message is that it will all be apples by the time he goes. Yeah, right.
Brigadier Mick Moon, commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, told the Herald yesterday the situation should have stabilised enough by then to allow coalition troops to withdraw from direct control of Iraq, including its strife-torn capital, Baghdad.
"Twelve to 18 months sounds about right," he said. "Obviously we're all very keen to see that handover of control to Iraqi security forces as soon as possible."
"We are about 75 per cent of the way through … and it's going to take another 12 to 18 months or so until I believe the Iraqi security forces are completely capable of taking over," General Casey said.