The President, in his Saturday radio address, said that the goal in Iraq is “clear and unchanging: Our goal is victory. What is changing are the tactics we use to achieve that goal.” However, news reports indicate that more than a “tactics” change is in the wind. The New York Times quoted a “senior Pentagon official” as saying he and others are working on a blueprint that includes a timetable for the Iraqi government to take on a larger role in the country’s security. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that a “senior official” believes major changes are coming and options under consideration include everything from a timetable for withdrawal to installing a “strong-man” government. In other words, it’s still anybody’s guess.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.