Now, with Rumsfeld at his side, Jaafari is planning for just that:
Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said at a joint news conference with U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a co-ordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.
Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. “But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard..."
Meanwhile, the U.S. is setting one problematic condition on withdrawal:
General George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, said he believed a U.S. troop withdrawal could begin by spring 2006 if progress continues on the political front and if the insurgency does not expand.
If the apparent size of the insurgency will be the determining factor as to whether the U.S. stays, there are two possible results, neither of them a positive. Either insurgents could pick up the pace of attacks now to try to ensure that their best basis for recruitment remains in the country, or they could call off activity for now (perhaps infiltrating the Iraqi police forces even further) and be able to cause all the more mayhem once the U.S. pulls out.
Essentially, the U.S. has said that it'll allow the insurgents to set the timing of a pullout. Needless to say, that's a power that won't be used for good.