A trio of Pentagon correspondents offered Iraq follow-ups. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski scrutinized Bush's claim that al-Qaeda was the primary threat there: the US military wavers between claims that the group is "looking to dominate Baghdad" and that it is being "systematically dismantled." Miklaszewski's intelligence sources calculated that al-Qaeda comprises "2% or 3% of enemy forces."
ABC's Jonathan Karl (subscription required) forecast that the US would stop fighting in the western Sunni-dominated al-Anbar province altogether--"essentially writing off al-Anbar"--and the 30,000-or-so Marines stationed there would be pulled back to Baghdad. The province would fall under the military control of local Iraqi forces.
CBS' David Martin previewed the report of the Iraq Study Group. Because the Bush Administration has always insisted that it will not accept a "timetable for withdrawal" the ISG has altered its wording to describe the same thing in different terms: a "timetable for the Iraqi government to take greater responsibility."
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