The Corner

Neither the Votes Nor the Nerve

It’s becoming clear that neither the Iraq Study Group’s report nor the recommendations of Democratic-leaning analysts and former generals will lead the Bush administration to begin pulling troops out. Indeed, given that fierce Bush critics such as Anthony Zinni and incoming House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes are actually endorsing the call for more troops, you can expect the nutroots to begin frothing at the mouth today. Okay, frothing more at the mouth.

The next-best notion for anti-war activists would be to see their Democratic Congress use the power of the purse to force withdrawal in the coming months. But that’s seems unlikely, too, at least according to this McClatchey Newspapers report:

Thomas Donnelly, a defense policy expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right think tank, said Democrats aren’t likely to play their new power to the hilt, but they will have room for pressure. “They could say, ‘We’re not going to pay the bills for a force larger than X size,’ or ‘You can’t have this money unless you start withdrawing troops from Iraq.’ (But) I think they haven’t got the votes or the nerve.” Instead, Donnelly said, Democrats could opt for less-controversial steps.

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