Success on the battlefield is not the only complication with Obama’s plan.
Physically removing the combat brigades within that kind of time frame would be difficult, as well.
The military has been redeploying troops for years, and Maj. Gen. Charles Anderson, who would help with the withdrawal, told us as we toured Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, “We have the capacity to do a minimum of two-and-a-half brigade combat teams a month — can we expand that capacity? Sure. Can we accelerate? It depends. It depends on the amount of equipment that we bring back. And it’s going to depend on how fast we bring them out.”
It is the equipment that is the real problem.
In the kind of redeployment that Anderson is talking about, the troops head home, but much of their equipment stays behind. Two combat brigades means up to 1,200 humvees in addition to thousands of other pieces of equipment, like trucks, fuelers, tankers and helicopters.
And 90 percent of the equipment would have to be moved by ground through the Iraqi war zone, to the port in Kuwait, where it must all be cleaned and inspected and prepared for shipment. This is a place with frequent dust storms, limited port facilities and limited numbers of wash racks.
While Anderson and his troops have a positive attitude, several commanders who looked at the Obama plan told ABC News, on background, that there was “no way” it could work logistically.
Although Team Obama will never accept that answer when the always useful “Yes we can!” is available to cut off debate.