A recent poll shows that U.S. troops want out of Iraqand soon. It asked 944 service members, "How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?" Only 23 percent backed President Bush's position that they should stay as long as necessary; 72 percent said they should be pulled out within a year. That's one more bit of evidence that our grim stay-the-course policy has failed. While we shouldn't rush for the exits immediately, we should lay out a timetable for withdrawal that would remove all troops by the end of next year. Such a timetable would force Iraqis to prepare to run their own country. True, a timetable is risky. But we're being killed, literally, because of nationalist suspicions among Iraqis that we're after their oil and bases and that we're going to stay forever. It's crucial that we defuse that rage.
Nicholas D. Kristof [2/28/06]