Just how conditional, contingent and qualified is the Bush administration's plan to reduce troop levels in Iraq over the course of the next year? Walter Pincus follows it all the way down the hill today.
"What Gen. Petraeus talked about was not a timetable, it was an expectation that if progress on security continues, he will be able to make some adjustments and drawdowns," Pincus quotes National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley as saying.
Hadley says that the drawdowns Petraeus and the president have discussed -- the ones that seem to have been enough to prevent any congressional action on the war -- "will depend on the conditions on the ground." Among them: "whether the Iraqi security forces will be able to take responsibility for more of the door-to-door population security."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.