Plan calls for troops to begin pulling out after December elections, from CNN:
WASHINGTON — The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq, according to a senior defense official.
Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades — usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each — begin pulling out of Iraq early next year…
House Republicans were looking for a showdown Friday after Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and well-respected Vietnam veteran, presented a resolution that would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq “at the earliest predictable date.”
Murtha on Thursday called the administration’s management of the conflict “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion” that is “uniting the enemy against us.”
“It’s time to bring the troops home,” he said…
The [Casey] plan, which would withdraw a limited amount of troops during 2006, requires that a host of milestones be reached before troops are withdrawn.
Top Pentagon officials have repeatedly discussed some of those milestones: Iraqi troops must demonstrate that they can handle security without U.S. help; the country’s political process must be strong; and reconstruction and economic conditions must show signs of stability.