[Susan Collins] introduced a bipartisan amendment to immediately wind down combat operations and instead have troops focus on counterterrorism, border security and training Iraqi troops. Collins believes her plan--broadly similar to others floating around Congress--will result in a "significant drawdown of our troops."It's also not clear that "counterterrorism, border security and training" are things that actually should get greater emphasis: "Training" could just end up bolstering the various militias and making future sectarian warfare worse; it's not obvious that "border security" would significantly reduce the level of violence in Iraq (although it could increase the risk of a shooting incident with Iranian troops), and "counterterrorism" sounds like a license to carry on as usual, since presumably pretty much any operation can be considered "counterterrorism."
Maybe. But military experts whom NEWSWEEK interviewed (among them senior officers serving in Iraq) suggest that for such a combination of missions to be done effectively, there would be little allowance for any reduction in troops. Given political realities, of course, adding troops is a nonstarter.