Cuenta atrás para la retirada del Iraq

¿Por cuánto tiempo más mantendrán los Estados Unidos un amplio despliegue de tropas en el Iraq? Ésa es ahora la cuestión fundamental del segundo mandato de George W. Bush. Hasta hace poco, el gobierno de Bush contestaba con un tópico evasivo: "mientras sea necesario y ni un día más". Pero ya no.

El hielo empezó a cuartearse el 17 de noviembre, cuando John Murtha, un halcón congresista demócrata y veterano de la infantería de marina, propuso la retirada de las tropas del Iraq en el plazo de seis meses. Poco después, el Senado, controlado por los republicanos, votó a favor de "una importante transición hacia la plena soberanía del Iraq en 2006". Tras una resistencia inicial, Bush empezó a cambiar su retórica al dar a entender que la reducción progresiva de las tropas ocurriría antes de lo que se había esperado.

La erosión del apoyo público a la política de Bush en el Iraq es muy intensa. Ahora el cincuenta y cuatro por ciento de los americanos dice que los Estados Unidos se equivocaron al enviar tropas, frente al 24 por ciento al comienzo de la guerra en marzo de 2003. En parte, esa opinión refleja el aumento del número de víctimas, con más de 2.100 soldados americanos muertos hasta ahora.

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