Obama envisioned a flexible timetable for withdrawal linked to conditions on the ground in Iraq and based on the advice of U.S. commanders. He also called for intensified efforts to train Iraqi security forces, U.S. aid packages tied to Iraqi progress in reducing sectarian violence and new diplomacy with Syria and Iran.
He proposed redeploying troops to Northern Iraq and to other countries in the region. He recommended boosting troop strength in Afghanistan, "where our lack of focus and commitment of resources has led to an increasing deterioration of the security situation there."
"For only through this phase redeployment can we send a clear message to the Iraqi factions that the United States is not going to hold together this country indefinitely — that it will be up to them to form a viable government that can effectively run and secure Iraq," he said.
Obama rejected proposals to add more troops to Iraq, an idea advanced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., saying that without Iraqi cooperation "we would only be putting more of our soldiers in the crossfire of a civil war."
Well, it's a start. Training, aid packages, talks with neighboring countries. All of these could help.