That's not the headline Senate Foreign Policy Cmte Ranking Member Richard Lugar is getting today. He's getting ink for saying the current "surge" strategy isn't working and calling for a troop reduction.
But before you put Lugar on a pedestal, recognize that he also said, "A total withdrawal from Iraq also fails to meet our security interests."
And here's what he means by a "course change" in Iraq:
Shifting to a Sustainable Military Posture
Our security interests call for a downsizing and re-deployment of U.S. military forces to more sustainable positions in Iraq or the Middle East. Numerous locations for temporary or permanent military bases have been suggested, including Kuwait or other nearby states, the Kurdish territories, or defensible locations in Iraq outside of urban areas. All of these options come with problems and limitations. But some level of American military presence in Iraq would improve the odds that we could respond to terrorist threats, protect oil flows, and help deter a regional war.
So he wants a reduced but "sustainable" military presence, in part to "protect oil flows," involving "temporary or permanent military bases" (Call' em want you want! We're staying!).
Lugar should not be allowed to define the opposite pole of the Iraq debate.
The Lugar-Bush debate is "how many troops should we use to occupy Iraq?"
The fundamental debate is "should we permanently occupy Iraq or not?"