ABC News’ Matt Stuart Reports: Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) predicted an ’08 begin to the withdrawal of troops from Iraq on Monday. When questioned about the war in the Iraq, Gov. Romney described his three-staged vision for the war, namely, surge, support, and standby. According to Gov. Romney’s plan, after the current surge phase is completed, a support phase (in which the United States supported Iraq through air surveillance, inteligence, etc.) can begin, followed by a standby phase in which US troops are pulled out of Iraq, stationed in nearby countries like Kuwait and Quatar.
After explaining his vision, Gov. Romney went on to declare the he sees the phases, "happening relatively soon. I think you’re going to find sometime in ’08 that by virtue of success of the surge militarily, we’ll be able to move to the support role." As a result, the United State could then "bring our guys home as soon as we possibly can without igniting a regional conflict."
On a later follow-up question on Iraq, Gov. Romney expressed optimism that Gen. Petraus’ report would show "that the surge is working from a military standpoint and therefore, from a military standpoint, we’re able to start pulling back."
Gov. Romney’s comments came the same day President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq.