When Juan Cole wondered how long the Salvadorans would last in Iraq, I had to pipe up and say they'd leave when the U.S. leaves, or when their presence is no longer requested.
So I'm surprised to see the Minister of Defense in today's La Prensa Gráfica hinting that, because things are getting better every day in Iraq, the third contingent might not even finish out their tour of duty, and we'll just have to wait and see whether a fourth contingent will be necessary. After all, they're having elections there in January, so everything's going to be fine, right?
Or perhaps he's counting on a November win by Kerry, under whose administration the political capital to be gained by sticking it out will be minimal. (This is doubtful.) Or perhaps he's reading the latest UCA poll, which says that the decision to send troops to Iraq is the single most unpopular move by the new Saca administration (and since elections are around the corner, in 2006, perhaps ARENA's started to figure they should do something.) Or perhaps Saca's defense of Salvadoran troop presence in Iraq before the General Assembly last week was a total flop.
Your guess is as good as mine.