More from the article:
Edwards staked out a position that would lead to a more rapid and complete troop withdrawal than his principal rivals, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who have indicated they are open to keeping American trainers and counterterrorism units in Iraq.
Mr. Edwards’s plan calls for immediately withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 troops. Nearly all of the remaining American troops would be removed within 9 or 10 months. The only force that would remain would be a 3,500-to-5,000-strong contingent that would protect the American Embassy and possibly humanitarian workers.
Edwards offers a clear commitment: Embassy protection only and 10 months. The alternative; we’ll try to be out by 2013 and only use troops to fight terrorists is not. The world already knows we define terrorists as “everyone who stands in our way”.
Such a troop withdrawal, he said, might jolt Iraqi leaders into taking action to overcome their sectarian differences. During the 10 months or so while American troops were being withdrawn, Mr. Edwards added, he would also mount an intensive effort to encourage Iraq’s leaders to engage in political reconciliation and solicit the cooperation of Iran and Syria, who he argued might be more willing to help once they understood that American troops were on their way out.
Mr. Edwards acknowledged that there was a risk that a speedy troop drawdown might lead to substantially increased sectarian violence. Under Mr. Edwards’s plan, the United States would keep a quick reaction force in Kuwait and perhaps Jordan to respond to terrorist threats and possible “genocide.”
A quick reaction force has been an element of Jack Murtha’s plans for a long time. It keeps us out of the crossfire of a civil war while allowing us support and intervene when needed.
The full article is worth reading and goes into his plan in more detail, the evolution of his position (not unlike most Americans), and some counter-arguments.