Blair leaves way open for John Howard to step in!
Tony Blair has announced the withdrawal of 1,500 troops in the coming weeks and up to 3,000 by the end of the year.
This will still leave 5,500 at the moment and 4,000 until the end of Bush's Presidency. Coming in the run up to his own
downfall, retirement Blair obviously wants to reassure critics that he leaves proving he no poodle of Bush. However, the President may feel he has poodled on his Bush at a time when the surge is starting to face difficulties and when the situation in the south is a tinderbox. Blair has promised his plans may be altered if Bush the situation change his mind.