James Dobbins, a Rand Corp. national security expert, told the newspaper on Election Day, that change would come regardless of the outcome.
"Our elections have artificially polarized the debate and left us with a false choice between 'stay the course' and 'cut and run.' But there are a number of options between keeping 160,000 troops on the ground and just pulling out," Dobbins said.
Various sources told the newspaper the options include a diplomatic push to get Iraq's neighbors more actively involved in preventing a sectarian civil war, more diplomacy to encourage Iraq to share oil revenue more equitably among its regions and even some U.S. troop reductions.
Michael O'Hanlon, a military affairs specialist at the Brookings Institution in Washington said even a gradual reduction of troops "would focus the minds of Iraqi political leaders that they don't have forever and it reduces the perception of an occupying power that drives the insurgency."
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close
Campus cop fatally shoots Texas student during traffic stop