Click here for Juan Cole's description of the British memo discussing the idea of nearly halving the number of US troops in time for Congressional elections next year. Cole doesn't know exactly what to make of the idea, and neither do I. I would call it the "Afghanification" of Iraq, turning some provinces over to an unstable coalition of militias and warlords under an brittle and superficial governmental umbrella. I have doubts over whether we'll even try it, and if we do, whether it'll work.
As for Cole's idea of having UN military forces replace most of the American military presence, I think the drawdown idea makes the UN presence less likely, as American conservatives will argue it's unnecessary. I've been pessimistic about the idea anyway, although I also think that the opportunity to remove 80% of our troops from Iraq might overpower some tough obstacles. This drawdown concept, without the UN, doesn't help in getting a chance for better options.