At a Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of defense nominee Robert Gates, Lieberman used his allotted 10 minutes of questioning to stress his aversion to what he termed a politically motivated withdrawal.
"While all of us, of course, would like to bring our troops home as soon as possible," Lieberman said, "your primary goal is to advise the president how to succeed in Iraq, not how to withdraw our troops at any and all costs."
In his questioning, Lieberman honed in on the question of withdrawal.
"Is it fair to say that, because of your concern about the potential for a regional conflagration and that we not leave Iraq in chaos, it is highly unlikely that you would recommend to the president the beginning of a withdrawal of American troops without regard to conditions on the ground in Iraq?" he asked.
Gates responded that the decision on troop levels should be tied to the situation on the ground.
Lieberman then suggested that the situation could just as readily lead to an increase in American troops "to better embed" with Iraqi security forces.
"The potential for a surge or a temporary increase in American troops is one of the options that you would consider as part of your review now?" he asked.
I have to wonder. At any point did Joe Lieberman actually want to be Secretary of Defense?
Urban, Peter. "Gates: Everything on the table in Iraq"