Multiple choice question

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Monday publicly endorsed the concept of ordering a pause in troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer after the departure of five extra brigades deployed last year as part of the force increase. |NY Times|

Three possible explanations:
  1. "...a brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense.” (Gates)
  2. Things are deteriorating again in Iraq.
  3. Things would almost certainly deteriorate in Iraq were more troops to be withdrawn, and keeping the troops there over the summer will help prevent the Democrats from making the election a referendum on a failed war.

Which explanation seems best?

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