TSR: "...the political solution everyone talks about may be a non-democratic state."
WOLF BLITZER: This bill, by the way, marks the fact of the matter the Democratic controlled Congress will send President Bush binding legislation on the war. And when he carries out his veto threat, it will be only the second time he's actually done so during his entire presidency.
Meanwhile, the bill sets some benchmarks, as they're called, for the Iraqi government. Among them, deploy trained Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and give Iraqi commanders more leeway to make decisions without political intervention.
The second goal is the disarming of Iraq's militias. Another benchmark -- ensure that Iraq's oil and other resources benefit all Iraqis.
The bill says Iraq should reform its process of removing officials with ties to the Saddam Hussein regime and it calls for the protection of minority rights.
What might the practical effect of all of this be on Iraq?
Michael Ware is joining us now.
Michael is our special correspondent in Baghdad.
He's joining us from New York on this day -- Michael, thanks very much.
Good to have you here stateside.
What would it mean, practically speaking -- and you've been there from day one; you've spent four years covering this war -- if the Democrats had their way and by the end of March of next year, U.S. combat forces pulled out of Iraq?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at that point, or very soon after, you would have some kind of regional conflict in the Middle East, almost without doubt.
You would instantly see the Shia militias that essentially are driving this government -- they're the ones who own this government, because this government is not a government in the sense that we understand. It's a loose alliance of these militias that U.S. intelligence says is backed by Iran.
So you would immediately see them consolidate their power. That means consolidating Iranian influence. They'd also look to expand that.
Now, the Arab states in the region, America's allies, who have been screaming about this since before the invasion, would not be able to sit back. They'd have to respond by supporting the Sunnis.
So you would see the country immediately turn into an Iranian proxy kind of territory or Iranian sponsored territory and then an al Qaeda-dominated Sunni-Arab regional backed semi-state, at war with each other, that would suck in all the regional players.
It's nothing but disaster -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And it's an awful scenario, the way you described it.
But what about this September?
It's still a few months down the road. The president keeps referring to what General Petraeus says, that by September, we should know, basically, whether this new strategy, the so-called surge, is working?
What changes would you expect to have occurred by September?
WARE: Okay, for a start, I think many people are looking to General Petraeus' remarks and his reference to September as him coming to deliver the magic solution. Well, it's not that at all.
Simply, what General Petraeus is going to do in September is have a look at the strategy that they're using now and he's going to say if it's working or if it's not.
He has no expectation that he's going to say it has worked and that the job is over and that it's finished. He's merely going to say we continue this and go forward or we need to look at other options.
We're now hearing top military commanders talk about what some of those other options are. A major general in Iraq has now opened the door to the possibility that the solution in Iraq, the political solution everyone talks about, may be a non-democratic state.
So even in September, if things are going as best as they could be hoped, the generals are saying there won't be an end to the violence, we're going to need patience. This is just the beginning. It's not the end.
BLITZER: I've heard several Arab leaders, allies of the United States, say to me privately what they need in Iraq, Michael, is another strongman, almost like Saddam Hussein, who can control the situation there on the ground.
WARE: Indeed. What this U.S. major general, Robert Mixon, who commands a division in northern Iraq, pointed to was precisely that.
When he listed the elements of U.S. victory, he said it's leaving behind an effective and functioning Iraqi government that can deliver services to its people and that is a partner with the U.S. and the world against terrorists.
Now, I said to him, you can have all of those things without a democracy.
Indeed. You see that across the Middle East.
So that's what's shaping as the alternative. That's Plan B, a Musharraf-like Pakistan, a strongman with a quasi-democracy who first and foremost delivers security.
BLITZER: Michael Ware in New York for us.
Michael, thanks very much.
WARE: Thank you.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is in New York, as well.
A good chance for you and Michael to sit down, Jack.
I know you're a big fan of his.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am a big fan of his. And it's interesting to hear him talk about a solution perhaps taking the form, the exact same form, that Iraq was in before we invaded.