And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran!
Would happily support it, if I didn’t think the country was most likely beyond saving, by American military power anyway. No one’s suggesting the repercussions aren’t dire.
So, leaving Iraq wasn’t really an honest argument? You gave me reasons we shouldn’t leave Iraq. You even say it will be a safe haven for terrorists rivaling that of the Taliban’s Afghanistan.
Yet, when pressed if you support staying for the long haul, you back off. So, not only do you not support taking on the terrorism exporting, troop killing Iranians, but you’d leave Iraq as the safe haven for terrorists you say it would become?
Is this the head in the sand strategy? Do nothing and hope our Grandchildren won’t pay the price? [/quote]
No, it’s called taking a realistic look at where we are, and, especially where this Administration can take us. If we were going to fight a real, sustained war in Iraq I’d be all for it. That would mean dramatically increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, completely reevaluating what our armed forces are going to be used for (i.e. the F-22 is probably only ever going to be necessary in combat if we give some to someone else), not using the war as a political wedge issue, doing away with torture policies that do enormous moral damage to our cause…It’s a long list.
And Bush has never been serious about this war from day one. If he was, the first thing he would have done after 9/11 is increase the size of our land forces and pour tons of money into language skills in particular. If that means doing away with some of the expensive toys that both the services and the defense industry like, so be it.
Anyway, because of all this, look at where we are now. I think it’s pretty hard to argue Iraq is not a disaster. Almost as important, Afghanistan is slipping away too by the looks of it.
So the question is what can we do about it? We have what, 170,00 men on the ground, when recent experience (Bosnia, Kosovo) suggests at least double that number is necessary? General Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, is warning that the Army can’t sustain its current commitments and worries aloud that the force could “break.” And of the troops in Iraq, the majority barely ever leave their Forward Operating Bases and have no direct impact on the pacification of the country.
So the new Kagan/Keane plan (I can PM you the pdf if you want) calls for 35,000 troops, Bush will like commit 20-25,000 - is that going to have any real effect on Iraq? I sincerely doubt it, certainly not in the long term.
I don’t doubt the consequences of losing in Iraq are dire, and I think we have to have a troop presence there of some size regardless, but I don’t think we can or will do what’s necessary to win. Does that longwinded answer explain my views?