View Full Version : Rose Colored Exit Strategy

04-25-2007, 10:00 AM
Peter R. Neumann of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College in London on why withdrawal from Iraq (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3823)will ignite a sectarian bloodbath (that is, worse than the one that is ongoing right now).

04-26-2007, 08:32 AM
25 April Wall Street Journal editorial - Harry's War (http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009986).

... Gen. David Petraeus is in Washington this week, where on Monday he briefed President Bush on the progress of the new military strategy in Iraq. Today he will give similar briefings on Capitol Hill, but maybe he should save his breath. As fellow four-star Harry Reid recently informed America, the war Gen. Petraeus is fighting and trying to win is already "lost."

Mr. Reid has since tried to "clarify" that remark, and in a speech Monday he laid out his own strategy for Iraq. But perhaps we ought to be grateful for his earlier candor in laying out the strategic judgment--and nakedly political rationale--that underlies the latest Congressional bid to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq starting this fall. By doing so, he and the Democrats are taking ownership of whatever ugly outcome follows a U.S. defeat in Iraq.

This isn't to say that the Administration hasn't made its share of major blunders in this war. But at least Mr. Bush and his commanders are now trying to make up for these mistakes with a strategy to put Prime Minister Maliki's government on a stronger footing, secure Baghdad and the Sunni provinces against al Qaeda and allow for an eventual, honorable, U.S. withdrawal. That's more than can be said for Mr. Reid and the Democratic left, who are making the job for our troops more difficult by undermining U.S. morale and Iraqi confidence in American support...

04-26-2007, 08:42 AM
Peter R. Neumann of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College in London on why withdrawal from Iraq (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3823)will ignite a sectarian bloodbath (that is, worse than the one that is ongoing right now).

From the Neumann article:

... The best-case scenario rests on the assumption that the Sunni insurgency will fragment and collapse once the external enemy—the United States—has been removed. With no “infidels” left to fight, so the argument goes, most of al Qaeda’s foreign fighters will return to their home countries, and Osama bin Laden will lose a major foil for recruiting and propaganda. In Iraq, Sunni nationalists will be pushed to the negotiating table, realizing that the Shiite parties are more likely to offer political concessions as long as they are still exposed to U.S. diplomatic influence and international pressure. The remaining elements may try to keep the campaign going, but with both their former comrades and the community turning against them, they will be easily defeated.

Sounds too good to be true? It probably is.

First, no matter what happens inside Iraq, any U.S. decision to withdraw will be celebrated as a victory by al Qaeda. Whatever way the spin doctors in Washington dress it up, bin Laden is certain to portray the pullout as another example of what he once described as the “low spiritual morale of the American fighters.” Al Qaeda, in other words, will be emboldened—even if it fails to set up a permanent safe haven or establish an Islamic theocracy. Most worryingly, the foreign fighters—now experienced and battle-hardened veterans of the “global jihad”—will soon turn up and cause trouble in other places, such as Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan...

04-26-2007, 10:18 AM
I think Neumann strongly overrates the presence of foreign fighters in Iraq. Most analysts believe that even AQI, which always had the highest proportion of foreigners, is now a nearly all-Iraqi operation.

Reid's thinking is in line (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ070425_APRIL2007-poll.pdf)with the American population as well. As Barry McCaffrey noted, public support for the war has evaporated and will not return. (http://www.iraqslogger.com/downloads/McCaffreyIraq.pdf) Even Dick Cheney has obliquely acknowledged as much when he accused Democrats of being against the war for political gain.

35. Thinking of the situation in Iraq over the past three months, do you think the situation there has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

better.............................. 12 [240]
worse.............................. 49
Stayed about the
same................ 37
Not sure.................................. 2

38b. Do you think the U.S. goal of achieving victory in Iraq is still possible, or not? **
Yes, victory in Iraq is still
possible....... 36 [244]
No, victory in Iraq is not still
possible.... 55
Not sure......................................... 9
** Asked of one-half the respondents (FORM B).

39. When it comes to the debate on Iraq who do you agree with more?
The Democrats in Congress, who say we should set a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq; OR President Bush, who says we should NOT set a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq?

Democrats in Congress/should set
deadline.... 56 [245]
President Bush/should NOT set
deadline........ 37
Some of both
(VOL)................................... 3
Not sure.............................................. ..... 4

Historically, once the American public turns against a war, it does not change its mind (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20051101faessay84605/john-mueller/the-iraq-syndrome.html).

Regardless of what one hopes or wishes, this is the political reality that we are operating in.

04-26-2007, 10:07 PM
26 April New York Times - Senate Passes Iraq War Bill Requiring Pullout (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/26/washington/26cnd-cong.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1177624971-hrr1RJJC0xULwFkLqLC1Fw) by Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny.

The Senate narrowly passed a $124 billion war spending bill early this afternoon after an emotional debate about the best way forward in Iraq. The vote will send the measure to President Bush, who has vowed to veto it because it would require American troops to begin withdrawing by Oct. 1.

The 51-46 vote, far short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override Mr. Bush’s veto, came after a morning-long debate in which supporters of the bill called it a way to make the Iraqis take responsibility for their own security, while opponents called it a blueprint for defeat...

04-27-2007, 12:41 AM
There have been many times in the history of the U.S. where victory in war has been uncertain. Where doubt and division have beleaguered the administration and its military leaders. Where the majority of people have given up hope. In these cases great leaders (though they where not considered great at the time, in fact they were scorned and assailed from every angle) have risen to lead this country through the tough times by shear force of will and personality. In Iraq they, the Iraqi’s need to dig deep and find their leaders, BUT we cannot forget that they did not create the situation, we did. We must stay, fight and make it right. Here are some quotes that may lend focus to this argument.

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated." Thomas Paine Dec 23 1776.

“Our country's honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.” –George Washington

“To err is natural; to rectify error is glory.” –George Washington

"We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained. Under God, I hope it never will until that time."
--From the June 16, 1864 Speech in Philadelphia

"Again I admonish you not to be turned from your stern purpose of defending your beloved country and its free institutions by any arguments urged by ambitious and designing men, but stand fast to the Union and the old flag."
--From the August 31, 1864 Speech to the 148th Ohio Regiment

"-- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -Lincoln, Gettysburg.