View Full Version : Is there merit to the Democratic proposal for a timetable?

SSG Rock
06-20-2006, 04:35 PM
I don't have a link to an article or an essay, I just have a thought that we can kick around.

The news of the day is the Democratic proposal for setting a drop dead date for the withdrawl of our troops from Iraq.

In my weaker moments, I have found myself giving this idea serious consideration. Afterall, we have been in Iraq longer than we had thought we would and while there is undoubtedly progress being made it appears that the American people are growing weary of the war.

There are the two theories, of course that we must stay the course untill the IA/IP are capable of taking over for themselves, and the other that claims the Iraqis will not take control of the situation so long as we are there to do the heavy lifting for them.

I admit that I'd like to see us turn the corner sooner rather than later. How would you assess our progress up to now and do you think setting a time table would be counter productive? I tend to think it would be counter productive although I'm not intelligent enough to explain all the reasons why. Obviously, the enemy would like nothing better than to know exactly when we'll pull up our tent pegs and pop smoke.

06-20-2006, 05:00 PM
Itís worth thinking about. Perhaps a phased draw down with a firm date a far bit off might give the Iraq forces time to get at least better than they are now and still help convince nationalist elements that we are really leaving.

06-20-2006, 05:13 PM
I have mixed feeling as to the establishment of a hard date for withdrawl. While it might emboldened our adversaries to hang-on until that date passed; surely it would also "light a fire" under pol-mil leadership to get tasks accomplished before that time. Additionally, if our adversaries did simply go into a holding pattern, as the argument goes, wouldn't this also be a good thing? Wouldnt this give the ISF time to grow in the absence of continued attacks?

At a minimum, I think Congress is well within its right to ask the military or civilian leadership to produce a timeline that articulates when key tasks will be completely, rather than hang their hats on the "long-war" argument.

I have to keep reminding myself that war is an extension of politics, thus if the politicians say it is time to go, it is time to go.

Merv Benson
06-20-2006, 06:06 PM
One of our objectives in Iraq is to make them an ally in the war on terror. I think that Iraq is working very hard toward that objective. While their political process took more time than it should have, the Iraqi forces have taken over a lot of the operation in Iraq and done pretty well for the most part, particularly if you believe what Zarqawi told his thumb drive. These Iraqi forces have stayed on schedule regardless of the dithering in Baghdad. The Introduction of the Iraqi forces in the battle has also resulted in substantial increases in actionable intelligence coming in over the tip line. In fact the tip line is a good leading indicator of our success in Iraq.

I would also point out that our enemy has no date for leaving the battle, and he will continue his war against the US and Iraq regardless of whether we leave the Iraq battle space. I hate to throw up Vietnam, but we have already found that withdrawel dates did not stop the enemy there. I guess they weren't just fighting to get us out of the area.

Finally pulling out of Iraq will send the same signal to al Qaeda that pulling out of Mogudishu did. Bin Laden will think he won and will plan his next attack on the US. If we just relocated to other countries in the Gulf, he would begin attacks in those countries until we left the middle east. My opinion is we should plan on staying in Iraq and working with the Iraqis the way we have the Japanese and the Germans as allies now and in the future. Bases in Iraq will also give us some advantages in dealing with Iran and Syria.