What’s wrong with cutting and running?
The best argument I have seen for cutting and running is right here by former National Security Agency Head Lt. Gen. William Odom.
He points to the 9 arguments people make for staying in Iraq, and then basically debunks them all. With the simple arguement that they are already happening:
1) We would leave behind a civil war. CHECK
2) We would lose credibility on the world stage.CHECK
3) It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy. CHECK
4) Iraq would become a haven for terrorists. CHECK
5) Iranian influence in Iraq would increase. CHECK
6) Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors. CHECK
7) Shiite-Sunni clashes would worsen. CHECK
8) We haven’t fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet. CHECK (Ain't gonna happen on our watch either)
9) Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops. WRONG and CHECK cuz they already want to get out.
Now I have been a long time proponent of the Pottery Barn rule (we broke it we bought it, even though Al Franken has said that isn't Pottery Barn's policy). I do think that we have a moral obligation to fix what we broke. However, recent events and the sheer incompetence of the administration of this war, and the lack of onus taking going on leaves us with very few options.
Gen. Odom's argument is very persuasive. The damage has been done, and Iraq is FUBAR. It just is. We are about to turn the final "corner" with the December 15th elections over there. After that we haven't been spoonfed any more corners, or milestones. So if things don't get magically better with Bagdhad looking a bit like this:
Then all hope is lost and we have no further plan. I know that by being in Iraq we are emboldening terrorists, providing a training-ground for terrorists, and dying at the hands of terrorists. It seems like if this is the front on the war on terror, then we are simply loosing and have no way of winning. Putting more troops in harms way is a stupid thing to do after the history less on of Vietnam.
So simply, pulling out will be the best thing to do. We take the wind out of the terrorists "america is an occupier" argument. The civil war is already happening, I don't think we can do much to stop it either. Because no government under occupation by a foreign party can be considered legitimate by its citizens. Thus, leaving is the best option.
The other argument that fails is that the insurgents will just wait us out and lay low until we get out of there. After which an explosion of violent attacks will occur on the Iraqi people. If this is true than a lull in violence would allow for faster training of the Iraqi troops and by the time we leave they will be better prepared to deal with such violence.
Andrew Duck was on the Majority Report yesterday and made a striking comment. That the Iraqi's are driving around in nissan pick-up trucks. Granted I think it was a metaphor, however, the reason for the Iraqis having crappy equipment, was that the US didn't want them to use their old equipment. Why? Because their old equipment is Russian, and according to Duck, the Iraqis would have to buy some upgrades and parts and such from Russia. That's when the lightbulb in my head went off!
If we leave, why not leave them all our Bradley and Humvees? This seems like a decent idea. It would also garner support from the Military Industrial Complex cuz we will have to build more of them!
Plus the Iraqi troops would be that much more able to defend their homeland. We could then transfer a ton of money back into the United States Defense budget and create some massive military jobs. Plus we cut off Iraqi-Russian trade.
Seems like all sorts of missions accomplished.
Just one solution, but I haven't seen many of these from this administration.
As for leaving Iraq. We don't seem to be taking the heat very well, so perhaps its time to get out of that kitchen.
Seems like an easy plan!