Again we are treated to the musings of noted national security expert George Will on the art of the retreat. Oh wait, what's that you say? Will is not a national security or military expert? He is a political commentator who dabbles in baseball? Hmmm, that's curious because this poorly reasoned drivel is printed under his byline.
"There are still civilians being killed in Iraq. We still have people that are attempting to attack the new Iraqi order and the move towards democracy and a more open economy. So we still have some work to do."
No, we don't, even if, as Jaffe reports, the presence of 130,000 U.S. troops "serves as a check on Iraqi military and political leaders' baser and more sectarian instincts." After almost six and a half years, and 4,327 American dead and 31,483 wounded, with a war spiraling downward in Afghanistan, it would be indefensible for the U.S. military -- overextended and in need of materiel repair and mental recuperation -- to loiter in Iraq to improve the instincts of corrupt elites. If there is worse use of the U.S. military than "nation-building," it is adult supervision and behavior modification of other peoples' politicians......
If, in spite of contrary evidence, the U.S. surge permanently dampened sectarian violence, all U.S. forces can come home sooner than the end of 2011. If, however, the surge did not so succeed, U.S. forces must come home sooner.
You wanna explain why that is George? I mean I was of the impression that Iraq was a very important country smack dab in the middle of the most volatile region on the planet, and that ensuring it doesn't devolve into chaos might be in our interest. Heck who knows George, despite your doom-mongering it may not go completely to shit. Heck those of us with some actual expertise in counterinsurgency and war could see quite clearly that there would be an escalation of violence as US forces withdrew as the main guarantors of security. We even foresaw that there would be a need to curb the baser and more sectarian instincts of rivals within the nascent Iraqi government. As a matter of fact we understood that was a vital function we would provide through training and by example. That is why we are transitioning to a force that actually specifically focuses on inculcating a professionalism in these forces that allows them to transcend internal strife and function as a national team.
Of course it is complicated and difficult, hell if it was easy they wouldn't need our help. But the idea that because Iran has influence over the Shia, and the Sunnis are still a minority and the Kurds are not even really still part of Iraq, you posit that we should abandon the very real progress we made. What a dumb fucking idea. Was the Surge the last effort we are permitted to make? Oh well we did the surge and now things aren't perfect "RUN!" No George, what we do is adapt our strategy to the very foreseen events you are now Chicken Littling about. Yes we have plans for these contingencies and the pros who do this stuff are implementing them as you babble.
I'm curious when you picked this arbitrary point for departure, or when you decide that doddering, contrarian war nay-sayer was a good role for you? You seem to be attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I have a suggestion for you George, I know you are enjoying all the adulation for your moral courage in standing up for the cause of defeat in two wars, but really STFU and go back to the ball park.