Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Report by the U.S. Army War College

The Christian Science Monitor has a great report about a 67 page document released by two senior analysts from the U.S. Army War College that says a US troop presence in Iraq cannot be sustained more than three years.

The Christian Science Monitor is an actual newspaper and has little to do with Christianity. They are an independent newspaper that has won many national awards and is read internationally. For more information visit this link.

The analysts agree with President Bush that an early withdrawal from the region would embolden the insurgency, however they also state that,

"It is no longer clear that the United States will be able to create (Iraqi) military and police forces that can secure the entire country no matter how long US forces remain."

Basically, this information can only lead someone to believe that the United States is "stuck between a rock and a hard place."

The story also references an interview with a top military official done on National Public Radio:

"In an interview Friday morning on National Public Radio's Morning Edition news program, Lt. Gen Odom also said that the consequences of the US invasion of Iraq had helped two of American's opponents: Al Qaeda, because it gave them a place to train followers in terrorist tactics, and Iran, because it did the one thing that Tehran had been unable to do itself - get rid of Saddam Hussein. Odom also said there will be chaos in Iraq 'whether we pull our now or in eight or ten years.' If the US leaves now, however, he believes some positive benefits will result, such as Al Qaeda would be 'run out of Iraq.'"

Why is all of this important? Why do we place so much importance on Iraq? Well there are many reasons, here are just a few that I can think of:

1. Our beloved soldiers are over there.

2. By being in Iraq, we may be attacking the "leave and branches" of terrorism. Instead we should be attacking the roots, and that may or may not involve military action.

3. The Iraq War represents a major fault in U.S. foreign policy. Iraq may be a single state, but in that sovereign state are two nations: the Sunni and Shia. The report referenced in this post also asserts that one of the main issues is that the new Iraqi Government may not be able to maintain cooperation between themselves as a multi-ethnic government or in the Iraqi Forces as a multi-ethnic military.

There is no easy answer here, and I do not envy President Bush, but I do not believe that our continued presense in Iraq, unfortunately, will amount to much in years to come.

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