Autor: Frederick W. Kagan
Reality Check II. Examining the consequences of 'redeployment.'
The democratic takeover of Congress has predictably led to a rise in calls for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The authors of these calls, like Carl Levin and Joe Biden, frequently maintain that their proposals are not for 'withdrawal' but for 'redeployment.'
No Third Way in Iraq
The United States has two options in Iraq: stay and try to win, or cut, run, and lose. Attempts to chart a middle course--partial withdrawal or redeployment, accelerated hand-over to the Iraqis, political deals with Syria or Iran--ignore the realities of the military situation.
New Thinking, Old Realities
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led to immediate proclamations that everything had changed. President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and countless analysts, soldiers, and journalists declared that we faced a new kind of war and unprecedented challenges to our way of thinking. They argued for transformation of the military, the government, and our entire approach to foreign policy.
More Troops. The Consensus for a Larger Army Is about as Complete as It Could Be
You can hardly read a story about Iraq these days without seeing an Army or Marine officer say he doesn't have enough troops to accomplish his mission. Senior officers respond that this is what junior commanders always say.
A Plan for Victory
The most basic function of any government is to provide security to its people. That the Iraqi government is currently failing at this task in large areas of the country reduces the Iraqi populations willingness and ability to support the counterinsurgency effort, undermines the governments legitimacy, hinders the political process, and derails reconstruction.
Do you know that people -- urging others to engage in attacks like the Madrid bombings and extolling hatred and violence against us -- have a TV channel that broadcasts thanks to a Spanish satellite? Well, it is true. The TV channel is Al-Manar (The beacon in Arab) and the satellite belongs to the Spanish company Hispasat.
Iraq Is Not Vietnam
Critics have equated every significant American military undertaking since 1975 to Vietnam, and the fear of being trapped in a Vietnam-like war has led to the frequent demand that U.S. leaders develop not plans to win wars, but exit strategies, plans to get out of messes.
Finishing the Job
The wise consideration of the US military presence in Iraq can only take place on the basis of these two facts. Such a consideration reveals the extreme dangers that will result from a premature withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and from the establishment of any artificial time-line for such a withdrawal.
Risky Business. The biggest danger in Iraq now is drawing down too quickly
The conditions in Iraq, however, do not seem to support such reductions. A series of spectacular attacks in recent weeks highlight the continuing vigor of the insurgency.
Fighting to Win With the proper strategy, victory in Iraq is far more likely than people think
Is retreat from--or withdrawal from--or defeat in--Iraq inevitable? Almost all opponents of the Bush administration say it is.
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