May 17, 2007

Iraq (i)

The Bush Administration has to date been resolute in its intent to bolster troop numbers in Iraq in spite of strong opposition within U.S. political circles, chiefly within Democratic ranks. The latter have offered another strategy, which, mostly has failed to convince the President. This Blog is not about to take sides in American Affairs of State however the world media’s reporting in relation to this issue has been at best, overly simplistic giving casual observers the understanding that Republican means staying on current course and Democrat means ‘cut n run’.

A win by the Democrats in 2008 will not result in the U.S. abandoning Iraq. More accurately, it is my understanding that Democratic candidates agree that a continued military presence in the region is necessary on condition that it supports several objectives.
  • To continue training Iraqi security forces

  • To continue the fight against international terrorism

  • To continue providing logistical support to Iraqi forces

  • To provide effective border security

  • To have in place a rapid response if circumstances compromise the above objectives, (such a force can be located within the region) and, if I may add a further objective for my part,

  • To engage in effective consultations with Iraq’s neighbors principally to address the instabilities imposed by Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia

To meet such objectives would mean anywhere up to 80,000 U.S. military personnel remaining within the region. The Democrats are all too aware of how the world may view a Vietnam style withdrawal but are increasingly conscious of polls showing over 70% of Americans (together with some Republicans and former Generals) having doubts about the war.

American prestige cannot afford a chaotic Iraqi pull out. Perhaps the best option would be one that satisfies moderate Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike – strategy not too dissimilar to the Obama, Clinton proposal in accordance with the pointers listed above.

I would not hesitate to endorse such a policy as it maintains a strong, albeit different, military presence. I would add however, that any altered stratagem be an adjunct to genuinely constructive political engagement with all players within the Middle East insofar as this may be possible.

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Lauren said...

I knew you were gonna post about Iraq sooner or later. :)

Well, the Democrats have mostly taken a stance to withdraw troops asap with their top two runners (Clinton and Obama) saying that if elected, they will seek to "Set a timetable for immediate troop pullout" (Clinton) and "pull troops out asap" (Obama). This is true even of some Republicans. There are those who strongly oppose the war but would be willing to negotiate a timetable for troop pullout and others who want to get us out quickly all together.

I wrote an article kinda related to this on my blog:
Let me know what you think.

Lauren said...

Oh I did forget to mention that there are still Republicans who believe in the war and want to continue our presence there with more troops. More troops=less time there in my eyes. The sooner we win the war, the sooner our boys get to come home. I'm for that.