Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Withdrawal Worries

Everyone's setting up the withdrawal option: Biden's op/ed, Condi's comments, speculation about Bush's speech next week in Anapolis. Here's how the LATimes puts it:
Even as debate over the Iraq war continues to rage, signs are emerging of a convergence of opinion on how the Bush administration might begin to exit the conflict.
But even the libs in downtown LA see the potential for problems:
The developments seemed to lay the groundwork for potentially large withdrawals in 2006 and 2007, consistent with scenarios outlined by Pentagon planners. The approach also tracks the thinking of some centrist Democrats, such as Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the senior representative of his party on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Some analysts say the emerging consensus might have less to do with conditions in Iraq than the deployment's long-term strain on the U.S. military. And major questions about the readiness of Iraq's fledgling security forces remain, posing risks for any strategy that calls for an accelerated American withdrawal.
Hello? Anyone for taking a look back at history so we don't repeat our errors? The fall of Saigon led to Pol Pot, North Vietnamese "re-education" camps and repression in Burma. Leaving Iraq too soon in the early 90s led to the continuation of the Iraq debate in the early 00s.

Here's an appropriate word of caution, from No End But Victory (Show them the motto: "First peace, then withdrawal") --
Make no mistake: If American troops withdraw before the Iraqi security forces are prepared to take care of themselves, we will lose Iraq to complete barbarism. And if that happens, the Administration will have won itself no friends–either among those demanding withdrawal from the very beginning or among those demanding that we stick it out until the job is done. Worst of all, American security interests, prestige and credibility will suffer a monumental setback.