Twelve Army captains who served in Iraq conclude the following:
Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we’re gone.
This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war — and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.
There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.
I can’t wait to hear what the rightwing and Republicans have to say about these soldiers. What does it take to for some people to resolve their cognitive dissonance? Let the Swiftboating begin…
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Mike, you are so cool.
This was the plan all along.
“Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq’s oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq’s reconstruction.”
This, I think, is the real reason the administration refuses to leave Iraq. To do so would be to admit that all that money we spent, the tax burden we’ve foisted on our children, was essentially flushed down the toilet.
As has been said before we have three alternatives, only one of which is a political reality:-
Go Big: Put enough troops into the country to actually get the job done. About 1 million should do the trick. Of course this means a draft and would probably take 2-3 years to accomplish.
Go Long: Stay as long as is needed with the current force levels. How long? until everyone who hates us has died of old age. Probably 50 years, plus, assuming we don’t make any new enemies.