Time to Get Out of Iraq
American Foreign Policy and Military Intervention
(c) Kevin Kreneck
It is an idea whose time clearly has arrived, as evidenced by the remarkable memo from a senior U.S. military adviser in
Reese, who spent his most recent tour as an adviser to the Iraqi army's
He recommends that we accelerate the pullout so that all U.S. combat troops and virtually all the rest of the Americans now serving in
To stay longer, the colonel wrote, will do little to improve the performance of the Iraqi army but will do much to fuel a growing resentment at our presence among the Iraqi people and military.
Reese wrote that the huge advisory effort that has partnered U.S. combat troops with the Iraqi security forces "isn't yielding benefits commensurate with the effort and is now generating its own opposition."
What makes Col. Reese's blunt observations and recommendations even more cogent is that he is one of the
The Reese memo, which the Pentagon says was written in early July and was not meant for distribution outside the U.S. command in
Reese said that all our efforts to plant the seeds of a professional military culture in the Iraqi forces have failed. "The military culture of the Baathist-Soviet model under
He goes on to delineate a score of points to prove that the Iraqi army isn't very good by our standards but they are good enough to do what their political leadership demands.
At this point, the colonel declares, it is time for us to declare victory and go home before things get a whole lot worse.
The Pentagon, predictably, dismisses the Reese memo as one man's personal view and one that is already outdated. Things between the American and Iraqi forces and governments are much better now than they were on
Uh-huh. Sure they are.
We have suggested a speedup in our
Our combat troops have now withdrawn to the huge central bases where life is much better and the work less of a life-and-death matter.
Why do we need our troops sitting there for another two years at such a phenomenal cost, when their hosts, the Iraqi people, don't want them there anymore?
We have other, more pressing issues to deal with at home and abroad. It is going to take time to reset our
We are presently doing a temporary but costly three-year expansion of
Our eight-year war in
The only things that can happen in
It's high time to get while the getting's good.
In Iraq, tension was reported to be increasing between the Americans and the Iraqi military and security forces, who were supposed to take over the Americans' responsibilities. Move to another front: Pakistan-Afghanistan. Here there was also supposed to be a straightforward job to do: drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan, into the Tribal Areas of the Pakistan border. There, the Pakistan army, with American urging and help, would defeat and disarm them.
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by William Pfaff
The Israeli press reports with alarm that the United States has threatened to reduce by $1 billion the guarantee the U.S. Treasury customarily provides for Israel state borrowings, which assure them the best commercial terms. This is evidence that the Obama government is serious about halting Israel's colonization of the Palestinian territories -- and about imposing, rather than merely inviting, a two-state Middle East solution.
Time to Get Out of Iraq
(c) 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.