Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Can we win the War in Iraq?

A couple of years ago, before the invasion of Iraq, Thomas Friedman's articles particularly convinced me to support the war in Iraq. My support was thoroughly lukewarm, but I acknowledged that it might end up ok, if we did it right. I also agree with Friedman's oft stated complaint that we have failed in Iraq because Donald Rumsfeld wanted to fight the war on the cheap. The most important priority in this administration is protecting the tax cuts, not the safety of the American people or even American soldiers.

With his latest article, however, we part ways. He suggests doubling the troops in Iraq.
Maybe it is too late, but before we give up on Iraq, why not actually try to do it right? Double the American boots on the ground and redouble the diplomatic effort to bring in those Sunnis who want to be part of the process and fight to the death those who don't.
The problem with this line of thinking is two fold. One, where are the new soldiers going to come from? Are we just going to double the lengths of stays for national guard and army reserve units? Army recruiting is down.

Secondly, and more important, there's that "maybe." Maybe it is too late. Without a winning strategy, how do you ask more American troops to die for a victory we've already lost.

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