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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Is Defeat Inevitable?


The Weekly Standard's article Fighting to Win by Frederick W. Kagan makes a great point that I have been harping on for quite a while.
IS RETREAT FROM--or withdrawal from--or defeat in--Iraq inevitable? Almost all opponents of the Bush administration say it is. As Rep. Jack Murtha put it in mid-November, when demanding the "immediate redeployment of U.S. troops" consistent with their safety, "The United States cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring the troops home." This was echoed more recently by Democratic chief Howard Dean: "The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that, unfortunately, is just plain wrong." Advocates of withdrawal point to continuing attacks on coalition and Iraqi targets and to the steady, somber flow of U.S. casualties, as well as the increasing fear that our Army will break under the strain of prolonged occupation. -source

Iraq today, only resembles VietNam in any way, because we have factions within our own government who desperately wish it to be so. They have tried, with the collusion of a sympathetic media, to portray this war as already lost. It simply is not true.
The irony is that demands for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces do not spring from any particular recent bad news from Iraq (there has been little) or justified alarm about the Army's ability to sustain itself (high levels of retention continue to make up for problems with recruitment). On the contrary, the most recent news from Iraq is promising. American strategy has improved, and prospects for success are better than they have ever been. -source

If you listen to the left however, you would think these things weren't true. You would think that Moral was at an all time low, and that casualties were at their highest level ever.

Interesting Fact:
As of today the total U.S. Troop Death Count stands at 2142(source), by comparison, we lost nearly 9500 in one day in Normandy (source),and Vietnam's total of 58,226(source), averaging about 5 times the casualty rate. We are far from a quagmire, but we do run the danger of proceeding into one. It is solely in our own hands.
THE URGENCY of an American withdrawal from Iraq is no greater now than it has been for some time, and those most loudly demanding immediate withdrawal have no convincing evidence to support their demands. In his passionate speech, Murtha quoted selectively from the statements of CENTCOM officials to present a picture of Iraq in which resentment of U.S. forces appeared to be growing and to be deepening the insurgency. "I have concluded," said Murtha, "the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress. Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, the Saddamists, and the foreign jihadists." In response to questions, he repeated: "It's time to bring [U.S. troops] home. . . . They're the targets. They have become the enemy! . . . We're uniting the enemy against us!"

Mr. Kagan goes on to say...
MURTHA AND HIS ALLIES, then, ignore the fact that, while the Americans are a common enemy of the insurgents, the Iraqi government is also a common enemy--and a much more threatening one for most of the rebel groups. The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is simply not the primary problem in that country, and the removal of those forces would therefore not end the insurgency.

Data about insurgent attacks in Iraq do not support any sense of urgency about withdrawing either. The October constitutional referendum saw significantly fewer attacks than the January 2005 elections: 299 attacks on January 30 generating 213 casualties, versus 89 attacks and 49 casualties on October 15. Insurgents attacked only 19 election sites in October; in January they struck 88. Although the significance of such data is not clear, and other trend lines are less promising than this, there is certainly no case to be made that the situation is worsening enough to support urgent demands for immediate withdrawal. On the contrary, it appears that significant progress is being made.

Enough is enough, we need to stand by our soldiers, and let them finish what we have tasked them to do, and let the Generals, not the Politicians, run the war this time, lest we repeat the mistakes of Vietnam.

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