Support for Iraq War Slipping
Nearly 60% of Americans are now dissatisfied with the War in Iraq. That’s no surprise. Since the elections, there has been no grand bit of good news to remind Americans that progress is being made. But there have been a lot of terrorist and insurgent attacks to remind us of the costs.
I think the loss of support is going to be a problem that continues in the months ahead. Americans are a strong-willed bunch but Iraq is requiring a lot more stamina than I think most of us expected. After awhile, more and more people are going to question whether we actually can be successful in building a democracy in Iraq.
What the poll doesn’t seem to have asked was how many Americans thought we should still stay. Im, for one think it would be a disaster to pull out now. We must provide security until after a constitution is created and a permanent government elected. Some have suggested we turn the security operations over to UN forces but what group of UN nations could supply enough troops with enough training to handle operations? Unfortunately, it is either the Americans and our current coalition allies or no one.
However, no American wants to see this war go on indefinitely. We will likely have bases in Iraq for many, many years as long as the Iraqi government permits us to be there (we’ve been in South Korea for over 50 years, remember), but we do need to get the national guard units and reserves out of Iraq as soon as conditions allow.
Is there an exit strategy? I hope so. Obviously we’re not going to broadcast an exact date for withdrawal as it would give the insurgents/terrorists a date to work towards. But slow withdrawal should be on the table. And I have a feeling that if Bush and the Pentagon don’t’ start publicly addressing the issue of an exit strategy then the support for the war will continue to decrease.
We must stay for now. But we can’t stay forever.