Monday, July 11, 2005

Is There a Timetable For Withdrawing Troops?

A recently leaked British memo reveals that the United States is anticipating that about 100,000 troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by early 2006. The memo says the plan is just emerging but, if true, this would be the first indication that there is indeed a timetable for withdrawing forces from Iraq.

But don’t expect this timetable to be publicly acknowledged—an official timetable is simply not a strategic reality. The last thing you want to do is give the terrorists and insurgents a goal to work towards. Nor is it fair to the troops or the American people to announce a timetable that may not be feasible due to unforeseeable events.

Hopefully, we can significantly increase Iraq’s ability to secure and police itself over the next six months and can then begin brining home our troops. But all this memo tells us is what I hope everyone already knew—that our leaders are committed to bringing the troops home the minute the mission is complete. Unfortunately, that could very well take longer than six more months.

5 Comments:

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Heiuan said...

You know, getting our troops home depends on when the countryside can be pacified to the extent that the Iraqi's can police themselves. Here's my pie in the sky idea of how we could achieve this:

Consider this, according to this site, (http://costofwar.com/numbers.html) we've spent almost 205 billion dollars trying to win the war in Iraq. The insurgents are fighting back because they don't want us there, they repudiate what we stand for and various and sundry other reasons.

One of the bigger reasons the average Iraqi no longer holds America in any esteem is that the war basically tore their world apart.

What if, in order to pacify the general population (not Zarqarwi (sp?)and his ilk) we spread some money around directly?

http://www.arab.de/arabinfo/iraq.htm is a site showing the population of Iraq from 1997 at 22,219,289. What if America GAVE $4000 to each and every Iraqi citizen...man, woman and child. It would cost America $88,877,156,000.00. Just shy of 89 billion dollars.

With that kind of money hitting their economy DIRECTLY, what could the insurgents use as propoganda against us? What wedge would they use to try to stave off economic success? It's my opinion that pumping money into their economy instead of destruction in their country would go much farther to destroy the breeding grounds of the insurgency.

Also, 89 billion dollars is still cheaper than what we've already pumped in to supporting the war militarily.

Ah, well...I guess it's just my accountancy background which tries to find ways to achieve the goal for the least amount of cash.

Feel free to color me naive.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

I think you're on to something. Rebuilding the infrastructure really will be very important to resolving this conflict. Electricity and fresh water are still a huge problem and getting those basic services fully restored would go a long way in calming tensions. I know we've spent a lot of money on rebuilding but I hope we keep at it with renewed vigor.

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Simply writing a check to every single iraqi, while quaint, is certainly a pie in the sky idea. The "insurgents" or terrorists as I like to refer to them would just point at this and say it is the materialistic west buying more land to colonize, as UBL did in his open letter to the American People after the September 11th Attacks.

Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people.

The materialism of the west is hated in much of the middle east. Ideally we would be able to turn them to the ideal of capitalism covertly rather than in the overt method purposed.

On to the memo:

I fear this leak to the media will be far more damaging to US national security than the ever interesting Plame case because it gives the terrorist a wait-it-out mentality. Although it is encouraging that the administration is concerned about pulling troops out, I fear the release of this memo may delay that pullout.

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

James,

I'd agree that cutting checks is not a great solution, but certainly spending more to rebuild would be worthwhile. Then again, rebuilding would be easier if the insurgents/terrorists would stop blowing everything up. There is simply not a one-shot solution but will take multiple efforts on multiple fronts.

As for the memo, the Brits have a serious leak problem. It's one thing to leak memos from a few years ago about plans that have already been put into effect--it's a whole other thing to leak a memo that could compromise strategic planning for the future.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

Heh...I told you it was pie-in-the-sky, lol...

Ah well, that's why I'm an accountant and NOT a government tactician. As you can see, I have no business trying to imagine myself as one. LOL...

Happy Monday, folks.

 

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