A report on Iraq that fuels one lib nightmare--a major win for the U.S. in our fight against terrorism.
Iraq's security 'remarkably better'
Joint Chiefs chairman hints at drawdown
Thursday, July 17, 2008
"The nation's top military officer Wednesday declared the security situation in Iraq 'remarkably better,' so good in fact that he expects to recommend more U.S. troop reductions this fall if conditions hold.
"Just back from a tour of two war fronts - Iraq and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region - Adm. Michael G. Mullen said he expected to witness improvements in Baghdad and across Iraq, but was surprised by how well a 17-month-old U.S. troop surge has worked.
"'I won't go so far as to say that progress in Iraq, from a military perspective, has reached a tipping point or it is irreversible,' Adm. Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said at a press conference with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. 'But security is unquestionably and remarkably better.'
"The last of five reinforcement combat brigades have left Iraq, leaving behind 15 such units. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, a key architect of the February 2007 surge and recently confirmed by the Senate to lead U.S. Central Command, has called for several months of assessment before deciding whether to reduce troop levels below about 145,000.
"Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave a positive review of the security situation in Iraq on Wednesday, but were less optimistic in their assessment of Afghanistan.
"But Adm. Mullen's statement that 'I expect to be able early in the fall to recommend to the secretary and to the president further troop reductions' is a clear signal that top commanders in Iraq think a continued drawdown is warranted.
"The two most important questions in the equation are: Can the Iraqi Security Forces inherit and win the fight, and is the insurgency nearly defeated?
"Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that his country had defeated al Qaeda in Iraq, the Osama bin Laden terrorist franchise that at one time controlled much of Anbar province west of Baghdad and sent suicide bombers to the capital at will.
"The administration now reports that violence in Iraq has plummeted from 1,400 incidents a week to fewer than 400 nationwide."
ah, the good old WW II and Abe analogies
and a hole in the bucket of your logic
"Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine OBL would use planes as weapons..."
- the duhbya team
McCain was there...
"I heart Bush/McCain" t-shirt on
and come to Denver2008,
we promise not to hose you...
"Your deep felt thoughts about the Iraqi people and your deep felt hatred for Saddam from BEFORE 9/11 will be evident upon proof supplied by you."
Your challenge appears to reflect a perception that we must defend ourselves within excessively limited parameters. The error of this can be understood by looking at comparable examples from our past.
--Would you feel as justified in asking FDR in May 1944 to prove he had "deep felt hatred" for Adolph Hitler BEFORE Dec 7, 1941? If he could not, would you have said we should pull our troops from Europe (mostly Italy at that time), and "save" the costs of D-Day and subsequent troop stationing/occupation?
--Would you have demanded proof from Abe Lincoln in Jan 1865 that he hated slavery on Apr 12, 1861? If he could not, would you have opposed passage of the 13th, 14th, or 15th Amendments to the Constitution?
For Iraq, applying such misguided standards would have tied one hand as we swatted a terrorist here, another there until more attacks succeeded.
Such superficial thinking is a weakness of lib national defense and a reason for concern to those of us who fear the flat dem learning curve.
You know, if we put 30,000 troops in Detroit or L.A. we could bring down violence there as well. The 'surge' was a good idea. Too bad the 'war' wasn't prosecuted correctly from the onset. Might have saved a few thousand American / coalition lives not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis.
Of course, those who believe war is the first option rather than the last will always use body counts as a sign of progress.