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A Soldier’s plea
Posted by: mcq on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We've recently had a spate of soldier written editorials such as the one written by 7 members of the 82nd Airborne Division which essentially supported redeployment.

Here's another sincere article from a National Guard officer who is working with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the north of Iraq. As you will see, his experience has been tough but encouraging. He obviously understands the amount of work still required of this mission. His conclusion, however, says what needs to be said about as well and as elegantly as it can be said:
Politicians and thoughtful citizens alike decry US losses, and no one denies the fact that even a single American life is a high price to pay for the security of a foreign country half a world away. I've attended my fair share of "ramp ceremonies" where a thousand soldiers stand for hours at the position of attention well past midnight and salute a fallen comrade's casket being carried aboard a plane for the final journey home. With the possible exception of family, no one feels the loss any keener than a fellow squad or platoon mate.

The reasons America got involved in Iraq may be suspect. But US forces are here, parts of the country are still broken, and regional security may hang in the balance if we don't stay and help the Iraqis fix it. The effort is succeeding in the north, and it can in the rest of Iraq as well. America's forefathers had help from other nations when the United States was born. Allow us to continue to help Iraq be reborn.
I second that request.
 
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But US forces are here
Agreed.

I don’t want to let the people who got us into this off the hook, because I believe it is historically necessary to hold them to account, but somewhere along the line, we have to separate noting that this was a bad idea, and we can politically punish those who executed it, but in the meantime, we can’t change the past and WE ARE THERE, so we need to allow the military to do their job, and give the political changes some time to happen.

The problem always comes back to this, how much time?

We could theoretically be stuck in an Iraq that is neither a failed state, nor a stable state, for a decade or more, with people constantly arguing that we are/are not making progress.

Is the answer to this question simply a war/anti war equation, that we should stay until it is a stable state, no matter how long it takes, or we should redeploy now, period?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/26/2007
Blogspammers!!!
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
The problem always comes back to this, how much time?

We could theoretically be stuck in an Iraq that is neither a failed state, nor a stable state, for a decade or more, with people constantly arguing that we are/are not making progress.

Is the answer to this question simply a war/anti war equation, that we should stay until it is a stable state, no matter how long it takes, or we should redeploy now, period?
If you believe that either progress is being made, or that progress can be made, then the answer is, maintain the effort their with whatever resources we can muster.

I said the following back in May
http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=5964
the real test is going to be leaving the Iraqis to take care of their own security. The biggest problems up till now have been,

1) Lack of manpower - you can see this in statements from many sources that insurgents/terrorists returned because Iraqi and/or American forces got pulled to a different province/town.

2) Lack of competence - there’s no doubt that the Iraqi security forces are fledgling, and have often not performed up to our hopes.

3) Lack of the political will - the Iraqi government has been to meddlesome and hesitant in a number of instances.

4) Lack of local buy-in - in the places that are relatively successful the local power structures (sheiks/tribes) are engaged with the solution.
and June of last year...
One thing that has always preceeded the successfull "clear and hold" operations has been the buy-in of the local politicians and tribal leaders. That buy-in is critical, and it sounds like we finally have it for Baghdad and another larger city that starts with a B (can’t recall which at the moment.)

Without this buy-in, these operations would be perceived as the Americans imposing their will upon the people.
Iraqi manpower and competence is increasing, and the locals are buying into the solution.

The political will is increasingly there, though slowly and not to the pervasive extent that we wish it to be.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The political will is increasingly there, though slowly and not to the pervasive extent that we wish it to be.
With over half of our people, particularly our "leaders", screeching for immediate withdrawal, do you blame them for feeling we’re deep into the process of abandoning them?
 
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