Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Extinction Instead of Evolution

Our presence in Iraq has dropped off a cliff to virtually nothing that matters at this stage of the game. We should have kept tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for years and maybe decades to come. Protecting Iraq from external attack and building rule of law in Iraq are now our main tasks for our military. But we pulled our military out making the latter much more difficult, in particular.

This is no new opinion of mine as I've written for a long time.

I wrote that before the February 2006 mosque attack that signalled the beginning of Iranian- and Syrian-supported sectarian slaughter that nearly drove Iraq to a civil war. By the end of 2005, it seemed like the Iraqi government was gaining the ability to fight the insurgencies and terrorism with reduced direct American help.

But our enemies weren't done yet. With difficulty, we endured that enemy offensive in 2006 and then defeated them in 2007. We actually could see the emergence of the path of evolving our military presence to support for protecting Iraq from internal and external enemies until Iraq could stand on their own without us. Eventually we could have gotten to what we did this month--near total withdrawal--but with Iraq secured.

Our enemies still aren't done yet, even though they are much weaker because of what we achieved while our military was in Iraq. But our premature departure may have again made victory seem within reach to our enemies.

Our military presence should have evolved rather than become extinct. We still have time to reverse this major strategic error by the Obama administration. Does the Obama administration have the courage to reverse this mistake in time to defend what we achieved? Or are they only looking for excuses to avoid being blamed for anything bad that happens before November 2012?