Here's another Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) for you: Iraq troop withdrawals driven by politics.
The U.S. military will recommend the number of troops that can be prudently withdrawn from Iraq -- if any -- but the final decision for the American military presence there will be up to policy officials in Washington. And they will consider political factors as well when they craft a final plan, a top U.S. general in Iraq said Tuesday.
. . .
Putting the Iraq troop question through the Washington policy process -- particularly now that debate has reached such a level of bitterness that members of Congress nearly came to blows on the House floor last week -- is cause for real concern among military officers serving in Iraq and others in the Pentagon.
"Tell them not to pull us out until the job is done," said an Army battalion operations officer in Iraq. "I'd rather stay here another year than have to come back three years from now and start all over."
Troops at the fighting level -- brigades, battalions and companies -- are eager to return to the United States, but many in interviews across the country told United Press International that they did not want to do so at the expense of allowing Iraq to slip into a civil war, or to fall into the hands of thugs, or to be weakened to the point that the central government does not have positive control over every inch of the country.
Any of these possibilities pose real danger of a forced return engagement of American forces, and next time it will be against an even more deeply entrenched enemy.
Amen. None of us over here want to leave the job unfinished, even if it means staying longer or dying over here. Almost everyone in the armed forces volunteered to do a job that no one else wanted to do because we know that "someone" needs to do it. Well I volunteered to do this so some other new father wouldn't have to.
Most importantly, it's important to me to win this one for the guys who have already given their lives for this cause. It's something the American public in general and the politicians in particular don't understand. If it's worth committing American forces to battle over, it's worth seeing it through.
When the US withdrew from Somalia in 1993 after the 3rd Ranger Battalion's harrowing fight in October (of "Blackhawk Down" fame), the Clinton administration was basically saying that all those guys died for something that wasn't worth it.
There's a difference between "wasting" a human life and "spending" a human life. All the men who gave their lives in the Revolutionary War "spent" their life for a worthy cause: 200+ years of freedom for us. I don't want us to "waste" over 2000 lives for a cause that wasn't worth seeing through to victory.
I hope that the politicians listen to the soldiers on the ground. Let us finish what we started, win this thing, and come home with pride.