Saturday, April 12, 2008

Time to go, or time to surge again?

If John McCain's view of the Iraq War is to prevail, he needs many articles like this one. From an embedded reporter, it calls upon Congress to learn the lessons of the war and send MORE troops not less.

This leads us to the most out-of-date aspect of the Senate debate: the argument about the pace of troop withdrawals. Precisely because we have made so much political progress in the past year, rather than talking about force reduction, Congress should be figuring ways and means to increase troop levels. For all our successes, we still do not have enough troops. This makes the fight longer and more lethal for the troops who are fighting. To give one example, I just returned this week from Nineveh province, where I have spent probably eight months between 2005 to 2008, and it is clear that we remain stretched very thin from the Syrian border and through Mosul. Vast swaths of Nineveh are patrolled mostly by occasional overflights.
The problem, of course, is that American patience for the war is almost spent. Fighting any war is always a balance between the needs of the war and the resources of the people. A war between "good enough", and the perfect solution. Some charge the reason we're here now, is an unwillingness to accept "good enough" and an attempt to impose American Ideals on an Iraq without an American history to build upon.

I am not sure which is right, but I think now is the time for McCain and Obama/Clinton to truly have the debate. Otherewise, it will be more politics where neither side can compromise with the other. And compromise in Iraq is a good part of what has turned this War around.

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