Associate Editor's Notes: Originally posted on 1/25/2007 on The Fairbank Report.
25 January 2007
3065 GIs KIA Since 2003; War Unwinnable; New Strategy Proposed BelowBy Jonathan Fairbank, Editor-in-Chief
Like most Americans in 2003, I supported the war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Colin Powell's dog-and-pony show at the UN convinced me that we needed to rid Iraq of WMD.
By 2004, I still supported the war efforts even though the Iraq Survey Group, which was appointed by the Bush Administration, conclusively found that there was no WMD in Iraq. I believed, then, that Hussein could have used his oil wealth to pursue WMD and thence share these deadly weapons with Al-Qaeda. I supported Bush in the General Election of 2004.
By the summer of 2005, I was feeling queasy; yet, I was hoping for the best. I still supported the Administration's overall efforts in Iraq.
By late 2006, I have privately withdrawn support for the war. And now on the 25th day of 2007, I am publicly withdrawing my support for the war because it is unwinnable.
The Maliki government is weaker than the Weimar Republic and totally corrupt.
If we cannot quell the insurgency with the current force of 140,000 men on the ground, an additional "surge" of 21,000 men by Cartesian logic will not succeed in blunting the brutality of the present insurgency/terrorist campaigns.
The United States is caught between a rock and a hard place. Colin Powell was right when he said, "If you broke it; you own it." A withdrawal from Iraq will mean certain collapse of the Maliki government and result in an anti-Western Shiite government perhaps led by Moqatar Al-Sadir. Yet, remaining in Iraq will assuredly mean continued American casualties and sustained bleeding of the Treasury to the tune of $200 billion a year.
Reluctantly, I propose a quick withdrawal from Iraq and redeploy these troops along the United States borders in order to avoid terrorist infiltration into the American homeland. I propose using the current resources being spent on the war efforts to boost counter-terrorist monitoring and to thwart terrorist plots via covert military actions and improved intelligence gathering and sharing among allies.
This is not an optimal solution. But it is one that may just lead to a different result. On the other hand, as a matter of fait accompli, staying the course will lead to more Iraqi and American deaths as well as continued depletion of the Treasury without significantly altering the current situation.
An honest assessment by a fair-minded person will probably arrive at the aforementioned conclusion.
The difficult task at hand is to convince a certain obdurate cowboy-president of this harsh reality.