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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pullback but No Timeline

Wow, why didn't Bush think of that!!!! According to NYT and Wapo,
the Iraq Study Group will be releasing their report and in it are their recommendations, one of which is to pullback, but without a timeline. Sound familiar. All this time and money spent on a bipartisan opinion that basically takes 100 pages to say, keep up what we are doing.

But the recommendation includes a series of conditions and qualifications that would govern any drawdown of forces, the source said. "It describes a process by which combat brigades could be pulled out, but there wasn't a specific timetable on it," he said. The source demanded anonymity because members of the bipartisan panel have been pledged to secrecy until the report is officially issued Dec. 6.


The recommendations in the still-secret report were agreed to after three days of closed-door discussions. The report, which is about 100 pages, will offer a comprehensive look at regional political and security issues as well as the troubled U.S. deployment in Iraq, according to sources close to the panel.

For weeks, the panel has debated reaching out to both Syria and Iran, an approach that the Bush administration has so far firmly rejected. Commission members have also backed the idea of a regional conference to bring all the neighbors into the process of stabilizing Iraq.

Now, I already explained why negotiating with Iran is a bad idea in my post "Would YOU negotiate with Hitler", you don't negotiate with a madman, a deal with only one party acting in good faith is not a deal at all.

Under the recommendations of the commission, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), the emphasis of the U.S. military presence in Iraq would shift from fighting the insurgency and containing sectarian violence to backing up Iraqi security forces dealing with those problems.

Once again, hasn't this been the ultimate goal all along? The problem has been getting to that point and getting the Iraqi's trained to the point where we COULD get to that point. Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzz!!!

This approach would place less emphasis on combat operations and more on logistics, intelligence and training and advising Iraqi units. Also, a large residual combat force would be required to protect all the personnel involved in those operations and to provide a security guarantee to the Iraqi government.

Thus, even if the combat forces were withdrawn, the person familiar with the group's thinking noted, the recommendation envisions keeping in Iraq a "substantial" U.S. military force.

Some people knowledgeable about the group's deliberations said it might be possible in a year or two to halve the U.S. military presence, to about 70,000 troops. Earlier reports that said that the group simply had decided to call for withdrawing combat forces from Iraq were "garbled," the source familiar with the panel's recommendations added. "It wasn't as specific as that, and it was a lot more conditional," he said. He declined to discuss those conditions.

"We reached a consensus, which in itself is remarkable," said another source close to the 10-member panel of prominent Republicans and Democrats. Divisions had been deep in the run-up to this week's final deliberations.

The findings dovetail with recommendations being considered by the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are conducting their own review of Iraq policy. That group is leaning toward an option that involves a brief surge of troops in Iraq, followed by a partial drawdown and a shift from combat operations to training and advising, according to sources familiar with the process. Troops would remain in Iraq for five to 10 years under this option, which is known within the military as "go long."

All in all, even the study group realizes what the left and the Dems seem unwilling to even consider, that stabilization is a must, total defeat is not an option. Strategic tactics are constantly going to need to be changed until we find (yes, that DIRTY word) a "winning" strategy.

Amy Proctor has a must see piece showing General Abizaid doing an interview. (she has the video)

Final exchange:

LOGAN: We hear very little about victory in Iraq these days, we hear a lot about how to manage the defeat..

ABIZAID: (cocking head and looking puzzled) What defeat?

LOGAN: (correcting herself) How to minimize the defeat....

ABIZAID: That’s your word. Defeat is your word, not my word. Can Iraq stabilize? Yes, Iraq can stabilize.

LOGAN: Is that victory now, is that what victory will look like in Iraq just “stability”? That’s what we’re aiming for?

ABIZAID: Victory in Iraq is the nation at peace with its neighbors. And Iraq hasn't been at peace with its neighbors in a long time. It is a country that respects the rights of its citizens. It's a country that can defend itself. It's a country that's not a safe haven for terrorists. Exactly what form of government they choose to develop I think would be a uniquely Iraqi solution to the problem. But the fact that they will come to a solution where they've gotta take into account the rights and desires not only of ethnic groups of individual, rights and desires, is actually a revolutionary change in the Middle East.

LOGAN: Increasingly in this country, people are talking about how to manage defeat in Iraq. There's a loss of support for the war very clearly shown at the present. Not a loss of support for the military or for the soldiers.

ABIZAID: Again, let me say I don't think people in the country are trying to figure out how to manage defeat in Iraq. I think people in the country are trying to figure out how to manage our involvement in Iraq so that Iraq can stabilize. You just can't walk away from these problems of the Middle East and hope that things are gonna get better. Look, many people have said we're already at the beginning of World War III.

LOGAN: Are we?

ABIZAID: No. We're not. And our involvement in the region will prevent it.

Check out the video, well worth the watch... this is our military telling us how it REALLY is, not politicians, not the MSM, a General and a smart one at that.

Abizaids words to Clinton:

As General Abizaid stated to Senator Clinton, “When I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I’m in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to my soldiers and Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing,” said General John Abizaid, the head of US Army’s Central Command or CENTCOM.

That sums it up perfectly, The Dems feel despair, they have already given up, the military who is in Iraq, does not feel despair, they see the progress that is being made...the progress that certain people in Washington refuse to acknowledge.

Jules Crittenden has a very good take on this, check out his views.

In another article from Wapo, they quote Bush making it clear that drawdown at this time is completely unrealistic.

AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 30 -- President Bush delivered a staunch endorsement of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday morning and dismissed calls for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq as unrealistic, following a summit meeting in which the two leaders discussed speeding up the turnover of security responsibilities.

All in all, it seems that we are going to continue to try to stabilize Iraq, as we should.... to leave Iraq before the job is done, would simply lead to us having to go back at a later date to an even messier situation. It isn'tpretty, it isn't ideal, but it is the right thing to do.

Lebanon should have taught us the danger of leaving a job half done, as should have Vietnam, in which our leaving before the job was done cost the Vietnamese 2.25 MILLION lives.

Others discussing this:
186 k per second has Iraq Study Group-Cut and stay the course before we run? (Gotta love this guy)
Blue crab Boulevard on Pushing Back.
Sister Toldjah says show us the plan, man.
The Adventures of Chester has a followup on Going Native.
Power Line on the Gathering Swarm.
Captain's Quarters thinks it is a Strange Consensus on Iraq.
Hot Air.

Related Posts:
Appeasement Doesn't Work.
Ramifications of a Job Half Done.
Ramifications of a Job Half Done Part #2.
Definition of Civil War: Is it Exactly a "Bad" Thing?
Would YOU Negotiate with Hitler?