Skip to comments.Iraq’s National Sovereignty Day
Posted on 06/30/2009 11:10:33 AM PDT by Starman417
It should be a victory day for all; but not without cautious optimism, nervous trepidation, and healthy skepticism.
Early reports that General Odierno felt the deadline should slip a bit gave way to more recent reports that he was comfortable meeting the deadline. This reassured me somewhat, until I re-read this assessment by Stephen Biddle. He offers a sober assessment of a number of ways the Iraq project could unravel, and a grim reminder that, as bad as Iraq has been, there are many ways that it could become much worse if we misplay our hand.
And in fact, Biddle intimates that the United States may very well be in the process of misplaying its hand by hewing too rigidly to the SoFA withdrawal schedule. The money quote: "The most effective option for prevention [of renewed violence in Iraq] is to go slow in drawing down the U.S. military presence in Iraq." Biddle recognizes that slowing the withdrawal would impose costs -- strain on the armed forces and, perhaps a greater hurdle, political embarrassment for Obama and for the Maliki government. But he reminds us that letting the positive trajectory in Iraq reverse imposes great costs, too, and thus concludes: "On balance, paying the cost of a slower withdrawal, while expensive, may ultimately be the cheaper approach."
A reader of Thomas Ricks' blog sends this:
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net ...
Cool. Thank you George W. Bush.
Now, when can we have ours?