Discussing retreat or fighting in Iraq - 7.10.2007.1
Not long ago there was a battle in the Congress to bring troops fighting in Iraq back to America. This was lead by the Democratic party, based in part on the results of the 2006 mid-term elections where Democrats ran on the platform of change in Iraq policy. The Democrats failed to force the President to withdraw immediately, the only concession being the establishment of a timeline where the status of the new surge policy would be evaluated in September 2007.
Today there is renewed efforts to bring the troops back home. While the initial push for this same policy was a partisan effort, largely, 5 months ago this new effort is more bi-partisan. Some are stating they are unwilling to wait to learn the results of the strategic change, and are demanding the troops return. Without regard to political affiliation this is a serious issue with ramifications that will affect America for decades. As such some need to pause and evaluate what we are doing, and attempting to do.
Looking at the extremist views, in particular on the left, there is a call to leave Iraq immediately. Those that have this view seek to turn and run from Iraq. Semantics aside, that is what immediate withdrawal means. Let’s consider the implications of such an action. I will guarantee that upon news of an immediate withdrawal several things will happen. The first is that the news will be broadcast over Al Jazira (an Arabic equivalent of CNN or other cable news networks). Many of the most extreme militant groups in the Middle East watch this program regularly, and would learn of this act immediately. Within hours news of this would reach Afghanistan and Iraq, or more particularly those who are fighting American troops. EVERY nation in the world would see this as a loss for America, and in the Middle East anti-American groups would be dancing in the streets.
Within days of that news, attacks on American troops would increase. That is not a guess, it’s basic military strategy. The opponent is turning their back to flee, which means any aggressive action will have greater effect. The higher level of direct attacks, plus the demoralizing effect on American troops (no one likes to lose a fight, and as a nation that is the strongest in the world, losing to a few small groups is a smack in the face) would be devastating. Any student of military strategy will tell you that attacking retreating forces will cause them to have greater casualties, and confusion. Of course that does not include the fact that opponents of America will rally to Iraq, being in on the winning side is either a matter of self-preservation in a post-war country or a bragging point.
Going beyond the immediate increase of enemy forces, increased attacks, and the change in morale is the question of what happens stateside. Sleeper cells in the United States would be emboldened. New cells will seek to enter the nation. Within 6 months, several attacks will occur in several major cities. This is not random speculation but highly probable actions determined from the stated goals of militants that we are currently fighting, military strategies, and the rush of new recruits to organizations that will claim they cause America to ‘cower in fear and run away’. Looking across the world, and throughout history this always happens to nations that flee a fight of this nature.
Continued in part 2...