As long as President Bush is still in the White House, it’s hard to imagine that the Democrats in Congress can get enough support from the Republicans on the other side to abandon the war in Iraq entirely or just to de-fund it. There will be a few defectors. We have already seen them start to appear on the Republican side. But when it comes down to calling for withdrawal or defunding the war, that’s where their resolve disappears. That won’t always be the case. I don’t know how much longer the President has to keep the surge going, but the famously impatient media and some of their enablers in Congress will ensure that it is not as long as our military needs to succeed.
I don’t know what the answer is for Iraq, but if we are going to leave soon, then we need to have a honest discussion about what will happen after we leave. There will be serious consequences to leaving Iraq without stabilizing it, and we need to decide whether we could stand by and watch the chaos happen without doing anything about it. If we can, then there is no reason to keep troops in Iraq. If we can’t, then it makes more sense to finish what we started in Iraq.
Those who advocate immediate withdrawal from Iraq do so because they think that’s what the American people want. They look at the unpopularity of this war and the frustration with its progress. Maybe they honestly believe that as Harry Reid once said, “the war is lost”. Maybe they don’t believe Iraq could get any worse than it is now after we leave. It could, and we should acknowledge that possibility and be willing to deal with the aftermath of our withdrawal if this is the direction for this war that we ultimately choose.
Robert Haddock from TCS Daily takes a look at our history of military intervention and comes up with a few sobering conclusions on the future of our foreign policy after Iraq. Well worth reading, even if you believe the surge needs more time to succeed.