A New Impetus is Needed
We must win. Retreat would be disastrous to our credibility and our security, and massively encouraging to the Islamic Fascists worldwide. Retreat would make a mockery of our efforts in Iraq, cast a bitter feeling of uselessness for our nearly 3,000 dead and 21,000 wounded, and render ineffective our financial commitments of over a half trillion dollars. No country could entertain trusting us after a pullout from Iraq. We would have demonstrated our unwillingness to win, despite having the means to do so.
We will incur another Vietnam-type of loss, because of the loud and unseeing passivism in America, not because of our military.
We do have the means to win. We have not used these means to their fullest. I will cite several examples. We have not prepared adequately in advance for a large-scale and long-term military presence in Iraq. There are a number of consequences of this failure. We do not have enough troops on the ground to pacify and retain control of the cities, even Baghdad, thus allowing nighttime placement of IEDs on the roadways. We do not have enough force in Iraq to close the borders effectively, and to interdict the stream of supplies, arms and money coming in from Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Worse, we do not have enough force to stand down Syria and Iran if they decide to enter the fight, and similarly, we do not have the resolve to threaten to attack supply bases in Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia unless they immediately halt support for Iraqi insurgents. Cutting off their supplies would rapidly reduce the insurgent’s ability to operate.
Our troops have been seriously inhibited by strict rules of engagement--ROE. In our zeal to be perfect warriors, we have not engaged groups that had interspersed themselves in the civilian population. We have held fire when there was a remote chance that those in front of us were not the enemy, thus allowing many insurgents to escape their just end. We have sent out patrols into areas where we knew there would have been IEDs planted the night before under the cover of darkness, and in the absence of sufficient night patrols to inhibit the planting.
We should be building up our forces to the point that both Syria and Iran would become quite intimidated, and we should be striking their supply points from the air, and interdicting their Iraqi supply routes in force. We should be inundating Baghdad with troops, sweeping and occupying it block by block. We should be very wary of giving Iraqi troops leeway without our leadership and numbers of our troops in the lead positions.
A draft is indicated. A draft that inducts and trains perhaps 500,000 troops a year, for service of at least two years, if not more. As I have proposed before, these draftees would replace our regular troops in garrison duties, not combat, thus releasing the regulars for combat. This would relieve the manpower strains on not only the regulars, but also the reserves and National Guard, while allowing us to do the job called for in Iraq.
We need the will to win!