I haven’t seen this since the run-up to the Iraq war

I haven’t seen this since the run-up to the Iraq war – experts from the (liberal) Brookings Institute and the (conservative) American Enterprise Institute agreeing on the matter.

Yes, it’s time to pinch yourself. It’s only those stuck on stupid at a clock-time 5 years ago who don’t agree about the current situation in Iraq and what we should do.

The press won’t quit lying, but things are really going well in Iraq, and there is a good chance that the outcome could be very beneficial. As for those benchmarks, it’s just a lie that none have been met. Reasonable people agree that 11 or 12 have been met. One or two more partially met. Only three or four have not been met.

Drawing down to 15 brigades is calling it very close. But that may be best, not just for political reasons, but also for the strain on the force of such long rotations.

The risk is the south, where we have few troops and the Brits aren’t doing what we are doing in the north. When the Shiites of the south start to ask for the same things as we are providing in the north, we will be hard-pressed to deliver, without moving brigades from the north before it is safe to do so.

Brigades – which alone have the capacity to make the surge strategy work, because they deliver civil engineering, government services and link up the populace and its local government with Baghdad.

Result? If they get impatient in the south, that affords Iran an opportunity for trouble-making. The Shiites can be told that we help only the Sunnis, and you know what that means.

So, it’s a sticky situation. But the civil war in Iraq is over. The population has tuned on al-Qaeda. The Iraqi people are sick of the fighting. They bring pressure from the ground up for the government to perform. In a way, they thus ENABLE the government leaders to stop being sectarian and clinging to militias as last resort in case things collapse.

By pulling out too soon, we just scare them into the open arms of those who promise to protect from the militia of the opposite sect. Not that the whining of Democrats in Congress isn’t good, because it makes the Iraqis get a move on 😉

But it’s a delicate balance between this message of “Hurry up please, we are getting impatient” and the one of “Look out, we are about to leave you high and dry.”

We can probably bring home 3 or 4 brigades a year, on average. Though you can bet that there will be delays if the terrorist activity picks up to try to take advantage of that. But a brigade per month? No way. Clinton and Obama are out to lunch.

These are experts of the Brookings Institute talking. What is the matter with the crazy Democrats?

Don’t they want a secular and democratic Iraq? An Iraq that is an ally in the war against Islamic extremism? An Iraq that contains no safe-havens for al-Qaeda and other jihadists? An Iraq producing oil full bore to keep the price down? An Arab nation that hates terrorists, thus planting the seed of sense and sanity in the ME? A nation that makes it safe for others like Jordan and Saudi Arabia to follow suit?

Our casualties will spike from time to time, but they are getting very low and will continue to decrease.

4,000 lost in 5 years. We would have lost 4,000 in the first five minutes in Germany or Korea had the enemy we held back decided to attack. We lost 50,000 in Vietnam. Almost 500,000 in WWII. Almost 20,000 in the Battle of Iwo Jima and almost 20,000 in the battle of the Bulge. So, let’s quit the phony gasping and get real.

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