Anyone with a resume like this is worth hearing out. Thirty thousand more troops, he says, and we should be able to finish the job.
Fareed Zakaria says it’s too late:
President Bush says that if America leaves Iraq now, the violence will get worse, and terrorists could take control. He’s right. But that will be true whenever we leave. “Staying the course” only delays that day of reckoning. To be fair, however, Bush has now defined the only realistic goal left for America’s mission in Iraq: not achieving success but limiting failure.
Michael Yon told me the other day he wouldn’t be surprised if one of our forward operating bases in Afghanistan were overrun sometime next year. A reporter from NPR relayed that opinion to Gen. David Richards, the NATO commander, and Richards reportedly told her yeah, he wouldn’t be surprised either.
Is the U.S. finished as a serious military power? Steyn raised this point in his interview with Driscoll yesterday and it’s worth considering. I don’t mean versus conventional armies, none of which would face us given our track record. I mean versus guerrilla armies. We failed in Vietnam and now we’re on the verge of failing in Iraq and Afghanistan, assuming we haven’t already. Future enemies will follow the same tactics until we prove we’re capable of not only defeating them but defeating them quickly. Americans might have the patience for long slogs if there are tangible signposts of progress along the way (i.e., territory conquered), but in grab-and-hold campaigns like we’re in now, I think we lack the will. Even with historically low casualty rates. In the future, I suspect, most of our fighting will be done from the air a la Clinton in Bosnia
Our military readers should consider this their opportunity to sound off. What am I missing here?
Update: Can this possibly be right? 655,000 dead — “excess” dead, actually — in three years?