Lt. General William Odom tells Americans a bitter truth in this month's edition of Foreign Policy. It's time to withdraw from Iraq. The war, he says, has been a disaster and the hope that a liberal, pro-Western government will be established has vanished. He also succinctly expresses the damage the war has done. Excerpt:
Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.
Yes, despite the protestations of Republican die-hards, the war needs to be ended. It has been handled by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al., as badly as humanly possible. America needs to cut its losses and find a way to withdraw that guarantees the greatest safety and security for our forces.