Recently, top military brass have been questioning the usefulness of keeping U.S. fighting forces in Iraq. Col. Timothy Reese, Chief of the Baghdad Operations Advisory Team, had this to say about the current state of affairs in Iraq in a colorful memo (he at one point refers to “Uncle Sam’s bounteous mammary glands”) circulated among military decision makers:
“The use of the military instrument of national power in its current form has accomplished all that can be expected. . . The general lack of progress in essential services and good governance is now so broad that it ought to be clear that we no longer are moving the Iraqis ‘forward.’ “
And later on in the memo:
“Our combat operations are currently the victim of circular logic. We conduct operations to kill or capture violent extremists of all types to protect the Iraqi people and support the GOI. The violent extremists attack us because we are still here conducting military operations. Furthermore, their attacks on us are no longer an organized campaign to defeat our will to stay; the attacks which kill and maim US combat troops are signals or messages sent by various groups as part of the political struggle for power in Iraq.”
Iraqi citizens want control of their own government and their own destiny. Prolonging our military occupation will only exacerbate the problem, putting our troops in danger, draining our resources and feeding instability in Iraq.
To learn more about Peace Action West’s alternatives to military occupation, click here.