Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Flawed Iraq Troop Surge - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Flawed Iraq Troop Surge



Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Flawed Iraq Troop Surge

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi today sent the following letter to President Bush urging him to reject his reported plan to escalate the war in Iraq by increasing troop levels and delaying the ability of the Iraqi government to take control of their own future. The leaders cited the burden on the nation's already-overtaxed military, the likely failure of a surge strategy to quell the violence, and the dangers of placing American military into the middle of a civil war. The two leaders called on the President to instead heed the will of the American people, listen to the advice of America's military, and recognize the need for a significant change in strategy that begins with a political solution and a phased withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
Quotes from the letter:
"We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution."
"Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain."
"Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror." The text of the letter follows below. January 5, 2007 President George W. Bush The White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President:
The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together on the critical issues confronting our country. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S. fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.
The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people. We understand that you are completing your post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the American people next week.
Clearly this address presents you with another opportunity to make a long overdue course correction. Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to the breaking point and, in many cases, have already served multiple tours in Iraq, news reports suggest that you believe the solution to the civil war
in Iraqis to require additional sacrifices from our troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a substantial U.S. troop increase.
Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.
In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General John Abiz aid, our top commander for Iraq and the region, said the following when asked about whether he thought more troops would contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:
"I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future."
Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.
Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success. We appreciate you taking these views into consideration. Sincerely, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Speaker Nancy Pelosi SOURCE Senate Democratic Communications Center

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 07:05 AM
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Could it be that a troop build up in Iraq is actually preparation for an Irani conflict??

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Could it be that a troop build up in Iraq is actually preparation for an Irani conflict??
I would bet against it, politically non of the politicians could afford it turning in to another Iraq but airstrikes out the ying-yang could be the way they do Iran.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 11:01 AM
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The surge will only succeed in allowing the Maliki government to avoid taking ownership of Iraq’s security.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 09:50 PM
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First the Dems complain that there aren't enough troops, now they complain when there are going to be enough.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 10:54 PM
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The amount of troops originally recommended by Generals Shensheki and Zinni were in the range of 400,000 troops. It is obvious they were right at this point. To have supplied that many troops would have been the end of Bush's precious tax cuts, and it would have required a real discussion in this country. 20,000 troops is too little, too late. We have simply reached the point where the best thing to do is admit we blew it.

If you want to see what really went on in Iraq, read the book "Fiasco". Zinni's plan for an Iraq invasion was drawn up over ten years by experinced Middle East miltary and state department men. Rumsfeld rejected it, substituting what the author Tom Ricks calls a "Powerpoint Presentation" for this detailed war plan. Zinni's plan called for:

!) Ten heavy armor divisions to protect the initial occupation force from snipers and road-side bombs. Rumsfeld substituted light infantry and airborne divisions driving unarmored humvees. We all know how that worked out.

2) All available Military Police units in the US Armed Forces. Rumsfeld sent a few measely brigades,

3) Iraq civil government to be left intact, but run by the US State Department. Instead Rumsfeld, or more accurately Bush, put the world's greatest fucking moron, Paul Bremer in charge of an Iraq where the civil government was disbanded. This man should be in Leavenworth, which we Democrats are working to arrange. Billions of dollars simply disappeared on his watch. Pages could be written here just to begin to describe this man's criminal incompetance. Bush gave him a medal.

4) The Revolutionary Guards were to be disarmed and confined to barracks, paid so their families would not starve, but confined. The regular Army of Iraq was to remain intact and used as an employment service for civil cleanup projects to keep the young men of Iraq occupied. Bremer and Bush disbanded the Iraqi Army, and allowed millions of tons of unguarded ordinance to be looted by these now unemployed, fucked over ex-soldiers. The Revolutionary Guards were simply told to go home, where they formed the backbone of the insurgency. If Zinni's plan had been followed, this simply would not have happen for the simple reason there would be enough soldiers to guard the armories. Any decent President would have fired Rumsfeld for letting millions of arms and bombs fall into the hands of enemies who would use them to kill our troops. Bush gave him a medal.

The reason Iraq has militias is because we never provided for the basic safety and security needs of the Iraqi people. These militias have now become as large, if not larger, than our occupation force. My personal belief is more troops are going to simply touch off the whole powder keg. You ain't seen nothing yet in Iraq.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

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