A growing stream of reports from people in Iraqi (be they milbloggers or Iraqis themselves) points to an improving security situation, especially in al-anbar. If these improvements take hold, the terrorists will likely attempt more spectacular attacks to derail progress, sow fear and hatred, and keep the Iraqi people separated from American troops.
To not give the current tactics (the so-called "surge" a term
I hate) would be to abandon those Iraqis who have kept faith with us and are trying against the odds to build a future for themselves. And it would not make strategic sense at all, it certainly will not stop the fighting, and it is likely we would be re-engaged in some future conflict in the area.
Those calling for withdrawal may think it is the least painful option, but its benefits would be short-lived. The fate of the region and the world is linked with ours. Leaving a broken Iraq in the Middle East would offer international terrorism a haven and ensure a legacy of chaos for future generations. Furthermore, the sacrifices of all the young men and women who stood up here would have been in vain.
Iraqis, for all our determination and courage, cannot succeed alone. (read the rest)
Withdrawal would again show that for all America's military might, its people are weak and easily demoralized, not able to sustain in face of adversity. (see: U.S. public is running out of one resource America's enemies appear to have in abundance -- patience) I can understand why people are tired of this war, but we can't change where we are, we can't take back the invasion, the incompetence of the CPA and the fact that real counter-insurgency tactics, despite being well know and well articulated weren't tried for 4 year. The decision we have is to move forward or retreat - but unlike Vietnam, our enemies will not stop attacking us if we retreat.
Withdraw in the face of some hope that things are improving would be the highest act cowardice since Dutch peacekeepers watched as Serb forces separate men and boys from women, and loaded them on buses to be slaughtered after the fall of Srebrenica.