Senator Warner’s call for a token troop draw down this year to prod the Iraqi government is totally unrealistic. The only factor that must influence the number of United States troops in Iraq is military facts on the ground.
The multiplicity of problems that haunt Iraq are beyond the immediate control of the current Iraqi government. There are too many complicating, and countervailing, factors in play in Iraq and in the region itself that militate against the instant response that all too many are seeking from this Iraqi government.
We cannot pull out our troops and expect this Iraqi government to suddenly "awaken" and change direction, somehow making profound gains in reversing the sectarian divisions that divide this nation, the destabilizing moves of Iran, the disruption of al Qaeda or in resolving the rest of the social and economic issues that plague Iraq. Such thinking is absurd. But such thinking has become the rule.
The United States therefore should not tie commitment of its military objectives in Iraq to the political process at all. The Iraqi political process, and progress in it, must be viewed in a totally separate context from our commitment in military resources and to military objectives.
In today’s market of ideas this thinking is radical.
If our politicians, and the media, would face the issues head on and honestly, it would be clear that to tie the military commitment in Iraq to the success of the Iraqi government is nothing more than a convenient way to justify the removal of United States troops from Iraq.