Senator Warner was on MTP today. Senator Warner knows that the present US force levels in Iraq are not sustainable. He knows that the force must be heavily reduced next year. There are a number of reasons for this but the bottom line is that the numbers just are not there. The sizing of the ground forces that was done after the end of the Cold War, was not based on the idea of an interventionist foreign policy. The Bush Administration did not react to 9/11 by starting an increase in the size of those forces. As a result the forces are TOO SMALL to sustain continued rotations at the "surge" level. The numbers MUST come down. In the message that he has delivered to the White House, Warner is trying to get the president’s attention, to warn him that time is running out in the real world, as opposed to the world of the sycophants who surround Bush.
MG Lynch, presently in Iraq, somewhere in what he calls his "battle space," has presumed to instruct members of the US Congress with regard to foreign policy. "Civics" is a little taught curriculum item in the high schools these days. When I was a boy, it was core curriculum everywhere. I learned in high school that US military officers are the servants of the civilian government. I guess Lynch never learned that. The decision to go to war, the decision to remain at war, the decision to end wars, these are all foreign policy decisions. They are not the province of uniformed leaders. Lynch is way off the reservation in what he has been saying about Clinton, Warner and Levin. Now we have "legionary" commanders dictating from the Rhine what policy should be?
The Congress has no say in such things except for funding? The US Congress intervened mightily in the conduct of the Civil War through the "Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War." Then there was the raging controversy that went on in the Congress during the Philippine Insurrection and over the Platt Amendment… Shall I continue?
Lynch said that the insurgents will re-occupy the ground that he and his men have gained if our troops are withdrawn. Well, fellah, unless one subscribes to the idea that the US intends to remain in Iraq permanently, (I do not.) then Iraqis of one stripe or another will have to take charge of your "battle space." When do you intend to hand it over to them?
The Iraqi Government? There is no Iraqi Government. pl
See Barabara Tuchman’s "The Proud Tower" for a discussion of the Phillipine controversy.