by John Hawkins | February 1, 2006 10:27 pm
In order to achieve victory in Iraq, we need to replace Saddam Hussein with a democratic government capable of handling its own internal security. That’s why the progress of the Iraqi military is so important. As Bush has said many times, “As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.”
Well, there’s interesting news on that front that has scarcely been covered. Republican Senator James Inhofe, the “second-ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee,” had this to say about the progress of the Iraqi troops and when our troops will be off the streets of Iraq:
“Nobody will answer the question [of when the United States can withdraw the bulk of its forces] … well, I’ll answer it,” Inhofe pronounced in a presentation entitled “Grading National Security.”
“We have 220,000 Iraqi troops now,” the lawmaker explained. “By the end of the year, we will have 300,000. All the experts agree that it will take 10 divisions of Iraqi troops to do the job – that’s 325,000. At the present rate, we will be at that level in June of 2007.”
“The number of our troops will go down to just an administrative level” at that time, he added.”
That means we’ll probably see significant American troops withdrawals this year and then, by the middle of next year, the Iraqis will be policing their streets and we’ll probably be aiding them with special forces, air support as needed, and logistics.
Now, because this is based on doing what needs to be done to win the war instead of a political timetable, there’s no guarantee that things will play out exactly like this — but it sounds about right.
It’s doubtful that the insurgency will be completely destroyed by then, but, it doesn’t have to be. Once the Iraqis are steady enough on their feet that we don’t have to worry about the terrorists destabilizing the country and taking over, the insurgents are doomed.
What all this means is that the US effort in Iraq is slowly starting to wind down and we’re putting the finishing touches on a big victory. Because of our efforts there, a hostile, anti-America, terrorist supporting dictator, who had used WMDs in the past, and had ties to Al-Qaeda, has been replaced by a Democratic government that has the potential to help inspire Democracy to flower across the region.
It hasn’t been easy nor quick and we still have work left to do, but going into Iraq was a smart move and those who have supported this war all along will be shown to be on the right side of history once things are all said and done.
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