U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps with Iraqi Minister of Defense Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jasim. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Curt Cashour
Today the New York Times tells us:
This has set off hand wringing in some quarters.
Now we've got a lot to worry about, but a member of the current Iraqi government asking for "enduring" bases shouldn't be a major cause of concern. Why?
- The Iraqi "government" is a largely a fiction, a squabbling mess of sectarian politicians grabbing for spoils. Doubt this? Read Inside Iraq for several well-placed Iraqis' on-going reports.
- There is no reason to believe that whatever temporary diminution of violence "the surge" has achieved will continue. U.S. troop levels will be drawn down in 2008 both because the Pentagon has no more bodies to throw into the maul and because domestic U.S. politics will require it.
- Meanwhile, there is no reason to believe the "insurgents" have really been wiped out and aren't just waiting for the heat to subside. After all, Iraq is their country. From the get-go, the invaders have assumed the Iraqis would let the U.S. decide their fate. We forgot we were crashing into one of the "cradles of civilization." They've seen a lot of invaders come -- and go.
- And then there's that other little military entanglement -- the war the U.S. is rapidly losing in Afghanistan.