Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brzezinski on "victory"

The Real Choice in Iraq is between "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose":
Victory, as defined by the administration and its supporters -- i.e., a stable and secular democracy in a unified Iraqi state, with the insurgency crushed by the American military assisted by a disciplined, U.S.-trained Iraqi national army -- is unlikely. The U.S. force required to achieve it would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation.
He similarly dismisses the "defeat" that the administration describes as "apocalyptic predictions made earlier regarding the consequences of American failure to win in Vietnam: dominoes falling, the region exploding and U.S. power discredited. An added touch is the notion that the Iraqi insurgents will then navigate the Atlantic and wage terrorism on the American homeland."

So let's not demonize Senators or DNC chairs when they tell the public the honest truth. The question is not whether to withdraw, but when and how to reduce troop levels.