How to win in Iraq

Both the Democrats and Republicans are wrong about what to do now in the Iraq war.

The Democrats want to retreat immediately and the Republicans want to “stay the course.” Neither proposal will make America safe from Islamic terrorism.

As Republicans have noted, withdrawal at this time would be perceived by the Islamic fundamentalists as a major defeat of the West and draw more recruits to their cause. But as the Democrats have noted, staying our current course–which has no standard of victory and no clear connection to protecting America from Islamic terrorism–is a disaster that has already resulted in the death of two thousand Americans.

The solution is neither embracing defeat nor staying a losing course;
the solution is to pursue victory.

We must define war objectives designed solely to protect the American
people from Islamic terrorism, and then execute those objectives by
any means necessary
. Above all, we must make it our objective, not to bring the good life to every corner of the Middle East, but to make the terrorist states of the Middle East non-threatening–which means that we must end state sponsorship of terrorism.

In Iraq, we must crush the insurgency immediately–which includes choking its backers, Iran and Syria–and let the Iraqis themselves take on the responsibility of establishing a government that will not threaten America. Once the insurgency is crushed the priority should be on eliminating the regime that is the greatest terrorist and nuclear threat to the United States in the Middle East: Iran. Such a policy would serve as a death blow to bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and the rest of the fundamentalists, who attract their recruits with the hope that America can slowly be defeated. [Emphasis added]

Dr. Yaron Brook
Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA

2 thoughts on “How to win in Iraq

  1. Gary,I see you just can’t resist your blogging ways, even while on vacation. On behalf of your loyal followers, even those who disagree with you, thanks for providing us with a place to congregate, read, rant and learn.Dr. Brook may in fact be right, but he’s not in touch with reality. There is no public support for his proposal. Had the Bush administration followed the advice of US military leaders from the onset, and brought overwhelming force to the task as his father did in 1991, outright victory may have been possible. It’s almost a certainty to say that superior forces would have prevented the looting following the collapse of Saddam’s military, and the insurgency that came after.But how to win in Iraq is no longer the question. Even the Iraqis don’t want us there, as evidenced by the call from Sunnis and Shiites for a withdrawal timetable.We played into bin Laden’s hands by invading in the first place. That was and is the magnet that attracts terrorists to Iraq.Leaving now will remove, not incite, the continued hatred of the US. As I said in my reply to your “Interview with terrorists” post, the vast majority of terrorist activity is secular, and in reaction to democracy’s troops stationed on what is perceived as sacred land (would any of us accept Saudi or Iranian troops in Glendale or Miami or Coney Island?)If you’ve been reading James Fallows articles in the Atlantic Monthly, as I have since he began reporting on Iraq in 2002, you’re aware that the President and his advisors have repeatedly ignored the best military and foreign policy advice available and invaded with too few troops, no plan for the victory, no plan to deal with the looting, no plan to deal with the insurgency. In short, no plan at all beyond defeating Saddam.There is simply no way to win given the bungling that has brought us this far.Staying the course is insane. Increasing troop strength and pursuing a military victory has no public support.The only solution I see is to declare victory and withdraw.Howard


  2. Gary,This is from the WSJ, reporting on a very recent Harris poll:“About 63% of those polled favor ‘bringing most of our troops home in the next year,’ compared with 35% who say the U.S. should keep troops in Iraq until there is a stable government there. This sentiment has changed little from similar polls in June and August of this year.”Without popular support, no president can sustain military action for long. He brought this on himself by the manner in which he has conducted the war. You can blame liberals, the press, the terrorists, anyone you wish, but the buck stops with W.Howard


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