Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Whoa, Let's Not Bug Out Quite So Fast

Yesterday I noted the apparent consensus that the election of a Democratic Congress meant a quick pullout of Iraq. Today, Gen. Abazaid appeared to appropriately apply the break of reality to the downhill rush out of Mesopotamia. He even suggested that an increase in U.S. troop strength might be necessary over the short term.

The Times itself, in a summary of the views of military experts, principally retired generals Anthony Zinni and John Baptiste, who garnered consiserable street cred with the anti-war folks by demanding Rumsfeld's resignation.

Here is Gen. Zinni on the speculation, widely floated by Sen. Levin, that a time certain departure will put pressure on the Iraqi government:

“The logic of this is you put pressure on Maliki and force him to stand up to this,” General Zinni said in an interview, referring to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister. “Well, you can’t put pressure on a wounded guy. There is a premise that the Iraqis are not doing enough now, that there is a capability that they have not employed or used. I am not so sure they are capable of stopping sectarian violence.”

Instead of taking troops out, General Zinni said, it would make more sense to consider deploying additional American forces over the next six months to “regain momentum” as part of a broader effort to stabilize Iraq that would create more jobs, foster political reconciliation and develop more effective Iraqi security forces.