Thursday, October 27, 2005

Withdrawal Call Blind to Regional Issues

Senator John Kerry (D-MA), silver medalist in the last presidential election, issued calls for immediate troop reductions in Iraq. According to Kerry, "The way forward in Iraq is not to pull out precipitously or merely promise to stay 'as long as it takes.' We must instead simultaneously pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces." (Washington Post: Kerry Urges U.S. to Start Withdrawal From Iraq).

While such a "pull out now" attitude may be popular with the anti-war crowd, which is admittedly growing in numbers, the policy turns a blind eye to regional issues that require a very strong US military presence. A withdrawal from Iraq now will only complicate matters when it becomes time to deploy troops sometime in 2006 for likely action against either Syria or Iran or both.

Just yesterday we heard Iran call for the complete eradication of Israel, something the west is certainly not going to tolerate. If there was any doubt about Iran's nuclear intentions before, that doubt was dispelled yesterday. Given yesterday's remarks, we have to assume the worst possible intentions for their nuclear program. Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear technology without resorting to the use of force is extremely unlikely.

Also in the past several days Syria was implicated in the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister. The world is now debating what action to take against Syria, however given their track record and their continued support for terrorist groups and their hands-on involvement in the Iraqi insurgency, avoiding military action sometime in 2006 is unlikely.

The US presence in Iraq must be viewed in the larger context that includes Iran and Syria. A pullout of US forces now would be foolhardy. Rather, the US and allies must take whatever steps are necessary to prepare for that inevitable day when action against those two pariahs becomes necessary. At the rate things are moving now, that day will be sooner rather than later.


No comments :