Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A plan for withdrawal

Getting out of Iraq is something that needs to happen, but needs to happen under a well thought-out plan, not just a middle of the night move ala the Baltimore Colts in 1984. Now, it has been reported by many, including Sen. Clinton, that the Pentagon has not plan to get out of Iraq. Many pundits, including several of my fellow Liberal Drinkers, feel a full pull out could and should happen promptly. I happen to disagree, and have been chastised on several occasions on Thursday nights at the Shanty. One criticism has been, 'what would you do?'

Well, I have thought about this and here is how I would start.

  1. Promptly begin bringing home ALL National Guard troops.
    It was never envisioned that the National Guard would serve oversees in combat missions when the security of US soil isn't threatened. These troops have served far and above the call of duty. They have sacrificed more personally and financially than they ever should have. Their families have had to bear far too much of a burden. The men and women of our National Guard are often called weekend warriors because they serve only part time. they have full-time jobs. Some joined th NG to supplement their incomes. Now they find themselves making less money and away from their homes and families. Many go on welfare/foodstamps just to get by. Replace the NG troops with regular (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) to cover critical positions/roles. This can be part of the overall strategy to reduce the number of troops in Iraq.
  2. Phase out all Reserve forces.
    The Reserves were designed to fill in when US troops are stretched thin. Now, I know that they are stretched thin, but they won't be for long if we can get out of Iraq. Like the NG, these troops have regular civilian jobs. Their families are also forced to pay a heavy price. Again, this can be part of an overall troop reduction.
  3. Remove troops from other nations.
    Troops from other nations should no longer be responsible for our fuck-ups.
  4. Change our role.
    Troops should no longer be providing coverage for commercial ventures (ie convoys). They should provide protection to military installations. They should only respond to attacks on US installations/troops. They should no longer be involved in securing oil fields, providing police/security services.
  5. Close installations.
    As we get to step 4, we should begin closing and consolidating bases.
  6. Get completely out.
It may not be a perfect plan, but hell, at least I have a plan. (Pentagon??)

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