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Col. Timothy R. Reese, Chief, Baghdad Operations Cmd, to Pentagon: declare victory & let's go home

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posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 11:21 AM
I ran across this a few minutes ago on ICH:

Text of memo from Col. Timothy R. Reese, Chief, Baghdad Operations Command Advisory Team, MND-B, Baghdad, Iraq

As the old saying goes, “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose. Today the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are good enough to keep the Government of Iraq (GOI) from being overthrown by the actions of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the Baathists, and the Shia violent extremists that might have toppled it a year or two ago. Iraq may well collapse into chaos of other causes, but we have made the ISF strong enough for the internal security mission. Perhaps it is one of those infamous paradoxes of counterinsurgency that while the ISF is not good in any objective sense, it is good enough for Iraq in 2009. Despite this foreboding disclaimer about an unstable future for Iraq, the United States has achieved our objectives in Iraq. Prime Minister (PM) Maliki hailed June 30th as a “great victory,” implying the victory was over the US. Leaving aside his childish chest pounding, he was more right than he knew. We too ought to declare victory and bring our combat forces home. Due to our tendency to look after the tactical details and miss the proverbial forest for the trees, this critically important strategic realization is in danger of being missed.

Equally important to realize is that we aren’t making the GOI and the ISF better in any significant ways with our current approach. Remaining in Iraq through the end of December 2011 will yield little in the way of improving the abilities of the ISF or the functioning of the GOI. Furthermore, in light of the GOI’s current interpretation of the limitations imposed by the 30 June milestones of the 2008 Security Agreement, the security of US forces are at risk. Iraq is not a country with a history of treating even its welcomed guests well. This is not to say we can be defeated, only that the danger of a violent incident that will rupture the current partnership has greatly increased since 30 June. Such a rupture would force an unplanned early departure that would harm our long term interests in Iraq and potentially unraveling the great good that has been done since 2003. The use of the military instrument of national power in its current form has accomplished all that can be expected. In the next section I will present and admittedly one sided view of the evidence in support of this view. This information is drawn solely from the MND-B area of operations in Baghdad Province. My reading of reports from the other provinces suggests the same situation exists there.

The general lack of progress in essential services and good governance is now so broad that it ought to be clear that we no longer are moving the Iraqis “forward.” Below is an outline of the information on which I base this assessment:

Full text here:

What do you guys think about it?

Personally, I agree with his assessment and hope the Pentagon & Obama agree.

[edit on 31-7-2009 by apacheman]

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 11:36 AM
Looks good to me.

Since Obama doesn't seem to do anything that doesn't benefit him, let's hope he recognizes he can get a big chunk of credit here.

Lord knows, he could use it.

And no, I didn't vote for him, but it's time to leave Iraq....

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by apacheman

I agree with Col. Reeses statement, the military has done all it can, it is up to the Iraqi People now. Leave a division there to continue to train iraqi forces and bring the rest of them home.

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 12:27 PM
I've had a sense that we should be moving faster to exit for sometime. I see no problem with some trainers and intel support there, but it's way overdue time to pull the VAST MAJORITY of our forces out.

I hope that his report is valued and our troops are pulled yesterday.

Great thread


posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 12:32 PM
We already have drastically reduced the amount of combat units in Iraq. We invaded with almost 350,000 troops, today there are less then 128,000 troops in Iraq.

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