The Insurgent Years
According to this article by ABC News, the war against insurgents in Iraq could continue for a good number of years. This is very disheartening to U.S. service personnel and their families. Despite reassurances that native Iraqi forces will do most of the fighting, few Americans believe that American troops will be home soon.
All of this may change in the next election or two. Every time some member of the Religious Right says they want to supplant the Constitution with a nice theocracy (which is treason, by the way) the voting public thinks, "Maybe a few leftist whackos might balance things out a bit." Unfortunately, this will not only take too long to happen, but a change in our government (electing whackos, not the theocracy thing) doesn't change the problems of an American pull out. Think about it, how often do you enjoy a pull out?
We must stop calling for a TIME of withdrawal. The withdrawal of American troops must be based on clearly defined goals. When we meet Goal A, we will remove so many troops. When we meet Goal B, we remove more. This continues until we no longer have troops fighting there. I phrased it that way because I would like to see the new Iraqi regime invite us to build a permanent base in the area once things have settled down. We can't just arbitrarily pick a day and then leave on that day. Now that we're involved, we have to meet goals. Of course, it would be nice if those goals were well defined and articulated.
The problem with people like the insurgents is that if you pull out without stomping them, they claim it as a victory. It doesn't matter how badly they were out numbered or out gunned, they will still proclaim to the world, "Look how our enemies run from us!" They will use this as proof of their righteousness when recruiting the next generation of people who want very badly to get killed. These people never realize that their cities still stand because the United States has held back its full might out of the kindness of our collective heart. Otherwise, much of Iraq would fit into the "radio active hole" category.
If you really do want these insurgents out of the way so US troops can come home, there is only one thing to do. Get Janet Reno and the ATF and tell them that some religious nut-jobs have illegal weapons and drugs. Those guys will have them burnt out in no time at all. That'll fix them.
In the mean time, stop calling for a withdrawal time. Instead, tell Bush and his cult to stop interfering with the military professionals. The Generals are the experts; if you stay out of their way they can do things the way they are supposed to. Bush is not an expert (in military matters) and so he should go back to playing golf or snorting coke or whatever it is he does.