Looking for a Way Out

Iraq and the politics of quitting

(Page 2 of 2)

But the significant thing about these American successes is that they are American successes—Iraqis still play a supporting role in operations in a clash of all-ends against the middle fighting, where double-crossing and double-dealing is just part of the order of battle. That state of affairs might not matter for the long haul in Iraq if another 160,000 U.S. troops were in-bound, but they are not.

Neither does Iraq have its own functioning national army of 500,000 or so to even the score. Instead it has perhaps a handful of reliable brigades out of a population of 30 million. With such a paltry force, it is impossible to secure the country even with America's complete and utter conventional military victory well in hand.

Contrary to the cliché, the peace has not been lost; there never was any peace in Iraq. Similarly, the Iraqis have not lost their country—it turns out there is no such thing as an Iraq to win.

Jeff Taylor is editor of Reason Express.

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