Post-invasion Iraq / Coalition troops should pull out

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Position: Coalition troops should pull out

This position addresses the topic Post-invasion Iraq.


For this position


Quotes-start.png Even if it would have made sense otherwise, the price for staying demanded by the Iraqis was too high. The Iraqis refused to give U.S. troops immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes, a deal-breaker by any definition of that term. Indeed, that Iraqi leaders would make such a demand at this point borders on the outrageous. More than 4,400 American troops in Iraq have lost their lives. This country has spent more than a trillion dollars in the Iraqi adventure. After all this expenditure of blood and treasure, the United States should not have to beg anyone to stay. Quotes-end.png
From Leaving Iraq: about time, by The Miami Herald editorial board (The Miami Herald, 29 October 2011) (view)
Quotes-start.png One strategy that the administration weighed last summer was to leave a tiny residual force, perhaps as few as 3,000 troops — not enough to secure the country, just enough to make a tempting and vulnerable target. Another would be to stay on uninvited. With a majority of Iraqis already seeing the United States as an occupier not a liberator, that would have been a bonanza for the Iranians and Islamist radicals alike. Quotes-end.png
From After 9 years, time for troops to leave Iraq, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, 25 October 2011) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The American people want our troops out. The best reflection of this is that they elected Barack Obama to lead us out of Iraq. Obama needs to find solutions to the meltdown of the U.S. economy, not continue to waste billions of tax dollars occupying Iraq." Quotes-end.png
From End the occupation, by Medea Benjamin (USA Today, 22 January 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If British troops are indeed withdrawn from Iraq by next June, it will signal the end of the most shameful and disastrous episode in modern British history. Branded only last month by Lord Bingham, until recently Britain's most senior law lord, as a "serious violation of international law", the aggression against Iraq has not only devastated an entire country and left hundreds of thousands dead - it has also been a political and military humiliation for the invading powers." Quotes-end.png
From Britain leaves Iraq in shame. The US won't go so quietly, by Seumas Milne (The Guardian, 11 December 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If “we are winning” and the surge is a “success,” then what is the rationale for keeping American forces bogged down there while the Taliban regroups ominously in Afghanistan? Why, if this is victory, does Mr. McCain keep threatening that “chaos and genocide” will follow our departure? And why should we take the word of a prophet who failed to anticipate the chaos and ethnic cleansing that would greet our occupation?" Quotes-end.png
From Now That We’ve ‘Won,’ Let’s Come Home, by Frank Rich (The New York Times, 22 June 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The U.S. has offered to join Iraq in another round of talks with Iran, but Tehran has so far declined. Of course, the U.S. and Iran have been waging a not-always-cold war since 1979. What's new is the relative military, political and economic weakness of the U.S. after five years in Iraq -- and the wealth and assertiveness of Iran. Why should the Iranians negotiate with the Great Satan when they can sit back and let their proxies bleed him white?" Quotes-end.png
From Staying in Iraq for proxy war, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, 9 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Civilian deaths in March were 50 percent higher than in February, and there were a score of recent American deaths, and there is no evidence of political progress to support Petraeus' stab at optimism over the "fragile" situation in Iraq. Most absurd was the suggestion that the problem would all go away if Iran would only behave, when in fact American troops are being sacrificed on the pro-Iranian side of an internal Shiite power dispute." Quotes-end.png
From Everything His President Wants to Hear, by Robert Scheer (The Huffington Post, 9 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We must not be fooled by those who say there will be chaos if we leave Iraq. The leaders of the Iraqi factions can choose whether or not there will be chaos in Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki, Moqtada al Sadr, President Talabani, and Vice-President Hashimi -- they control the forces. In fact, it is widely understood that Moqtada al Sadr's call to his Mahdi militia for a cease fire has been critical to the reduction of violence." Quotes-end.png
From The Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker Hearings and What the Surge in Fact Proves, by John Murtha (The Huffington Post, 8 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Ever wondered why there is so little federal money to replace the aging and dangerous Highway 520 Bridge? Taxpayers in my congressional district alone have sunk roughly $1.5 billion into funding the war so far — money that now can't be spent here at home." Quotes-end.png
From Five years is long enough, by Darcy Burner (The Seattle Times, 25 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "As of March 19, the American toll in Iraq stood at 3,982 deaths and nearly 30,000 combat injuries. An additional 145 U.S. soldiers have committed suicide there. Such heavy losses are difficult to absorb, impossible to rationalize. Nobody knows for sure how many innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed during the U.S. occupation -- at least 18,600 are known to have died in 2007 alone. The monetary cost of the war is so high that the administration cannot -- or will not -- give Congress an accurate figure." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: No light at the end of the tunnel, by Carl Hiassen (The Miami Herald, 23 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "One way or another, now or later, we’ll have to pay the bill. Professor Stiglitz calculates that the eventual total cost of the war will be about $3 trillion. For a family of five like mine, that amounts to a bill of almost $50,000. I don’t feel that I’m getting my money’s worth. " Quotes-end.png
From Iraq, $5,000 Per Second?, by Nicholas D. Kristof (The New York Times, 23 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It is entirely possible that in the absence of a cumbersome and clumsy American occupation, Iraqis will make their own bargains and compacts, heading off the genocide that many seem to anticipate. Opponents of the war seem to have far more confidence in Iraqis' abilities to manage their affairs than do war advocates. Moreover, a U.S. withdrawal would finally compel the region to claim Iraq, forcing the Saudis, Iranians, Jordanians and others to decide whether a civil war is in their interests." Quotes-end.png
From A War We Must End, by John Podesta, Ray Takeyh, Lawrence Korb (The Washington Post, 26 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Mr. Bush’s troop buildup was sold as a way to buy Iraqi politicians breathing room to finally address the tensions driving sectarian violence, including an equitable division of oil wealth and strategies to bring more Baathists and Sunnis into the Shiite-led government. Those goals have not been met, and the administration has virtually abandoned them." Quotes-end.png
From Unfinished Debate on Iraq, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, 13 January 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "With a long history of repelling occupying forces, the people of the Middle East are very sensitive to foreign occupation. So long as U.S. troops occupy those lands, millions of Iraqis and those in surrounding nations will see American troops as jihadist propaganda portrays us -- as occupiers there to repress them and plunder their oil. If we want them to believe we won't occupy Iraq indefinitely, then we need to act like we won't -- and get our troops out." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: The Real Cost of War Can't Be Ignored, by Bill Richardson (The Huffington Post, 19 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Ultimately, our military presence might be making the situation worse, as Iraqi political leaders hide behind our troops and refuse to make compromises necessary for peace. In fact, the very things that President Bush credits with helping reduce violence — the surge in U.S. troops in Baghdad, the arming of former Sunni insurgents and the cease-fire called by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — inflame sectarian tensions and obstruct political compromise in Iraq." Quotes-end.png
From Bring the troops home, by Maxine Waters (USA Today, 13 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "No other single problem is as crippling to this country right now as the war in Iraq. Our ongoing troop presence is preventing a real Iraqi reconciliation. Maintaining 170,000 troops in Iraq not only stretches our military to the breaking point, it keeps us from having the troops available to deal with other emerging crises -- whether it is peace keeping or disaster response. We are spending upwards of $10 billion dollars a month in Iraq." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: The Elephant in the Room, by Bill Richardson (The Huffington Post, 7 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In determining the need for U.S. forces, the key question is not whether they can bring peace to Iraq - they cannot - but rather when can Iraqi forces contain insecurity more or less as effectively as U.S. forces can? Provided the U.S. and Iraqi governments place their highest priority on improving the Iraqi army, its brigades should be able to replace ours without making things worse - at this point, a diminished but realistic definition of success." Quotes-end.png
From U.S. should take advantage of improved security in Iraq to withdraw, by David Gompert (San Francisco Chronicle, 2 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "So the British will not leave behind a peaceful Basra, but they are nonetheless right to leave it. The United States should take note and recognize that it is a delusion to believe that any foreign occupier can stop Iraqi factions hellbent on fighting for power. We owe the Iraqis our best efforts at mediation, but to insist on stability as a prerequisite for withdrawal is to commit to indefinite and fruitless military occupation." Quotes-end.png
From Even the British are leaving Iraq, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, 9 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "No one is guaranteeing Iraq will become some kind of paradise after we leave. There may well be genocide we have to deal with on an international basis sooner or later. But just as before, we can get the results we want if we bring people together and challenge the president." Quotes-end.png
From Democrats' So-Called Leaders are Not Leading on Iraq, by Christopher Dodd (The Huffington Post, 5 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In 1968, Richard Nixon ran on a platform of ending the war with honor. It took 7 years to get the last American soldier out of Vietnam. In the meantime, tens of thousands more Americans died. Countless civilians died in Vietnam, in Cambodia and the killing fields, and millions more ultimately had to flee their homes. Dragging out the process of withdrawal will be tragically worse in terms of U.S. lives lost and in terms of the instability we will create by staying longer." Quotes-end.png
From The Surge Has Failed; No Residual Troops, by Bill Richardson (The Huffington Post, 24 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Killing fields? Iraq's already got them: A dozen or two corpses are found dumped in the streets each morning, and bombs go off daily. Boat people? Two million Iraqis have already fled the country, and perhaps 50,000 more leave each month. Could it get worse? Absolutely. But can we stop it?" Quotes-end.png
From The misleading Vietnam analogy, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, 23 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Also Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that "war games" conducted for the U.S. military concluded that a withdrawal of American forces would not be "apocalyptic," according to the retired Marine colonel who oversaw them. The war games certainly painted a grim portrait of post-withdrawal Iraq -- which would effectively be split into three countries -- but far less dire than forecast by President Bush and his inner circle." Quotes-end.png
From Losing sleep over Iraq, by San Francisco Chronicle editorial board (San Francisco Chronicle, 18 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We simply can’t want to be in Iraq more than the Iraqis want us to be there. That poll of Iraqis, conducted by the BBC and other news organizations, found that only 22 percent of Iraqis support the presence of coalition troops in Iraq, down from 32 percent in 2005." Quotes-end.png
From ‘Inspiring Progress’ on Iraq?, by Nicholas D. Kristof (The New York Times, 12 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It is time for the waiting to end and for our troops to start to come home. That is why we propose to end the authorization for the war in Iraq. The civil war we have on our hands in Iraq is not our fight and it is not the fight Congress authorized. Iraq is at war with itself and American troops are caught in the middle." Quotes-end.png
From This is not our fight, by Robert Byrd, Hillary Clinton (New York Daily News, 10 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Just yesterday, it was reported that the "new and improved" Iraqi government has not met any of the benchmarks. The surge is not working and deployment will mean even more deaths. Cheney and Bush have gotten us into an never ending hell. September will be here before you know it and with it will be another opportunity for our leaders to say ENOUGH!" Quotes-end.png
From Time to Say Enough of Bush's War, by Harvey Edwards (The Huffington Post, 10 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles." Quotes-end.png
From The Road Home, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, 8 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In fact, history suggests that the consequences of a U.S. defeat will not be that dire. First, the risk of a regional Shiite-Sunni war is modest. The region has endured many civil wars: Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Yemen. While some have drawn in outsiders, none has led to war among those outsiders. Such meddlers tend to seek advantage in their neighbors' civil wars, not to spread them, which is why they rely on proxies to do their fighting." Quotes-end.png
From We've Lost. Here's How To Handle It., by Steve Simon, Ray Takeyh (The Washington Post, 17 June 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Every day, George W. Bush asks young Americans to die in defense of an Iraq that has ceased to exist (if it ever did) in the hearts and minds of Iraqis. What Iraqis believe in are sectarian or tribal Iraqs -- a Shiite Iraq, a Sunni Iraq, an autonomous Kurdish Iraqi state, an Iraq where Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani or Moqtada al-Sadr or some other chieftain holds sway. These are the Iraqs for which Iraqis are willing to kill and die." Quotes-end.png
From Dying for an Iraq That Isn't, by Harold Meyerson (The Washington Post, 30 May 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We need to conclude this terrible mistake we have made in Iraq. Anti-Americanism is more robust now than in any period in our history because of Iraq. The international community is skeptical of U.S. intentions because of Iraq. Our Constitution has been trampled because of Iraq. Thousands of U.S. troops and Iraqi citizens have lost their lives because of Iraq." Quotes-end.png
From Concluding the Terrible Mistake We Made in Iraq, by Robert Byrd (The Huffington Post, 17 May 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "After four years of war, more than $350 billion spent and 3,363 U.S. soldiers killed and 24,310 wounded, it seems increasingly obvious that an Iraqi political settlement cannot be achieved in the shadow of an indefinite foreign occupation. The U.S. military presence — opposed by more than three-quarters of Iraqis — inflames terrorism and delays what should be the primary and most pressing goal: meaningful reconciliation among the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds." Quotes-end.png
From Bring them home, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Finding peace in Iraq is much more likely if American troops leave. Most Iraqi violence can be traced to two causes: an insurgency whose goal it is to push the United States out of Iraq and a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. Were the United States to withdraw, the insurgency would collapse. And the Shiites and Sunnis won't ever recognize that they must deal with each other until American troops leave and they have no other option." Quotes-end.png
From Democrats: Don't cave on ending war in Iraq, by Star Tribune editorial board (Star Tribune, 3 May 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Every day that US troops remain in Iraq drives up the cost of gains already made: the elimination of Saddam Hussein and the opening of a door, however narrow, to democracy. The fact is that America must plan its departure from Iraq without achieving many of its goals. The tragedy of the US intervention is compounded by the need to trade the lives of more American soldiers for the time needed for an orderly withdrawal that doesn't leave Iraq completely in the lurch." Quotes-end.png
From A more realistic timetable for withdrawal, by Steve Simon (The Boston Globe, 15 April 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The key to preventing an intensified civil war is US withdrawal from the equation so as to force the parties to an accommodation. Therefore, the United States should announce its intention to withdraw its military forces from Iraq, which will bring Sunnis to the negotiating table and put pressure on Kurds and Shiites to seek a compromise with them. But a simple US departure would not be enough; the civil war must be negotiated to a settlement, on the model of the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Lebanon." Quotes-end.png
From How to Get Out of Iraq, by Juan Cole (The Nation, 9 April 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The [House] plan calls for a pullout to begin by next March, and to take six months, with some troops necessarily left to pursue terrorists, train Iraqi forces, and protect U.S. diplomats. The plan's logic is blindingly obvious. If the benchmarks are met, Iraq will not need the large American presence. If, five years after the war began Iraqis continue to fight one another, it will be clearer still that the U.S. military cannot force peace." Quotes-end.png
From Out of Iraq in '08, by The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1 April 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If more Americans - including the president and those in Congress - had to make the personal sacrifice of sending a son or daughter to this war, some for a second or third time, or if they had to pay the ultimate sacrifice of losing a child in this war, we'd be long past the "support our troops" slogan. We'd be pulling out and concentrating on the real war: the war against terrorism." Quotes-end.png
From The Best Way To Support Our Troops, by Stephen E. Wright (The Hartford Courant, 25 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The real danger for Democrats in the Iraq debate isn't that they'll oppose the war too aggressively; it's that they won't oppose it aggressively enough. In 1972, Nixon attacked McGovern as a liberal extremist, which wasn't exactly wrong. But the Democratic Party has become more moderate since the Clinton years, and in the past two presidential elections the G.O.P. has attacked Al Gore and John Kerry less as ideological radicals than as soulless opportunists, weather vanes willing to say whatever it took to win." Quotes-end.png
From Why the Dems Should Go for It, by Peter Beinart (Time, 22 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It is clear that the great majority of Americans are ready to see the Iraq war draw to an end. It has been going on for four years, longer than World War II. Its financial cost stands at more than $400 billion, money that could have been spent on other, domestic needs of the American people -- health care, education, infrastructure repair and replacement, devising ways to stem the catastrophic flow of jobs overseas." Quotes-end.png
From Failure of will: Congress lacks the courage to end a pointless war, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The mission in Iraq has changed and, therefore, so must U.S. policy change. Troops should not be policing a civil war. The current conflict in Iraq requires a political solution. Listen to what General Petraeus said today from Iraq: "The war cannot be won militarily. It can only be won politically." We further believe that Iraq must take responsibility for its own future, and our troops should begin to come home." Quotes-end.png
From A Plan for Iraq, by Harry Reid (The Huffington Post, 9 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "No truly functioning state exists in Iraq today, only a pseudo-"sovereign" government whose effective authority does not extend far beyond its own offices in the Green Zone. Moreover, Iraq is already, by any criterion, in the throes of civil war, chaos and even ethnic cleansing (euphemistically called "sectarian violence"), while the US occupation has bred hordes of native terrorists since 2003 and become a bloody mecca for foreign ones." Quotes-end.png
From Conscience and the War, by Stephen F. Cohen (The Nation, 8 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Minus the British, the United States will remain pretty much alone in Iraq. The British reasoning for leaving is impeccable. From their point of view, this is a clear case of ships leaving a sinking rat, to flip the old expression." Quotes-end.png
From Not so willing: Britain, Denmark show the way on Iraq, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 February 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "His intentions were noble, however naive and pigheaded. But the war was a horrible mistake. And as everyone comes to realize it was a mistake, continuing it becomes something much worse than a mistake." Quotes-end.png
From Support the Troops: Bring Them Home, by Michael Kinsley (Time, 19 February 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A public declaration that the U.S. intends to leave is needed to allay fears in the Middle East of a new and enduring American imperial hegemony. Right or wrong, many view the establishment of such a hegemony as the primary reason for the U.S. intervention in a region only recently free of colonial domination. That perception must be discredited." Quotes-end.png
From A road map out of Iraq, by Zbigniew Brzezinski (Los Angeles Times, 11 February 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The first and most critical step is to recognize that fighting on now simply prolongs our losses and blocks the way to a new strategy. Getting out of Iraq is the pre-condition for creating new strategic options. Withdrawal will take away the conditions that allow our enemies in the region to enjoy our pain. It will awaken those European states reluctant to collaborate with us in Iraq and the region." Quotes-end.png
From Victory Is Not an Option, by William Odom (The Washington Post, 11 February 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Nearly a year ago, I went to Iraq to hear firsthand from U.S. troops, military leaders and Iraqis. This is what I heard from our military commanders: If the Iraqi government can't provide better security for its people in six months, U.S. troops in central and southern Iraq should leave. That time has now come and gone -- and so should our servicemen and women who are needlessly in danger." Quotes-end.png
From Congress Must Act On Iraq, by Tom Vilsack (The Washington Post, 10 February 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Mr. Bush calls his critics “irresponsible,” saying that they don’t have an alternative to his strategy. But they do: setting a timetable for withdrawal, so that we can cut our losses, and trying to save what can be saved. It isn’t a strategy for victory because that’s no longer an option. It’s a strategy for acknowledging reality." Quotes-end.png
From The Texas Strategy, by Paul Krugman (The New York Times, 15 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In addition to denying expert advice and the voice of a nation, escalation sends the wrong message to the Iraqi government about charting its own future course. And it sends the wrong message about our priorities in the war on terror." Quotes-end.png
From Same Product, New Package, by Sherrod Brown (The Huffington Post, 10 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Congress must exert its constitutional authority and demand a vote before any escalation in Iraq. In October 2002, Members of Congress authorized a war against the regime of Saddam Hussein, not to send our troops into a civil war. I voted against that resolution and feel an escalation of this war only compounds the original mistake of going in the first place." Quotes-end.png
From Escalation? It's Not His Decision to Make, by Ted Kennedy (The Huffington Post, 9 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "I hope that when President Bush discusses sending more troops to Iraq, knowing that we will have to pull out sooner rather than later, that the conversation comes around to the human suffering. Does anyone at the table ask about the personal anguish, the long-term effects, emotional, psychological and financial, on the families of those killed, wounded or permanently disabled?" Quotes-end.png
From The Least Immoral Choice, by Sally Quinn (The Washington Post, 9 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn't supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny? Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?" Quotes-end.png
From Bush won't end Iraq war on his own, by Molly Ivins (Chicago Tribune, 5 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The war has been an exercise in futility and mind-boggling incompetence, and yet our involvement continues — with no end in sight, no plans for withdrawal, no idea of where we might be headed — as if the U.S. had fallen into some kind of bizarrely destructive trance from which it is unable to awaken." Quotes-end.png
From Another Thousand Lives, by Bob Herbert (The New York Times, 4 January 2007) (view)
… further results

Against this position


Quotes-start.png Our friends did not have to be left out in the cold to seek Iranian protection. Three years and a won war had given Obama the opportunity to establish a lasting strategic alliance with the Arab world’s second most important power. He failed, though he hardly tried very hard. The excuse is Iraqi refusal to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. But the Bush administration encountered the same problem and overcame it. Obama had little desire to. Indeed, he portrays the evacuation as a success, the fulfillment of a campaign promise. Quotes-end.png
From Who lost Iraq?, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 3 November 2011) (view)
Quotes-start.png America will pay a high price for defeat in Iraq. Our global credibility is seriously damaged—it is surely no accident that the weekend after President Obama announced that we were abandoning Iraq, President Hamid Karzai said that Afghanistan would stand with Pakistan against a U.S. attack. Why not? The Iranian and Pakistani narratives all along have been that the Americans will ultimately abandon their allies to their fate, while the neighbors will be around to exact revenge. President Obama has just reinforced that narrative before all the world. Quotes-end.png
From Defeat in Iraq, by Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, Marisa Cochrane Sullivan (The Weekly Standard, 1 November 2011) (view)
Quotes-start.png In order to decrease the risk of the worst case scenarios for Iraq and America, our military leaders have long argued that it is critical to keep a small U.S. force in Iraq after this year, since the Iraqi Security Forces still lack key capabilities and the country's stability is not yet secured. In fact, every military leader I have spoken to in recent years with any responsibility for Iraq has told me we must keep at least 10,000 troops there after this year to ensure that our hard-won gains are not lost. Quotes-end.png
From Reopen talks to keep U.S. force in Iraq, by Joe Lieberman (USA Today, 25 October 2011) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Despite Obama's opposition, America went on to create a small miracle in the heart of the Arab Middle East. President Obama is now the custodian of that miracle. It is his duty as leader of the nation that gave birth to this fledgling democracy to ensure that he does nothing to undermine it." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: Good News Is No News, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 13 February 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The trends are encouraging, but little about the Iraq war has been predictable. The United States has to retain the agility to achieve broad goals in case of setbacks, such as a temporary upsurge in violence around the elections or a need by Iraqi forces for U.S. backup." Quotes-end.png
From Obama recalibrates on Iraq, and that's as it should be, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, 22 January 2009) (view)
Quotes-start.png "News reports say the Iraqis want to set a goal of removing American combat troops from Iraqi cities by June 2009 and all combat troops from the country by October 2010. Iraq is a sovereign country, and impatience with the presence of a foreign army is natural. But trying to hand over security to Iraqi forces too quickly is exactly the mistake that created the near-catastrophe from which the surge saved us." Quotes-end.png
From Mission Not Yet Accomplished, by National Review editorial board (National Review, 13 August 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In fact, Mr. Obama can't afford not to update his Iraq policy. Once he has the conversations he's promising with U.S. commanders, he will have plenty of information that "contradicts the notion" of his rigid plan. Iraq's improvement means that American forces probably can be reduced next year, but it would be folly to begin a forced march out of the country without regard to the risks of renewed sectarian warfare and escalating intervention in the country by Iran and other of Iraq's neighbors." Quotes-end.png
From Mr. Obama on Iraq, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, 8 July 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The impact of withdrawing our forces can only give encouragement to the still-dangerous al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), as well as the Iranians who continue to use Shi'ite militias as proxies to fight U.S. and Iraqi forces. Further, we will have undercut the political groups, clans and tribal leaders who have aligned themselves with us. Every faction will be hedging their bets." Quotes-end.png
From White flag of surrender?, by James Lyons (The Washington Times, 13 June 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Al-Qaeda in Iraq is now on the run and in the midst of stunning and humiliating defeat. As for the Shiite extremists, the Mahdi Army is isolated and at its weakest point in years. Its sponsor, Iran, has suffered major setbacks, not just in Basra, but in Iraqi public opinion, which has rallied to the Maliki government and against Iranian interference through its Sadrist proxy. Even the most expansive American objective -- establishing a representative government that is an ally against jihadists, both Sunni and Shiite -- is within sight." Quotes-end.png
From Make the Election About Iraq, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 13 June 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We need to acknowledge that the Iraq war wasn't a "distraction" from the War on Terror, as critics still complain, but its centerpiece. It's not mere coincidence that our success against al Qaeda globally comes along with success in Iraq. For all its setbacks and frustrations, the Iraq war drew jihadists into a battle they thought they could win, because it would be fought on their home turf - but which they're now losing disastrously." Quotes-end.png
From Eat Crow, Iraq War Skeptics, by Arthur Herman (New York Post, 9 June 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "One irony here is that Barack Obama is promising a rapid withdrawal from Iraq on grounds that we can't defeat al Qaeda unless we focus on Afghanistan. He opposed the Iraq surge on similar grounds. Yet it is the surge, and the destruction of al Qaeda in Iraq, that has helped to demoralize al Qaeda around the world. Nothing would more embolden Zawahiri now than a U.S. retreat from Iraq, which al Qaeda would see as the U.S. version of the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan." Quotes-end.png
From Al Qaeda on the Run, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, 31 May 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What is new is that Petraeus's strategy and tactics, his patience and expertise, have succeeded and now allow some of the surge brigades to return home without replacement--and without a spike in killing. There's every reason to continue his strategy, not abandon it and force a withdrawal." Quotes-end.png
From Change That Matters, by Matthew Continetti (The Weekly Standard, 26 May 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "As Mr. Crocker put it, pulling out would lead to suffering "on a scale far beyond what we have already seen. Spiraling conflict could draw in neighbors with devastating consequences for the region and the world." Regrettably, none of this seemed to penetrate the minds of most Senate liberals. Democrats largely used the platform for reiterating the arguments they have made for 16 months, notwithstanding the changes on the ground." Quotes-end.png
From 'See No Progress', by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, 9 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The question that opponents of the war effort have to answer is: Will Iraq's problems become better or worse if we pull our troops out? Few who have spent any time in Iraq doubt that an American withdrawal would trigger chaos that would make the recent fighting in Basra look like a picnic. That would be not only a terrible stain on our honor (we might be indirectly responsible for genocide) but a significant strategic setback because it could destabilize the entire region." Quotes-end.png
From Resist the urge to leave Iraq, by Max Boot (Los Angeles Times, 8 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There is no question the war in Iraq – like the Cold War, World War II and every other conflict we have fought in our history – costs money. But as great as the costs of this struggle have been, so too are the dividends to our national security from a successful outcome, with a functioning, representative Iraqi government and a stabilized Middle East. The costs of abandoning Iraq to our enemies, conversely, would be enormous, not only in dollars, but in human lives and in the security and freedom of our nation." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq and Its Costs, by Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham (The Wall Street Journal, 7 April 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In Iraq, America was surrounded by enemies who were sure from the start that the great foreign power was destined to fail. They could not be given the satisfaction of a hasty American retreat. The stakes had grown: We were under the gaze of populations with a keen eye for the weakness of strangers. It was apt and proper that the leader who launched this war did not give up on it." Quotes-end.png
From No Surrender, by Fouad Ajami (The Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There may be scope for some force reductions; but what Iraq needs is a properly trained and equipped army, a competent police force and an external security guarantor. Some Iraqi brigades are fairly capable but few can yet act on their own. Al-Qaeda still has strongholds that must be smashed. US forces must remain engaged for years - and with them American policymakers." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: Five Years Hence, by The Times editorial board (The Times, 19 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "History will record a number of military mistakes made in the Iraq war - and will surely note that al Qaeda's decision to engage the US-led coalition there represented a major strategic blunder. Al Qaeda certainly didn't have to do that - but it did anyway, and is paying a horrific price because of it. As Gen. Ricardo Sanchez has noted, Iraq "is exactly where we want to fight [al Qaeda]," because "this will prevent the American people from having to go through their attacks back in the United States."" Quotes-end.png
From Barack's Iraq Attack, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 2 March 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible." Quotes-end.png
From Staying to Help in Iraq, by Angelina Jolie (The Washington Post, 28 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The Iraqi government has vast deficiencies, and there still is too much sectarian influence at the top levels of the government and in the ISF. But merely saying that the benchmarks haven’t been met — and damning the war to failure on that basis — is yesterday’s soundbite." Quotes-end.png
From ‘Stuck on Lost’, by National Review editorial board (National Review, 27 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What will the Democrats say now? They will complain that there is still no oil distribution law. True. But oil revenue is being distributed to the provinces in the national budget. The fact that parliament could not agree on a permanent formula for the future simply means that it will be allocating oil revenue year by year as part of the budget process. Is that a reason to abandon Iraq to al-Qaeda and Iran?" Quotes-end.png
From Democrats Dug In For Retreat, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 22 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Is it any wonder, then, that Gates and Petraeus want to make sure they have the resources to face whatever's next? Otherwise, the stability US troops have fought so hard to establish could evaporate very quickly. Contrast their prudence with the reckless promises of rapid drawdown hawked by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - who were predictably up in arms over Gates' announcement." Quotes-end.png
From The surge -- and a pause, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 17 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Nobody wants to overburden the military, but we can think of nothing that would "break" it more completely than losing a war. For evidence, look at what happened to military readiness and morale in the years after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The Army and Marines in Iraq have adapted from their earlier troubles to a counterinsurgency strategy that is working. General Petraeus should be given as long as he needs." Quotes-end.png
From Looking Forward in Iraq, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Thanks to Mr. Gates's readiness to adjust, it's more likely that President Bush's successor will inherit an Iraq that is moving slowly toward stability rather than spiraling into chaos. So it's worth asking why Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton remain so unwilling to alter their outdated and dogmatic views about the war." Quotes-end.png
From Good Sense on Iraq, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, 13 February 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The worst mistake the United States could make would be to allow its frustration with Iraqi political leaders to cause it to abandon the military strategy that has delivered that progress. As long as Baghdad neighborhoods are continuing to recover, refugees are trickling home, and Sunni and Shiite militias are helping to keep the peace rather than hunting each other, the U.S. mission in Iraq will be serving a vital purpose." Quotes-end.png
From Iraqi Mirages, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, 18 January 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Now it's up to US and Iraqi politicians to use the relative stability provided by the surge to lay the groundwork necessary to forge a stable, functioning Iraqi government. There will be setbacks. There will be further violence. And, sadly, there will be an uptick in American casualties. But the fact remains that the war in Iraq has been turned around - thanks to Gen. Petraeus and his troops, who took the fight to the enemy, and to President Bush's willingness to risk all by changing course." Quotes-end.png
From Petraeus' Victory, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 11 January 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Whereas, a year ago, al Qaeda in Iraq was entrenched in Anbar province and Baghdad, now the forces of Islamist extremism are facing their single greatest and most humiliating defeat since the loss of Afghanistan in 2001. Thanks to the surge, the Sunni Arabs who once constituted the insurgency's core of support in Iraq have been empowered to rise up against the suicide bombers and fanatics in their midst -- prompting Osama bin Laden to call them "traitors."" Quotes-end.png
From The Surge Worked, by John McCain, Joe Lieberman (The Wall Street Journal, 10 January 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Anti-war Democrats remain fixated on tying war funding to a rapid troop withdrawal. Yet pulling the troops out precipitously threatens to squander the progress of recent months toward salvaging a decent outcome to the Iraq debacle. What's needed is acknowledgment that the surge is achieving what was intended: not complete military victory but enough stability to make political compromise possible. What's missing is Iraqi will to take advantage of the success." Quotes-end.png
From Surge's success holds chance to seize the moment in Iraq, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, 13 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis." Quotes-end.png
From Getting Beyond Stalemate to Win a War, by John Batiste, Pete Hegseth (The Washington Post, 8 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There is no question Iraq's national leaders must do more to promote reconciliation and improve governance in the months ahead. But the fact is, there has been enormous political progress in Iraq at the local and provincial levels thanks to the surge, as Sunni and Shiite leaders have stepped forward to fight against the extremists in their communities. Building on these gains is going to require deft diplomacy and subtle statecraft from the United States -- not declarations of defeat." Quotes-end.png
From It's inexcusable for Congress not to fund troops in Iraq, by John McCain, Joe Lieberman (New Hampshire Union Leader, 4 December 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in disarray, the Sunni insurgency in decline, the Shiite militias quiescent, the capital city reviving. Are we now to reverse course and abandon all this because parliament cannot ratify the reconciliation already occurring on the ground?" Quotes-end.png
From On Iraq, a State of Denial, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 23 November 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Make no mistake: Even if al Qaeda were driven completely from Iraq, it would remain a potent force elsewhere. But no group could suffer such a defeat without significant consequences for both prestige and recruitment. America's other enemies, meanwhile, would have to think twice about further angering a lethally adaptable adversary. The war in Iraq may be far from won, but there are plenty of good reasons to keep up the fight." Quotes-end.png
From Al Qaeda's Quagmire, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 29 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "How much more powerful a tool would have been the actual defeat of the United States, the last remaining superpower, at the hands of Al Qaeda In Iraq? How much more dangerous would have been a terrorist movement with bases in an oil-rich Arab country at the heart of al Qaeda's mythical "Caliphate" than al Qaeda was when based in barren, poverty-stricken Afghanistan, a country where Arabs are seen as untrustworthy outsiders? Instead, Al Qaeda In Iraq today is broken." Quotes-end.png
From Winning One Battle, Fighting the Next, by Frederick W. Kagan (The Weekly Standard, 27 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Well, having just spent a week in Basra, the most charitable conclusion I can reach is that Mr Brown has been surveying the situation through a pair of rose-tinted binoculars. How else could he claim, as he did in the Commons, that the Government is able to reduce its troop numbers because "the Iraqis are now able to take responsibility for the security themselves"?" Quotes-end.png
From Troop cuts will jeopardise Basra's progress, by Con Coughlin (The Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Of course if our mission in Iraq were wrong or foolish or impossible, we would be right to abandon it. But recall that Americans have fought and died in Iraq to destroy a tyranny that was underwriting terrorism, threatening the peace of its region and the world--and torturing its own people to death. Americans died to put Iraq in the hands of a government that would terrorize neither its own people nor any other nor the world at large. Their mission was noble and right." Quotes-end.png
From Defeat at Any Price, by David Gelernter (The Weekly Standard, 15 September 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We have to remember the innocent Americans who were brutally slaughtered on 9/11. We have to remember that we fight not for empire, oil or dominion, but to defeat a relentless enemy determined to force us into submission to its deranged ideology." Quotes-end.png
From Six years on: The struggle continues, by New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board (New Hampshire Union Leader, 11 September 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Al Qaeda, and its associates and sympathizers throughout the Islamic world and beyond, understand very well what is at stake in Iraq and Afghanistan — and what a glorious opportunity an American defeat there would give them. Do we?" Quotes-end.png
From Resolute redux, by Paul Greenberg (The Washington Times, 29 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Al Qaeda is on the verge of a humiliating, devastating strategic defeat - rejected by their fellow Sunni Muslims. If we don't quit, this will not only be a huge practical win - it'll be the information victory we've been aching for. No matter what the Middle Eastern media might say, everyone in the Arab and greater Sunni Muslim world will know that al Qaeda was driven out of Iraq by a combination of Muslims and Americans." Quotes-end.png
From Senator Warner's Bad Withdrawal Symptoms, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, 25 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Osama bin Laden made a bet – that, notwithstanding the T-shirt slogan, "These Colors Do Run": They ran from Vietnam, and they ran from the helicopters in the desert, and from Lebanon and Somalia – and they will run from Iraq and Afghanistan, because that is the nature of a soft, plump ersatz-superpower that coils up in the fetal position if you prick its toe. Even Republicans like Sen. John Warner seem peculiarly anxious to confirm the bin Laden characterization." Quotes-end.png
From They wait for us to run again, by Mark Steyn (The Orange County Register, 25 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "As a Democrat who voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy, I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future. Our diplomatic and military leaders in Iraq, their current strategy, and most importantly, our troops and the Iraqi people themselves, deserve our continued support and more time to succeed." Quotes-end.png
From Our troops have earned more time, by Brian Baird (The Seattle Times, 24 August 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008." Quotes-end.png
From A War We Just Might Win, by Michael O'Hanlon, Kenneth Pollack (The New York Times, 30 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Shiite death-squad activity and executions in Baghdad have significantly decreased since January. In Anbar Province and increasingly in Diyala Province, tribal sheikhs have turned against al Qaeda and are now siding with American and Iraqi Security Forces (these are examples of "bottom-up" political reconciliation for which we had been hoping). Attack levels in Anbar have reached a two-year low. Ramadi, once among the most dangerous cities in Iraq, is now dramatically safer." Quotes-end.png
From General Petraeus Needs Time, by Peter Wehner (The Wall Street Journal, 28 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Gen. Dave Petraeus and his subordinate commanders are by far the best team we've ever had in place in that wretched country. They're doing damned near everything right - with austere resources, despite the surge. And they're being abandoned by your elected leaders." Quotes-end.png
From Winning in Iraq, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, 26 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Bin Laden and Zawahiri's own words tell us that the American project in Iraq jeopardizes everything their group stands for: These two top leaders of al Qaeda have promised the people of the Middle East that al Qaeda will protect Muslim soil from the "Crusader-Zionist" invaders, even if the region's rulers will not, and even if doing so meant cooperating with the "apostate" Saddam." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq Is the Central Front, by Thomas Joscelyn (The Weekly Standard, 23 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "After she sent a letter on the subject to DoD, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded by warning bluntly that premature discussion of withdrawal "reinforces enemy propaganda" that the United States will abandon our allies in Iraq — as we previously did in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kerry responded by introducing legislation requiring a Pentagon briefing on an Iraq pullout — in other words advertising U.S. willingness to abandon another ally." Quotes-end.png
From The genocide-ocrats?, by The Washington Times editorial board (The Washington Times, 23 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Yesterday, in fact, officials announced the capture of the highest-ranking Iraqi leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani. And Gen. Peter Pace, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that "a sea change" is taking place "in many places here," in terms of security. But despite having voted to confirm Petraeus - and to give him until September to show achievements - Dems have no interest now in what he has to say. " Quotes-end.png
From Party of Surrender, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 19 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Anti-American terrorists and fanatics worldwide will be emboldened. Iraq would emerge, in Senator John McCain's words, "as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan before 9/11." Once again -- as in Vietnam, in Lebanon, in Somalia -- the United States would have proven the weaker horse, unwilling to see a fight through to the finish." Quotes-end.png
From The consequences of quitting Iraq, by Jeff Jacoby (The Boston Globe, 18 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The US military cannot be expected to maintain a force of this strength engaged in this form of combat indefinitely. It does not need to. It only has to stay until the point where sufficiently large numbers of the Iraqi Army and police units are in place and there is a political settlement in Baghdad that all sides deem acceptable.If the will is there, much of what needs to be accomplished could be realised in several months, not several years." Quotes-end.png
From Time and Politics, by The Times editorial board (The Times, 14 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "A year ago, it appeared that the only way to win back the Sunnis and neutralize the extremists was with great national compacts about oil and power sharing. But Anbar has unexpectedly shown that even without these constitutional settlements, the insurgency can be neutralized and al-Qaeda defeated at the local and provincial levels with a new and robust counterinsurgency strategy." Quotes-end.png
From Deserting Petraeus, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 13 July 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Democrats, meanwhile, have given up even pretending that a congressionally imposed bug-out won't produce a bloodbath on the scale of the nightmare inflicted on South Vietnam and Cambodia the last time they forced an American president to pull out of an unpopular war. Indeed, they understand full well what would happen - but don't care. That a growing number of Republicans are more concerned with their own re-election than with the consequences of a forced withdrawal is tragic. " Quotes-end.png
From The Surrender Lobby, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, 13 July 2007) (view)
… further results

Mixed on this position


Quotes-start.png "If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq's 2009 elections will be crucial." Quotes-end.png
From The Iraqi Upturn, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, 1 June 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Indeed, I continue to believe that everyone has us where they want us in Iraq: We’re holding up the floor for Iraqi politicians to do their endless tribal dance; we are bogged down and within missile range of Iran, so if we try to use any military force to disrupt Tehran’s nuclear program we will pay a huge price; and as long as we are trapped in Iraq, we will never even think about promoting reform elsewhere in the Arab world — to the relief of all Arab autocrats." Quotes-end.png
From Remember Iraq, by Thomas Friedman (The New York Times, 24 October 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We concede that an American withdrawal would reward our enemies, especially al-Qaida and Iran, with a major victory. Additionally, the fighting that would inevitably fill the vacuum of a U.S. departure could engulf neighboring countries. So the case for the U.S. remaining can be made. But to date, the discredited Bush administration has failed to make it. Unless and until it does, a phased withdrawal looks like the best option." Quotes-end.png
From It's about time: After four years, Bush has not made case for staying, by The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board (The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 March 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "This war has reached the point that merely prolonging it could make a bad ending even worse. Without a real plan to bring it to a close, there is no point in talking about jobs programs and military offensives. There is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in Iraq." Quotes-end.png
From The Real Disaster, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, 11 January 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Either we just get out of Iraq in a phased withdrawal over 10 months, and try to stabilize it some other way, or we accept the fact that the only way it will not be a failed state is if we start over and rebuild it from the ground up, which would take 10 years. This would require reinvading Iraq, with at least 150,000 more troops, crushing the Sunni and Shiite militias, controlling borders, and building Iraq’s institutions and political culture from scratch." Quotes-end.png
From Ten Months or Ten Years, by Thomas Friedman (The New York Times, 29 November 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "At this late date, the United States has only one card left to play in Iraq: the threat to leave immediately. Except for Sadr, virtually no one in Iraq's political class wants that to happen. We must wield that threat as dramatically as possible, and, if Iraq's leaders don't respond, leave as fast as we humanly can." Quotes-end.png
From To the Brink, by Peter Beinart (The New Republic, 20 November 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "“Awful” would be carrying out that threat to leave Iraq by a fixed date because Iraqis prove too angry and atomized to reach any deal. The fires of madness now raging in Iraq — people beheading each other, blowing up each other’s mosques — would all intensify. A U.S. withdrawal under such conditions would be messy and shameful. But when people are that intent on killing each other there’s not much we can do. " Quotes-end.png
From Tolerable or Awful: The Roads Left in Iraq, by Thomas Friedman (The New York Times, 8 November 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Iraq still deserves one last chance — as long as we don't confuse deadly stubbornness and perseverance. If, at this late hour, Iraqis in decisive numbers prove willing to fight for their own freedom and a constitutional government, we should be willing to remain for a generation. If they continue to revel in fratricidal slaughter, we must leave." Quotes-end.png
From Last gasps in Iraq, by Ralph Peters (USA Today, 2 November 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What has become of our dreams for democracy when today's Iraqi police are worse than Saddam's and the most humane possibility for the country is a military government? The answer is that Arab civilization has revealed itself as a catastrophic failure." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq's New Secret Police, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, 1 November 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The American people will support a cause that is noble and necessary, but not one that is unwinnable. And without a central Iraqi government willing to act in its own self-defense, this war will be unwinnable." Quotes-end.png
From Iraq: A Civil War We Can Still Win, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, 8 September 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Bush's aim of making Iraq a democracy and projecting American power in the region as a way of fighting the war on terrorism is a failure. The invasion has only improved al-Qaida's ability to recruit terrorists and undermined U.S. long-term interests in the region. It has, for sure, made Iran the regional power. The question once the elections are out of the way will be how best to deal with those consequences." Quotes-end.png
From Support for Bush's war in Iraq is crumbling fast, by James Klurfeld (Newsday, 8 September 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "I share the concern of what would happen to Iraq if the United States pulled out precipitously. I share the concern over what will happen if the United States stays. I share the concern of those who say that no matter whether it stays or goes the outcome will be the same." Quotes-end.png
From Civil War? What Civil War?, by Richard Cohen (The Washington Post, 8 August 2006) (view)