The Corner

Re: Gerecht

Rich, c’mon. I didn’t say, or suggest, that we conduct combat operations without ANY regard for local political conditions. I freely concede that local political conditions will be an important determinant of when and how we will be able to leave Iraq. I may not be where you are, but I’m not really saying “to hell with them,” either.

Still, local conditions are affected at least as much by combat operations as the other way around. The continuing vitality of the terrorists, three years in, is critically affecting the local political conditions. It is not ignoring local conditions to say that they are of less concern when the enemy hasn’t been defeated yet.

I’m not a military expert in any sense, and I don’t purport to know how many troops it would take to win this thing. (To my non-expert mind, we used around half a million in 1991 to do something far less ambitious than what we have been trying to do since 2003. But I wouldn’t dare call for more troops because, for all I know, the world of force-projection has changed so much in a dozen-plus years that my observation is ignorant. I don’t presume to second-guess the people who are experts in such matters.)

But I don’t think I need to be a West Point grad to grasp that these things are approached differently if your mindset is that you haven’t won yet versus considering yourself to have won and to be in a post-combat phase of stabilizing matters so you can go home.

I am not a student of military history, so please understand that I do not mean this as a flippant or rhetorical question. Is it common to try to strike a final political solution under circumstances where the enemy hasn’t been defeated yet, hasn’t surrendered, hasn’t sought a truce, and is still fighting to win? If the answer to that question is “no,” then aren’t we putting the cart before the horse if we are allowing the local politics to exert too much influence over combat operations?

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More