Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Petraeus notes Iraqi situation

The time we have left as a country to make positive changes in Iraq is quickly expiring. Gen Petraeus is heading a last hour charge by our forces to secure the country and contain the multiple threats and opportunist that continue to jockey for position. Gen Petraeus has a military task of incredible complexity but he is engaged by the problem of the Iraqi Government performance deficit to date. He has recently issue the warning that crosses that military/political divide when he said

If the Iraqi security forces, the Iraqi people, the Iraqi political leaders can demonstrate that there should be hope for them making the most of the opportunity, that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are fighting to provide them, indeed there could be time put on the clock, kept on the clock to enable this endeavor to go forward,"
Results of the emergency political summit going on in Baghdad will be critical, he said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Iraq's top Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders to meet this week in an effort to stabilize what Gen. Petraeus referred to as "political crisis."

"That's the situation we're in right now. We are waiting to see what the political leaders accomplish at the big summit that is ongoing in Baghdad," he said. "We need to see now: 'What is the progress made? ... And does that indeed point to a path that will take them forward?'"Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, said in an interview Aug. 17 with Soldiers Radio and Television's Gail McCabe.

What is noteworthy in this type of dialogue is that Gen Petraeus is continuing the question he has been quoted in past – “where does this all end”. While the Iraqi people must decide where it all ends and what steps to change or energize their leaders are needed we remain engaged as a military force and will struggle to meet a mission accomplishment that is not clearly defined.

General Petraeus is pressing for a political solution which is instrumental to any success in Iraq – not the forte of the Military but an absolute necessity to our battle plan.

As a country we must decide where we want our interaction with Iraq to end. Do we resolve to suffer the pains of a burgeoning democracy with its cost to our soldiers or do we want to abandon the quest to democracy in Iraq and allow the rival factions to immerse the country into anarchy and a cloudy future. While General Petraeus is bravely stepping out of the military realm to push the Iraqi Government to action we must decide if we are willing to give that government time to figure out how to efficiently run a government that is able to secure its people.

Petraeus is exhibiting an extrodinary amount of candor and demonstrates his acummen for results... his efforts are admirable... and I wish him success in gaining results from the Iraqi government.

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