Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Iraq: Needs more than just a military answer

CNO Mike Mullen
Originally uploaded by onlyacook@sbcglobal.net.
Admiral Mullen, currently the Chief of Naval Operations and the nominee to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is testifying today before a Senate committee. Tidbits from William Branigin's article in the Washington Post:
  • The war in Iraq is taking a heavy toll on the U.S. military, which he warned is "not unbreakable," and he stressed a need to "plan for an eventual drawdown" of American forces there.
  • Unless the Iraqi government takes advantage of the "breathing space" that the surge is providing, no troop increases will make much difference, he said.
  • In written responses to questions submitted by the committee, Mullen warned that "there is no purely military solution in Iraq" and that the country's politicians "need to view politics and democracy as more than just majority rule, winner-take-all, or a zero-sum game." Even with improved security resulting from the current strategy, he said, ultimate success in Iraq cannot be achieved without "long-term political and social solutions."

    Absent those elements, he said, the United States will be forced to reevaluate its strategy. "Failure to achieve tangible progress requires a strategic reassessment," he wrote.
Oh, that's all comforting, isn't it?

Are we currently headed down the wrong track, or what?

Am I the only one hearing the military counsel being offered?

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