Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory in Iraq: A Look Ahead

Today is Victory in Iraq Day! We should celebrate and thank everyone who has made it possible.

Today also, we should take time and look ahead and see what challenges we still face both in Iraq and in the broader War on Terror. We have asked a lot of our servicemen and women. They have performed wonderfully and we should thank every single one. But more is required. When we ask them, they will go. Some will not come home. So let's take some very careful time and look at the challenges still ahead.


We still have a lot to do. Despite the remarkable progress that has been made this past year, we can't just walk away from our obligation to ensure the safety of the Iraqi people. AQI still has a presence in Iraq though their numbers and capability have been drastically reduced. Several "special groups" continue to operate. But, this is not our role at this point. We are training and teaching the Iraqi army and police force to deal with these problems. Indeed, the majority of our work is training Iraqis to defend their own country. This will still take time and it is a good thing that the Iraqi government has agreed to let US troops remain until 2011.


The situation here is worse. I encourage you to read everything you can about Afghanistan especially Michael Totten. The Afghani government needs lots of improvement. The country is still highly fractured. Poppy and opium production is rampant. Though al Qaedi and the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan, they use the boarder with Pakistan for safe passage to conduct attacks, raids, and intimidation campaigns.
Needless to say, this is where a good majority of our focus, time, and resources are going to be spent for a long time.


We are allies with Pakistan. But Pakistan has severe problems. The greatest is that the government has absolutely no control of nor influence in the FATA or Federally-Administered Trible Area, a region in the western part of the country where the Taliban have taken control, al Qaedi finds safe haven, and terrorists train, recruit, stage attacks. This problem affects the situation in neighboring Afghanistan, but it is also threatening the Pakistani government. Pakistan wants to help, but frankly, they can't. They have too many internal problems. I don't know that we can currently do anything either.


Iran not only has nuclear ambitions, but they see themselves as the regional power able to affect all of the Middle East. This isn't far from the truth. Unfortunately, their ideas for the Middle East will cause war, death, and distruction. Iran's power is waxing and the world isn't doing a thing about it. Though I think comparing Iran to Nazi Germany isn't a good comparison, I think that the unwillingness of anyone to face Iran before it's too late has many parallels with Europe in the 1930s.

Global War on Terror

Obviously, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are a major focus of our efforts right now and in the years to come. But, they are not the only places with severe problems. Saudi Aradia, Yemen, Somalia, South-East Asia, and many other places all have a presense of international terrorist. Each country is unique. Some have governments that are at least seemingly wanting to fight terrorism. Some of these countries have no government at all. This is a dangerous time and a dangerous world. We still have a lot to do.

A Special Note

Let's not forget that we have hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who have volunteered to step up, serve, and be away from their families. They need to know that we support them and that we're behind them. Let's show our support by sending them care packages, letters, and cards. Additionaly, the following links may be very helpful in giving you specific information.

Go to
Go to

Go to

Go to

Go to

If you need any ideas, read Samantha Speaks. She has lots of ideas and helpful information.

No comments: