Politicians poised to lose the war

Eli Lake:

The architects of the current surge strategy for Iraq are worried the Republican Party may abandon the war in September and force President Bush to begin the withdrawal of troops from the country prematurely.

Both American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan and a retired general, John Keane, the two men who persuaded Mr. Bush to launch the current counteroffensive in Iraq last December, said in interviews this week that they fear Republicans in Congress could be looking to declare victory and leave.

"The tragedy of these efforts is we are on the cusp of potentially being successful in the next year in a way that we have failed in the three-plus preceding years, but because of this political pressure, it looks like we intend to pull out the rug from underneath that potential success," General Keane said yesterday.

The concerns are real. In the Senate there are anywhere from 10 to 15 Republicans who have signaled publicly and privately they could not support the current surge of troops come September, when Congress is set to vote on another temporary funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At that time, General David Petraeus, the top American officer in Iraq, will give a status report on the current strategy. Those Republicans could create a veto-proof two-thirds majority in the Senate, assuming all Democrats vote for a hard withdrawal deadline or threaten to cut off funds.

Senator Lugar, the Indiana Republican and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this week demanded a new strategy from the White House for Iraq. Meanwhile, the White House itself is quietly approaching disgruntled Republicans in the hope of coming up with a compromise Iraq solution for the fall.

...

These guys are preparing to betray the troops under the guise of saving them. Their lack of faith in the troops is a huge mistake. Allowing al Qaeda to win in Iraq is a huge mistake. The profound ignorance of warfare by these politicians will have horrendous costs for the US as a consequence of their bad decisions.

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