Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Reese Memo

Colonel Timothy R. Reese, a senior US adviser and military officer serving in Iraq, recently published a brief essay on his blog site about the eroding situation in Iraq and our nation's involvement there. He basically argues that the US job is done, not so much because we have built a democracy there or anything else like that, but because further progress is not and will not be forthcoming; the window of opportunity is basically closing. In the meantime, the good relationship between US forces and the Iraqi Security Forces that the US military has committed so many resources to building and sustaining, is itself eroding as the Iraqis become more interested in seeing the Americans leave.

Colonel Reese argues that we should get out now, and not wait till the December 2011 final withdrawal date agreed to in the US-Iraqi Security Agreement. He says not doing so will not only cost American lives needlessly, but will damage what little constructive work the US forces have sacrificed so much to build there.

While I take issue with the value of some of what the US forces have done in Iraq (such as running prisons and torture centers and violating pretty much everything that our nation has stood for throughout its entire history), I find myself in agreement with the colonel in a lot of what he says. His essay, just a few pages long, is well worth the read. Check it out (click on the title above, and it will take you to a NYT website edition of the complete text of his paper).

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