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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Gen. Odom's Opinon

What's Wrong With Cutting and Running?
by Gen. (ret.) William E. Odom

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (ret.), is a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and a professor at Yale University. He was director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988. From 1981 to 1985, he served as assistant chief of staff for intelligence, the Army's senior intelligence officer. From 1977 to 1981, he was military assistant to the president's assistant for national security affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski..

If I were a journalist, I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better.

Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

1. We would leave behind a civil war.

2. We would lose credibility on the world stage.

3. It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy.

4. Iraq would become a haven for terrorists.

5. Iranian influence in Iraq would increase.

6. Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors.

7. Shi'ite-Sunni clashes would worsen.

8. We haven't fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet.

9. Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops.

But consider this:

1. On civil war. Iraqis are already fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That's civil war. We created the civil war when we invaded; we can't prevent a civil war by staying....
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