In Iraq, where 2,892 US troops have been killed and 20,000 wounded since March 2003, drastic troop reductions need to occur immediately. Currently, there are 141,000 US troops on the ground in Iraq and Bush and Congress need to start bringing them home, transferring them, or altering their duties as the Iraq Study Group was expected to recommend.
The Iraq Study Group, or the Baker-Hamilton Commission, released their final report and findings. The report called for diplomacy with foes Syria and Iran and a possible pullout of most US combat troops by early 2008 to help reverse a “grave and deteriorating” situation. Under the Iraq Study Group's plan, the US troops that remain in Iraq would work as advisors and trainers supporting the Iraqi troops.
“There is no magic formula that will solve the problems of Iraq, “Baker said in presenting the report in Washington. “It is time to find a new way forward, a new approach.”
Although it is still possible to create a liberated and self-governing democracy in Iraq, the United States’ role must change for that to happen. Despite valiant efforts from the brave men and women in our military, the current military strategy in Iraq is not conducive to progress. In fact, it is holding back the development of the Iraqi military and police forces. Until these Iraqi forces are responsible for their country’s security, they will continue to rely on the US to do their dirty work.
The NATO Summit deliberations last week and the Iraq Study Group’s plan will give President Bush an opening to decrease involvement in Iraq and increase operations in Afghanistan as he should have months ago. Sun Tzu, the famed military strategist once said, "Opportunities multiply as they are seized." Only time will tell if President Bush seizes this opportunity.