Rich Galen

In my brief and tangential experience, Iraqis have done pretty well when they have had a deadline - a benchmark to use the current idiom - against which they were pressed: The adopted the Transitional Administrative Law; conducted the elections; and adopted a constitution pretty much on the timeline which we had helped them construct.

A new timeline with new deadl... benchmarks will help the Iraqis get focused on the things which need to be done - both strategically and tactically - and the order in which they need to do them to get their country back under control.

The Battle for Iraq must be won or the United States (and every other nation on the planet) will be open to exactly the kind of violence we see in Baghdad every day.

As Flight Director Gene Kranz said to his troops in Houston during the Apollo 13 mission: "Failure is not an option."

Related Topic:

Remember the mention of Capt. Travis Patriquin by Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press a few weeks ago? He was the officer who constructed the stick-figure presentation regarding how win in Anbar province and then was killed by a roadside bomb outside Ramadi in early December.

His dad wrote to me yesterday that there had been established a memorial fund to help care for his children aged 7, 5 and 1.

If there is a service member in your area who has given his or her life on our behalf, please give to whatever fund has been established in their memory. If you are looking for someplace to make a donation, please consider Travis Patriquin.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at