An interesting moment from yesterday’s testimony with Biden, Petraeus and Crocker.
And while some on the left and the right have been trying to make hay out of this, the segment does have my wondering why, if our highest priority targets are in Afghanistan, that we’re not trying to destroy them.
I understand we think we have an obligation to the Iraqi people, but after Maliki’s recent U.S. aided power grab last week, it seems like we’re wasting our time and we need to start going after al Qaeda again. Because as Confederate Yankee points out…
what Crocker actually told Biden is that our military had severely damaged the operational capabilities of al Qaeda in Iraq (by 75-percent in the last year alone, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry) and knocked it into a defensive posture where it is far less of a threat.
How much less of a threat?
According to StrategyPage.com, Osama bin Laden admitted defeat in Iraq on Oct 22, 2007, a sentiment that Marine Colonel Richard Simcock shared contemporaneously as it related to al Qaeda’s former strongholds in al Anbar in specific. Battered, tattered, and lethally-harassed by coalition soldiers at night and former Sunni Iraqi allies during the day, al Qaeda’s morale in Iraq is crushed, along with most of it’s capabilities.
Thanks to Iraqi and coalition efforts, Al Qaeda in Iraq is beaten, fragmented, and on the verge of a final collapse, according to the terror organization itself. With this enemy almost defeated, it is only common sense that Crocker would select the remaining al Qaeda hiding along the Afghan-Pakistani border as being the greater threat.
This is GREAT news, and what it means is we should shift focus, yes? I doubt Confederate Yankee would agree with this conclusion, but if we’ve “won” in Iraq what are we still doing there?
Simply put, if this really is a war on terrorism, we need to target the terrorists…not take part in one nation building exercise after another. I know many are concerned with Iran, but that’s a diplomatic mission and I think everybody knows this by now. Having troops in a neighboring country doesn’t do anything for us at this point. Actually, I think it only exacerbates any ill will because the threat is always, “You’re next.” It can’t be all stick and no carrot. The world knows we can organize our forces in a matter of weeks and pound nearly any country into oblivion.
Iraq is won. Time to shift back to Afghanistan.