Another Fine Speech


This one from John McCain (click on “Sen. McCain’s remarks” in upper right:

While we make improvements in our political-military strategy, the latest polls and protests at home show that we need a renewed effort to win the homefront. If we can’t retain the support of the American people, we will have lost this war as soundly as if our forces were defeated on the battlefield. A renewed effort at home starts with explaining precisely what is at stake in this war – not to alarm Americans, but so that they see the nature of this struggle for what it is. The President cannot do this alone. The media, so efficient in portraying the difficulties in Iraq, need to convey the consequences of success or failure there. Critics in the Democratic Party should outline precisely what they believe to be the stakes in this battle, if they are willing to suffer the consequences of withdrawal. [emphasis added]

He has some specific suggestions (not a generic “do it better” philosophy) for new directions in the war. Most of these look good to me on first glance, especially this one:

General Petraeus, a fine officer who was the military’s foremost expert in the training of Iraqi security forces, now uses his hard earned experience and expertise at Fort Leavenworth. Others, including General Conway, General Odierno, and General Chiarelli, have been transferred to Washington or elsewhere. This is deeply unwise. If these were the best men for the task, they should still be on the job. These generals and other senior officers build, in their time in Iraq, the on-the-ground and institutional knowledge necessary to approach this conflict with wisdom. They know, for example, the difference between a battle in Falluja and one in Tal Afar, or what kind of patrols are most effective in Shia areas of Baghdad. We need these commanders – and their hard-won experience – to stay in place.

I’ve always like Petraeus. He a no-nonsense realist, but he will get things done.
[Hat tip: American Future]

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