Another sad milestone in the slow degradation of our armed forces. If anybody has not yet recalibrated their assumptions about Iraq, here are a few pointers:
* The “surge” will not go on because it cannot go on. Sooner rather than later there will be no more wounded, stop-lossed and unrested troops left to send to Iraq.
* Staying in Iraq by definition means leaving America open to external threats. We have already cannibalized our reserve troops, making it impossible to respond to any new threats unless al Qaeda fields a blue water navy. Staying now just prolongs the repair time before our army is ready to fight again.
* We cannot win in Iraq. The “surge” has just squeezed the violence to places where we are not surging, we lack the forces to hold regions that we clear and even that effect will end when we draw down the “surge” troops.
Some of these points may be open to debate, but as far as I can tell the opposing arguments are mostly based on misinformation and gross distortions of fact (see McCain, John). Barring a game changer along the lines of the arrival of the 12th Imam or the Spanish Flu our narrative is already writ in stone. It’s just a matter of when.