The Iraq War: Opportunities Missed, Lessons Learned, and the Way Ahead" will be presented by Peter Mansoor, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired), and the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State, from 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday (4/27) in 165 Thompson Library.
When Gen. Petraeus was appointed commander of U.S. forces in Iraq in January 2007, he tapped Col. Mansoor to be his executive officer. Over the course of the next 15 months in Iraq, Col. Mansoor helped orchestrate the surge of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Baghdad and the implementation of a new U.S. counterinsurgency strategy that was controversial because it called for an increase in troop numbers, saw the U.S. military cut deals with one-time insurgents and prioritized protecting the local population even though it meant a short-term increase in U.S. casualty numbers. The moves are credited in many circles with reining in the violence.From August 2010 WSJ article
In late 2008, Washington and Baghdad inked a deal to withdraw U.S. troops by the end of 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to end the war, and shortly after coming into office, he set the Aug. 31, 2010, deadline to bring home all combat troops, leaving 50,000 trainers and support staff in their wake.
The speed of the recent combat wind-down didn't sit well with many who invested years in Iraq, including Col. Mansoor.
"I'm not enamored with President Obama's decision to pull our combat forces out before they had to go, which isn't until the end of next year," he says. "But I don't feel bad about the way things are there now. I think that Iraqi politicians will find a way to move the ball down the field. But in their usual Iraqi method, they will do so at the 11th hour and beyond, and probably at the moment when everyone thinks all is lost."
If he didn't support going into Iraq in 2003-04, imagine how our military leaders must feel about going into Libya led by a president who campaigned on getting us out of war!
In my opinion, the United States has not been on a "winning" team since WWII--we need to stop going in to break things and kill people if victory, which always means fewer deaths of civilians and military alike, isn't the goal. We are not going to "free" the middle east from bad government, military dictatorships, and fundamentalist Islamic kooks. Let the Libyans free themselves, Senator McCain.