The Duplicity of Redeployment

It did not take long after the defeat Saddam Hussein's military machine by US and coalition forces for Democrats to start calling for retreat.  Even the use of the word "quagmire" made a speedy appearance within weeks of the invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban.  It is no secret that Democrats have been anxious to withdraw as quickly as possible from every conflict the US has been engaged in since the Korean War.  Although it would be nice to be able to accomplish our objectives in fast operation with no causalities or difficulties, it is the nature of war for hardships, obstacles, and challenges to be overcome over an extended period of time.

It took almost half a century for democracy to triumph over communism.  Every great struggle of ideologies takes decades to play out, sometimes centuries.  We have only begun to realize that the War on Terror is more than a battle of military might, but also an ideological struggle of liberal democracies and civilized nations against a tyrannical theocratic political system.  While being a classical religion, Islam must also be understood as being more than just a belief system and understanding of God.  Islam is a way of life that also encompasses a political structure, legal/judicial system, social structure, and culture. 

Dick Durbin, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Democrats (and a few Republicans) have called for the redeployment of American forces from Iraq.  They have suggested Kuwait, Japan, the United States and other geographic areas as suitable places to "redeploy" to.  However, such policies are simply dishonest.  First, "redeployment" is merely an easier term to use than "retreat" or "cut and run".  Redeployment is synonymous with retreat and ultimately defeat.  Secondly, if the struggle against Islamic fascism has taught us anything, it is that there is nowhere to redeploy to. 

American troops and civilians have suffered terrorist attacks in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, New York, Washington DC, and Africa.  Europeans have suffered attacks in Madrid and London, Australians in Bali, Indians in Mumbai.  Attacks have been foiled in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Toronto.  Wherever we retreat to, Al Qaeda and their cohorts will follow us to continue their attacks.  Even Ayman al-Zawahiri has said of the Iraq War, "The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority... over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq... in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans."

If Al Qaeda views Iraq as a key part of the war on terror, how can we afford to leave the country and risk creating another breeding ground for terror similar to the Taliban controlled Afghanistan?  How can we pack up and leave in the middle of a fight?  How can we abandon the Iraqi people?  The stage would then be set for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt to be even more vulnerable to overthrow by Islamic radicals.  Imagine seven nations like Iran, all of them pursuing nuclear weapons and the destruction of Israel, certainly the short term benefits of redeployment would be outweighed by the long term consequences of a more radical, more violent, more dangerous Middle East. 

Although it is painful to see more young Americans coming home in body bags and to see the wanton destruction of civilian lives by suicide bombers and IED's, the costs of leaving Iraq before the government can take charge of its own security would be disastrous.  Premature withdrawal would also be a psychological victory for Al Qaeda just as the premature Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon has been a boon to Hezbollah's popularity and stature.  Emboldening the enemy will not safeguard Americans at home or our allies throughout the world. 

A victory in the war on terror will not be like the victories of the past on battleships and in railway cars.  There will be no treaties or surrender documents.  They will look more like the slow collapse of Soviet empire.  If Iraq can emerge as a democracy and Afghanistan move towards stability and peace, radical Islamists will be exposed as the depraved thugs they truly are.

The American people and our allies around the world must begin to understand that this war will be a long ideological struggle as much as it is a military confrontation between terrorists and coalition forces.  Newt Gingrich recently warned that the struggle could take between 30 and 70 years.(source)  The Democrats and those pushing for "redeployment" must be countered with truth that "redeployment" is a false choice and will only bring the war closer to home and allow the terrorists to take back ground that our soldiers have already paid for in blood.

General George S. Patton once said, "I hate paying for the same real estate twice."  I imagine our soldiers would agree.

Jonathan D. Strong is Proprietor of The Strong Conservative.

It did not take long after the defeat Saddam Hussein's military machine by US and coalition forces for Democrats to start calling for retreat.  Even the use of the word "quagmire" made a speedy appearance within weeks of the invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban.  It is no secret that Democrats have been anxious to withdraw as quickly as possible from every conflict the US has been engaged in since the Korean War.  Although it would be nice to be able to accomplish our objectives in fast operation with no causalities or difficulties, it is the nature of war for hardships, obstacles, and challenges to be overcome over an extended period of time.

It took almost half a century for democracy to triumph over communism.  Every great struggle of ideologies takes decades to play out, sometimes centuries.  We have only begun to realize that the War on Terror is more than a battle of military might, but also an ideological struggle of liberal democracies and civilized nations against a tyrannical theocratic political system.  While being a classical religion, Islam must also be understood as being more than just a belief system and understanding of God.  Islam is a way of life that also encompasses a political structure, legal/judicial system, social structure, and culture. 

Dick Durbin, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Democrats (and a few Republicans) have called for the redeployment of American forces from Iraq.  They have suggested Kuwait, Japan, the United States and other geographic areas as suitable places to "redeploy" to.  However, such policies are simply dishonest.  First, "redeployment" is merely an easier term to use than "retreat" or "cut and run".  Redeployment is synonymous with retreat and ultimately defeat.  Secondly, if the struggle against Islamic fascism has taught us anything, it is that there is nowhere to redeploy to. 

American troops and civilians have suffered terrorist attacks in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, New York, Washington DC, and Africa.  Europeans have suffered attacks in Madrid and London, Australians in Bali, Indians in Mumbai.  Attacks have been foiled in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Toronto.  Wherever we retreat to, Al Qaeda and their cohorts will follow us to continue their attacks.  Even Ayman al-Zawahiri has said of the Iraq War, "The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority... over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq... in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans."

If Al Qaeda views Iraq as a key part of the war on terror, how can we afford to leave the country and risk creating another breeding ground for terror similar to the Taliban controlled Afghanistan?  How can we pack up and leave in the middle of a fight?  How can we abandon the Iraqi people?  The stage would then be set for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt to be even more vulnerable to overthrow by Islamic radicals.  Imagine seven nations like Iran, all of them pursuing nuclear weapons and the destruction of Israel, certainly the short term benefits of redeployment would be outweighed by the long term consequences of a more radical, more violent, more dangerous Middle East. 

Although it is painful to see more young Americans coming home in body bags and to see the wanton destruction of civilian lives by suicide bombers and IED's, the costs of leaving Iraq before the government can take charge of its own security would be disastrous.  Premature withdrawal would also be a psychological victory for Al Qaeda just as the premature Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon has been a boon to Hezbollah's popularity and stature.  Emboldening the enemy will not safeguard Americans at home or our allies throughout the world. 

A victory in the war on terror will not be like the victories of the past on battleships and in railway cars.  There will be no treaties or surrender documents.  They will look more like the slow collapse of Soviet empire.  If Iraq can emerge as a democracy and Afghanistan move towards stability and peace, radical Islamists will be exposed as the depraved thugs they truly are.

The American people and our allies around the world must begin to understand that this war will be a long ideological struggle as much as it is a military confrontation between terrorists and coalition forces.  Newt Gingrich recently warned that the struggle could take between 30 and 70 years.(source)  The Democrats and those pushing for "redeployment" must be countered with truth that "redeployment" is a false choice and will only bring the war closer to home and allow the terrorists to take back ground that our soldiers have already paid for in blood.

General George S. Patton once said, "I hate paying for the same real estate twice."  I imagine our soldiers would agree.

Jonathan D. Strong is Proprietor of The Strong Conservative.