The Iraq War is an ongoing conflict, which began five years ago, on 30th March 2003. The war was dubbed Operation Iraq Freedom. The United States and allied forces invaded Iraq on the ground that the country, under the leadership of saddam Hussein was producing weapons of mass destruction, WMD. Today there are over 140,000 United States troops on the ground in various parts of Iraq. The debate and the controversy has since shifted from whether the United States and it allies were justified in invading Iraq to whether the United States should withdraw from Iraq immediately. The question to this question is a big NO.
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United States was the main instigator of the Iraq conflict and as such it should not leave Iraq until the job is done. This is the only time in the five year conflict that we have started witnessing military success brought about by US administration’s troops surge. Major public venues are now safer as the troops have managed to take hold and control of them. Market places, which have been a major target to suicide bombers, have become safer although they still face occasional attacks by snipers. The US troops with close co-operation from the Iraq army have managed to close entry of vehicle to crowded public places like markets and shopping malls further helping in boosting security.
For the first time, tribal leaders from Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are now cooperating with US troops, besides, the streets are now safe. This close cooperation between leaders and the US troops is helping in fighting and rooting out Al-Qaeda bases in Iraq. Such development should not be ignored and it won’t be fair for US to withdraw just when things are taking shape. High profile United States official and leaders like Condoleezza Rice and the Republican presidential candidate John McCain have visited Iraq in the recent past and driven in the streets as opposed to two years ago when the only safe way to get to Baghdad from the Main airport was by use of Military Helicopter.
Iraq has a democratic government, as opposed to the five years ago when Sadaam Hussein oppressed Iraq people through a dictatorial rule. But it is important to note that the government is still very fragile. The United States need to stay a bit longer to stabilize this government protecting it from falling in the hands of dictators and oppressive leaders. Immediate withdraw will lender the current leadership helpless and the insurgent will take advantage to kill and maim Government, police and military official and take control of Iraq. It is against this background that the United States force should be supported to train Iraq military and the police force over the next few months or years to be able to cope with such issues. Recent positive development has shown that Iraq police and army are now able to attack insurgent on their own. They should be strengthened and backed to affirm their commitments toward stabilizing their country without fear, this will ensure that United States does not leave a Vacuum behind when it finally withdraw from Iraq.
For the United States to guarantee it citizen’s security from acts of terrorism, it will have to stay in the Iraq for quite some time. The threat from Radical Islamism is still a serious concern to the whole world. Living Iraq now will mean that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda will quickly put up bases in Iraq just they have tried to do in the recent past, where they will strategies on attacking America and it allies. A conflict is already looming between Iraq neighbor Iran and the United States. If the US was to withdraw immediately, militants from Iran, Iraq and other countries will form strong alliance and put up a base in Iraq as it is one of the unstable countries in the Middle East, in a bid to fight their perceived common enemy, the United States.
Iraq citizens need to be protected at all cost. They are very vulnerable at this time. Any mentions of immediate withdraw by the United States leads to fear to citizens as it spells death to them. What the Iraq citizens are agitating for is a declaration that the United States has no plans whatsoever to take over Iraq resources and territory. Oil is one issue that making many Iraq’s not to support United States occupation as they feel the resources will soon be privatized. Once they are sure that Iraq will continue to be under the hand of Iraq’s, then majority of Iraq’s will support and work hand in hand with United in the much needed reconstruction of Iraq.
The United States should aim at the implementation of some major issues at the end of which, work can said to be done in Iraq and by then, United States troops can return home. These issues include; reinforce ground troops, Strengthening Iraq police and army, Implementation of counter insurgency measures, Political and economic reconstruction etc.
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For the United States to be able to achieve progress fast, the current number of US troops in Iraq should be increased from the current 140,000 to 180,000. These troops will be of great help in holding and clearing insurgent’s strongholds. The troop will also provide the much needed security to all those involved in rebuilding of the economies and institutions. The armed Shia and Sunni militias are a major threat to the security of the Iraq; as such the US military will back the Iraq army in disarming them. A strong US force will dismantle Al-Qaeda cells which are used by Islamic radical to train and assemble bombs. Accomplishment of these tasks will require additional troops and the best the United States administration can do is send more troops to Iraq soonest possible.
The United States troops will need to implement new counter insurgency measures in all part of Iraq. Rather than concentrate on building bases in seemingly hostile areas, they should cover the whole Iraq by clearing insurgent and taking hold of those areas to prevent the militias from taking them back. This way, the insurgents will be denied any area to build base rendering them helpless. This will also help local people to rebuild the much needed political machines which will strengthen the central government. A strong local population with the backing of Iraq government forces will help root out criminals, making it difficult for any insurgent operations.
A strong Iraq army is a vital requirement to the survival of Iraq as a nation. It is the only way through which Iraq government will be able to protect and govern its citizens when United States withdraw. As such, the United States should stay in Iraq and help training and supply military equipment to the Iraq army. When the Iraq government effectively control the violence, then it will be easy to have a political settlement where Iraq leader will be held accountable for their country. The leaders will be expected to commit themselves to root out militants, supervise equitable distribution of Iraq resources to the people and accelerate reconstruction. This will leads to nation wide elections that will bring all tribes in the running of central government and economical revival that will lead to mass employment. The leaders will also be able to reconcile the insurgents and press the government to offer amnesty to those will give up arms and work toward rebuilding of the new Iraq. The United States Military leaders including the Generals and senior officers will have to stay in Iraq until the work is done. Their expertise and skills in combating and rooting out insurgents will be of great use to incoming additional troops from United States.
The United States should also continue to put emphasis on promotion of economic development and governance based on accountability. Massive reconstruction of those zones that the US army has secured should begin immediately. This will offer employment to the Iraq in those zones. Political leaders in those areas will be assisted in bringing the much needed reconciliation and patriotism necessary for nation building. As a result, the average Iraq citizen will feel secure and be able to put his / her together. Non-Military method will have to be used on all Iraq’s whether Shia, Sunnis or Kurds, where they will be confronted with issues and interest affecting each tribal grouping. The US will stay longer in Iraq to make sure Iraq’s embrace each other and know they can live and grow toward prosperity under the leadership of a democratic government that is free from corruption and is accountable.
By staying longer in Iraq, the United States will be a better position to keep an eye on Iraq neighbors who are believed to be supplying weapons and money to insurgents and militants. US will be in a better position to pressure Syria to crack down on foreign terrorist who operate from its territory. Iran continued supply of weapons and training to insurgent will on the other hand be put on hold when United States take strong holds on the Iraq border. This way, the United States can force the leadership of the two countries to enter into dialogue in finding amicable solution to Iraq and its border. Strong military presence in Iraq will act like as a signal to Iran against any attempt to threaten the United States by use of nuclear bombs which the US believes Iran is trying to produce.
The issue of Iraq and the controversy surrounding the immediate withdraw of United State from Iraq have taken new dimension in the political scene. It is one of the main issues that have one side of the political divide supporting and calling for immediate withdraw and the other side calling for additional troop and continued occupation of US troops in Iraq. One person who has decided to take this issue head-on is the Republican presidential candidates Mr. John McCain. He has the support of all republican and quite a good number of American citizens as far as the issue of Iraq is concerned. He was recently in Iraq to meet the US troops and prove to the world how safe Iraq has become.
He had a chance to meet Iraq leaders representing various tribal groupings and discussed with them various issues facing Iraq. He has this words to say on the Issue of US withdraw from Iraq as part of his presidential campaign. “Increasing U.S. troop levels will expose more brave Americans to danger and increase the number of American casualties. When Congress authorized this war, we committed America to a mission that entails the greatest sacrifice a country can make, one that falls disproportionately on those Americans who love their country so much that they volunteer to risk their lives to accomplish that mission. And when we authorized this war, we accepted the responsibility to make sure those men and women could prevail. Extending combat tours and accelerating the deployment of additional troops is a terrible sacrifice to impose on the best patriots among us, and they will understandably be disappointed when they are given that order. Then they will shoulder their weapons and do everything they can to protect our country’s vital interests in Iraq.”
It is not advisable for United States troops to withdraw from Iraq immediately. The Iraq people and government need the support of the US in stabilizing the young democratic government and in reconstruction and rebuilding of the institutions. The US army is expected to give the much needed training and equipments to the Iraq army. Continued occupation of Iraq by US forces will help in bringing about stability in the region. The United States should stay in Iraq until Al-Qaeda and other militia grouping are rooted as it is the only way of ensuring that Americans are safe at home and abroad.
Candidates Clash over Iraq Withdrawal, Web.
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Glen Segell (2004) Axis of Evil and Rogue States: The bush Administration, Glen Segell Publishers, United States.
John McCain (2008) Strategy for Victory in Iraq, Web.
Naomi Klein, Erick Gustafson (2007) Should US Troops withdraw now? Web.
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Neal Pozner (2004) Should the United States Withdraw fro Iraq? Thomson Gale Publishers, New York.