Washington, DC – Today President Bush delivered a speech on Iraq that indicated his intention to continue with his administration’s failed policies. In 2004 President Bush refused to draw comparisons to Vietnam, but he decided to do so today. Drawing the wrong lessons from Vietnam, Bush argued against a withdrawal from Iraq, saying “one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam,” is that “the price of America’s withdrawal” is steep and painful.
But as the recent Center for American Progress/Foreign Policy Magazine terrorism survey found, the price for our occupation of Iraq is greater. A majority of America’s foreign policy experts now hold a negative view of the White House’s “troop surge” strategy in Iraq. Fifty-three percent now say that the surge is having a negative impact—an increase of 22 percentage points in just the past six months. Nearly all of the experts—92 percent—believe that the war in Iraq is having a negative impact on U.S. national security.
The Center for American Progress has a plan to end the war in Iraq. Strategic Reset calls for:
- ending the training of the Iraqi Security Forces,
- redeploying American troops out of Iraq within 12 months,
- and beginning a new diplomatic surge that engages the entire region to stabilize Iraq and the broader Middle East.
The Bush administration cannot just run out the clock on Iraq. An immediate strategic shift is necessary to force the changes necessary for a stable Iraq. It is in the national security interest of the United States to end this conflict and reset the strategy for Iraq and the Middle East.