Before I had a chance to finish my first cup of coffee this morning I was swatted with the news (from Al Jazeera) that Iraq says we “must stay until 2020.”
This shocking news came from Lieutenant General Babaker Zerbari and therein lies the crux of the problem. Zerbari is a Lieutenant General and Iraq’s most senior military officer.
We send Lieutenant Generals out for coffee and donuts in the morning. We have Bird Colonels sharpening pencils and Major Generals escorting defense lobbyists to strip clubs.
The Iraqis obviously know nothing about running a military operation and haven’t been paying attention these last seven years.
Why they would expect to get significant results, the record of victories that our military leadership is known for with such junior people running the show is beyond me.
Zerbari says that his forces aren’t ready to take over, this in spite of our years of rigorous training and the payment of countless billions of dollars to every level of Iraq’s military just to get them to fall in at roll call in the morning.
Zerbari says that our withdrawal will increase instability in the country and heaven knows the last thing we want to be responsible for is an unstable Iraq.
This will almost certainly put a glitch in our plans to leave Iraq before Labor Day.
“At this point, the withdrawal is going well, because they are still here,” Zerbari told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.
“But the problem will start after 2011 – the politicians must find other ways to fill the void after 2011. If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020.”
Get it? In order to have a proper and orderly withdrawal we have to stay.
This is what happens when you put junior people in charge.