On Sunday House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D - CA) was interviewed on Fox News Sunday. Among the things she talked about was how she still hoped to get most US troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008, despite the party's repeated failure to win over enough Republicans in Congress to an exit strategy. An exit strategy? For Iraq?
OK madam Speaker, how about exit strategies for World War II, the Cold War, and Korea? Shouldn't we exit in a first-in-first-out manner? We're still in Germany, Italy, and England having been there since WWII. We spend billions of dollars maintaining bases and troops in Europe and the Nazi threat is over...where's the exit strategy? You could argue that the European bases were kept there for the Cold War but that's been over since the late 1980's. Where is our European exit strategy? We still have bases and troops in Japan but the Emperor of Japan gave a formal surrender decades ago. Where's the Japanese exit strategy?
How about Korea? Korea is a bit different than the WWII left overs. We have bases and lots of troops on the Korean peninsula some of which are killed in the line of duty each year. Where's the exit strategy for Korea? Why aren't we getting our troops out of harm's way in Korea? Heck, the DMZ is not a safe place. There was never an end to hostilities there but there was a cease fire...can't we get out now? South Korea is much more stable than Iraq so why isn't Speaker Pelosi demanding an exit strategy from Korea? If it was really about getting our troops out of harm's way Korea would be a good place to start.
Unlike Europe, Japan, and Korea we are still actively fighting in Iraq. We are fighting against people who want us gone. They want us out of the Middle East, they want us off the planet and they're willing to kill us to get their way. The best exit strategy is to defeat those who would kill us and then leave. Of course Speaker Pelosi conveniently forgets that if Congress discontinued funding our forces they would have to leave. She didn't push that and won't push that though because that would empower our enemies and she knows it. It would also be the end of her party's majority in Congress. She'd much rather mislead a sheepish public into believing some special exit strategy is needed and that the Republicans are to blame.
P.S. Yes, I know there are strategic reasons for being in Europe, Japan, and Korea.