To the editor:
What plan does the Bush leadership have for winning the war in Iraq? After more than four years, 3,100 deaths and thousands seriously wounded and maimed, is victory in sight?
We were recently told that an upsurge of 21,000 or more troops would lead to victory in a nation split by sectarian violence, unrest and civil war. As columnist Joe Klein put it, "We are not on the brink of anything except a long, hard slog" (Time, Feb. 19).
More and more, the United States is being forced to go it alone. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced the withdrawal of 1,600 British troops within six months and 3,000 by the end of the year. Many other nations, including Japan and Italy, have already pulled out their forces.
Our troops are fighting bravely, but what plan for victory do we have other than sending more troops to fight and die? I think Blair and most of our allies have accepted the reality of the situation, but not our president.
Any talk of withdrawal of U.S. troops is criticized by the administration as undermining the troops. However, Bush overlooks how he has already undermined the troops by going to war without sufficient cause, without sufficient planning and without sufficient equipment for our troops.
What is victory, and what feasible plan does Bush have for winning it? How many more lives will be lost, and what will be the final cost?