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01/23/2014

Don't 'Iraq' Afghanistan

Editorial / Army Times...Jan. 20, 2014

“It is painfully disappointing to watch al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq’s Anbar province, where U.S. and coalition forces toiled at immense cost to provide the Iraqi people an opportunity to make peace and create the conditions for prosperity.

“Understandably, the situation has enraged veterans of Fallujah and Ramadi, which saw some of the war’s worst violence. Among those most resentful are the men and women whose friends and family were killed or wounded in these cities, or who themselves suffered some physical or psychological trauma as a result of the horror there.

“In Washington and beyond, critics are quick to cast blame on the Obama administration for not working harder to maintain a U.S. military presence in Iraq. Another source of frustration is Iraq’s embattled prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who has made his share of hardheaded decisions with respect to ensuring the security of these and other key sectarian fault lines.

“Both are fair targets. But the truth is that finger pointing while a natural reaction given the financial and emotional investment the U.S. made in Iraq ultimately solves nothing.

“In fact, there is a valuable lesson to be gleaned as the U.S. now prepares to exit from Afghanistan.

“Washington is pressuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a post-2014 security pact, and once more President Obama is driving a hard bargain: Approve it now or you’re on your own. Indeed, a speedy resolution is in everyone’s best interest, but given the scope of sacrifice there, Afghanistan must not be allowed to follow the same path as Iraq. Patience and compromise must prevail.”

Hot spots will return in a few weeks.

Brian Trumbore



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-01/23/2014-      
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Hot Spots

01/23/2014

Don't 'Iraq' Afghanistan

Editorial / Army Times...Jan. 20, 2014

“It is painfully disappointing to watch al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq’s Anbar province, where U.S. and coalition forces toiled at immense cost to provide the Iraqi people an opportunity to make peace and create the conditions for prosperity.

“Understandably, the situation has enraged veterans of Fallujah and Ramadi, which saw some of the war’s worst violence. Among those most resentful are the men and women whose friends and family were killed or wounded in these cities, or who themselves suffered some physical or psychological trauma as a result of the horror there.

“In Washington and beyond, critics are quick to cast blame on the Obama administration for not working harder to maintain a U.S. military presence in Iraq. Another source of frustration is Iraq’s embattled prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who has made his share of hardheaded decisions with respect to ensuring the security of these and other key sectarian fault lines.

“Both are fair targets. But the truth is that finger pointing while a natural reaction given the financial and emotional investment the U.S. made in Iraq ultimately solves nothing.

“In fact, there is a valuable lesson to be gleaned as the U.S. now prepares to exit from Afghanistan.

“Washington is pressuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a post-2014 security pact, and once more President Obama is driving a hard bargain: Approve it now or you’re on your own. Indeed, a speedy resolution is in everyone’s best interest, but given the scope of sacrifice there, Afghanistan must not be allowed to follow the same path as Iraq. Patience and compromise must prevail.”

Hot spots will return in a few weeks.

Brian Trumbore