Global Politics

Senate hearing on Iraq

Committee Chairman Joe Biden said the hearing today was to discuss options for where the US military goes from here. That question was posed to four military experts. This analyst says the next president will have three options for getting out of Iraq: unconditional engagement, unconditional disengagement, or conditional engagement. The Bush administration unconditional engagement strategy is unsustainable but a rapid withdrawal also increases the risk of civil war, so conditional disengagement is probably best, the analyst says. This military expert says the military needs to switch from a military to an advisor role in Iraq. This Retired General disagrees with the notion of switching roles, and he says we would be training the people who would be losing the civil war, not winning. He says the only viable strategy is to withdraw but in good order. As for the first strategy of staying the course in Iraq, this advisor says that's not possible. At this hearing the senators were primarily in information gathering mode, but next week the top US commanders in Iraq come before the committee to give a progress report on Iraq.

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