"Kristol: I Fear Political Support For Iraq ‘Will Crumble…Among Republicans’ In Next 3 Months"
This morning on Fox New Sunday, Bill Kristol said that that the current Iraq strategy of “Iraqification” is “failing” and has been “discredited.” Noting that CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid said he finds “despair” about Iraq when he comes to Washington, Kristol said he was “very worried” that if conditions in Iraq did not improve within 2 to 3 months, “political support will crumble not among Democrats, but among Republicans. Gone.” Watch it:
KRISTOL: On the first point, this has been Abizaid and Casey’s theory, Iraqification comes ahead of victory. The only way to win, to be fair to put it, is Iraqification. I think that’s false. We’re failing at Iraqification because there’s no confidence that we’ll be there to help the Iraqis who are with us. I think that theory is not crazy, but it’s been discredited.
It’s time for more troops. Are there more troops? There are. It would be a strain on the army. You could do 20,000 in the short-term. You could do up to 50,000 over 4 to 6 months. It will require a lot of strain and extending deployments and taking people out of Okinawa and bringing them into Iraq and stressing our commitments elsewhere. We need to rebuild the military at the same time. But look, Abizaid’s job, he’s not chief of staff of the army. He is a combatant commander. He is commander of CentCom. Casey is the field commander. Their responsibility is to win the war, and in my view, they’ve talked themselves into the notion that their responsibility is to Iraqify the war. We can afford to win this war.
When Abizaid said he comes to Washington and feels despair, that’s a big problem. If by the State of the Union, I agree with Brit, things aren’t getting better on the ground or there’s not a really plausible change of tactics here at home, I am very worried that political support will crumble not among Democrats, but among Republicans. Gone.