Soldiers: institute a draft or withdraw from Iraq now.

In the Washington Post today, 12 former Army captains declare that “five years on, Iraq is in shambles,” and that “short” of a military draft, “our best option is to leave Iraq immediately”:

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we’ve seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out. […]

To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It’s time to make a choice.


The soldiers’ criticism comes just days after Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top commander in Iraq, called the war “a nightmare with no end in sight.”

UPDATE: Ilan at Democracy Arsenal points out that this op-ed did not run in the print version of the Washington Post.