Pictured above is Ret. Marines Gen. John J. Sheehan, who wrote a column in the Post today. He was asked by the White House to become the Middle East war czar, but he declined, and in the column he gave his reasons.
He said that there were three major strategies at play. He describes #1 and #2 and then here describes the third:
The third strategy takes a larger view of the region and the desired end state. Simply put, where does Iraq fit in a larger regional context? The United States has and will continue to have strategic interests in the greater Middle East well after the Iraq crisis is resolved and, as a matter of national interest, will maintain forces in the region in some form. The Iraq invasion has created a real and existential crisis for nearly all Middle Eastern countries and created divisions among our traditional European allies, making cooperation on other issues more difficult. In the case of Iran, we have allowed Tehran to develop more policy options and tools than it had a few years ago. Iran is an ideological and destabilizing threat to its neighbors and, more important, to U.S. interests.
Of the three strategies in play, the third is the most important but, unfortunately, is the least developed and articulated by this administration.
Incredible and tragic that even the guys that the administration is trying to hire so clearly see the folly of our approach in Iraq, but the administration itself does not. Although we never should have invaded in the first place, once we had done so, we should have an idea of what we’re trying to achieve. And that is not simply trying to subdue a country somehow and then naively think that democracy is going to sprout.
Anyhow, this guys is not going to do the job, and nobody intelligent is going to either. Basically we’re screwed.