October 20, 2006

We now have the President of the United States suggesting that what is going on Iraq is similar to the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. There has been lots of complaining, by both Republicans and Democrats about Iraq, but what hasn’t been offered is one single solution. Well, here is one:

Let’s start with a bloodletting. Fire Rumsfeld.

When you take a job, when you are the guy in charge, you can do what you want. You can ask and answer your own questions, as Rumsfeld is so fond of doing. You can belittle those who work for you, which, according to everyone, is Rumsfeld’s management style. You can do these things, and if you do these things and win the war, you get a parade. However, when it goes bad — and Iraq is going badly — you get fired. Hence, we start with firing Rumsfeld.

Then, we fire at least two generals, and I mean the big ones. Abazaid and Casey are nice guys, I guess, but Iraq has gone south on their watch and under their command, so they get fired too. Holding people accountable for these kinds of screw up is the foundation for winning.

Next, we put a Special Forces officer in charge. We arrest Muqtada al-Sadr, and disband his illegal and murderous 16,000-man Mahdi Army. We disband all militias in Iraq. We make it clear that there is only one rule of law in Iraq, and it has to be the Iraqi Government rule of law. We turn over all military and police training to civilian contractors, and retired military and police officers can finish the rest of the training.

We bring home all the heavy U.S. divisions because there is no place for the tankers and mechanized infantry divisions in the kind of fight this war has become.

We arrest every corrupt official in the Iraqi Government and put them in jail.

We find out who is running the death squads inside the Iraqi Government and, instead of doing the Saddam Comic Book Trial, we have real trials — and real executions.

We leave three bases with a total of 50,000 U.S. troops in the north, central and southern parts of the country, and we continue to support the government with money, trainers and technicians.

This was never going to be a win for the U.S. once the WMD issue was lost. It could have been, or should have been, and still can be a win for the Iraqi people who now have the vote and are free from dictatorship. We cannot stay the course — that is killing too many of us. We cannot cut and run — that is stupid. We can adjust — and doing so now, can and will, salvage what is rapidly becoming a disaster.

Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience, including extensive operational experience in Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Operations. You can read his complete bio here.