In this week’s Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address, former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) argued that the troop surge in Iraq has been a failure. “The purpose of the surge was to bring violence in Iraq down so that its leaders could come together politically. Violence has come down, but the Iraqis have not come together. The country remains terribly divided among Sunni, Shi’a and Kurds. There is little evidence the Iraqis will settle their differences peacefully any time soon,” Biden said
After pointing out that the surge has only returned violence to 2005 levels, Biden spoke about President Bush’s expected announcement that the troops aren’t coming home. “Despite this reality, the President is expected to announce that when the surge ends, we will not be in a position of drawing down American forces. There could be no clearer acknowledgment from the President himself that the surge has not succeeded in achieving its stated purpose—namely, moving Iraq toward the day it can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself in peace.
Biden described the U.S. as treading water in Iraq, “So, where are we after the surge? Back to where we were before it started. With 140,000 troops in Iraq — and no end in sight. The best that can be said is we’ve gone from drowning in Iraq to treading water. That’s better, but we can’t keep doing it without exhausting ourselves.”
The Senator ended by expressing his belief that President Bush has no plan for ending the war in Iraq. “I believe the President has no strategy for success in Iraq. His plan is to muddle through — and hand the problem off to his successor. Our troops and their families deserve better than that. We owe them a strategy worthy of their sacrifice. We Democrats understand that this war must end so that America can regain the credibility to lead around the world and the flexibility to meet our challenges here at home. That’s what the American people want – and it’s what America’s security needs.”
I think that most of America would agree with Joe Biden’s points. We are no closer to victory than when the surge began. The surge has allowed us to fight this thing to a draw, but without a massive increase in troops there is no way the United States has any real hope of securing Iraq. However, the bigger question in this discussion relates to whether or not the U.S. should even be responsible for Iraqi security.
It has been over five years and the Iraqi government still can’t maintain order in their country. How much time to we need to give them, or better yet, how many decades will it take? Next week, the Bush administration will point to the relative reduction in violence, but the reality is that the overall picture in Iraq has changed very little.
Biden’s Radio Address: