Andrew Hawk.

I can hardly believe I’m writing this but here I am writing to, essentially, support the call for more troops being sent to Iraq. After four years of destroying the country’s political and social economy, President Bush has determined that he has one last chance to do right by Iraq and its people. I, and all Americans, should hold Bush responsible for ruining the country by, at the very least, not following the advice of critical generals and State Department advisors at the very start and, before that, aiming to invade a tortured nation for no reason except some kind of misbegoten, frat-party imperial exceptionalism.
Having said that, in my opinion, Bush has no choice but to throw more troops at the problem. Pulling soliders and materials out of Iraq precipitously could exacerbate a civil war that could lead to a region-wide conflict, one that could at some point, turn into full-out nuclear war. The military and logistical support already exists in the region to supply this last-ditch endeavor with possibility. The last thing the world needs is a conflict among Israel, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Saudia Arabia over the resources and security of the Iraqi nation-state.
There are a lot of “ifs” in this equation that Bush has made: If 20,000 troops is enough to pacify and quiet Baghdad and other critical areas of the country; if the baby Iraqi government can get its act together to agree upon shared sovereignty; if already exhausted American troops aren’t too cynical to keep fighting; if the Bush administration can work diplomatically to get countries like Iran and Syria to be part of some solution; if the most angry elements of Iraq aren’t further inflamed by the American presence; if the President tells the Iraqis that the US will not have a permanent presence in their country; if the new “surge” can happen over a period of two months and security becomes more real over a period of six months, if Americans and their newly elected Democratic representatives can stomach more violence; if a sustainable plan for economic development can be stabilized in the country, then, maybe, there’s a chance that Iraq will not fall apart. There must be a timetable, however, and this table should be provided in weeks, not months.
I recognize the inherent naivitie in all of this. But it’s based on the knowledge that the United States too often abandons the messes it clearly makes. I sincerely wish the newly appointed troops luck and the administration something else.