Mr. Smith has spent a great deal of time, thought and effort in putting together a series of articles that outline problems that must be resolved in order to maintain the full support of those most closely connected to our efforts in Iraq - and elsewhere. There is no question that morale remains high among our active duty forces. Retention and accession rates are the single most important indicator of that fact and the DoD continues to announce that goals are being met every month.
Attention to the voices that clearly state that the current ROE are not conducive to mission accomplishment will have a beneficial effect upon the maintenance of high morale and upon the successful accomplishment of missions with minimal casualties.
Mr. Smith links a Thomas Sowell article from which he pulls the following quote:
Having pushed the “democracy” vision for Iraq, we could not simply disregard the country’s elected government. But democracy arose in Western civilization centuries after law and order had been established. We tried to do it in the reverse order in Iraq. When push comes to shove, people will support tyranny rather than suffer lethal chaos that makes normal everyday life impossible for themselves and their children.Let's hope that the President effectively addresses the ROE issue in his State of the Union speech tomorrow night. Otherwise we will be seeing more idiocy such as that being conducted against Col. Michael Steele and a much lower willingness among our armed forces to pursue their mission to successful completion.
The success or failure of the troop surge in Iraq may depend far more on whether those troops can again be hamstrung by politically restrictive “rules of engagement” than on how many troops there are.