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January 29, 2009

The Dangers of a Slow Roll
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Marc Lynch has a great piece outlining the dangers of the slow roll withdrawal strategy. 

The CFR/Brookings/Odierno "go slow" approach ignores the reality of the new Status of Forces Agreement and the impending referendum this summer -- which may well fail if there is no sign of departing American troops. It sends the wrong messages to Iraqi politicians and the Iraqi population. It would badly hurt Obama's credibility in the region and with Iraqis, who will see his most important public commitment fall by the wayside. And it would lose the unique window of opportunity offered by the transition to signal real change.

NSN will have more on this tomorrow, but fundamentally I agree with Marc.  There are clear downsides inside Iraq for slow rolling the withdrawal.  And this doesn't even begin to factor in the broader geostrategic considerations and need to reduce the burden on the U.S. military.


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