Withdraw, then What?

Lots of people who read this site are die-hard supporters of President Bush. Folks who shook their heads in disgust at Rep. John Murtha's call to withdraw American troops from Iraq; who nodded in agreement when White House press secretary Scott McClellan responded that now "is not the time to surrender to the terrorists."sandbags.jpgSo guys: I'm curious to hear your reactions to the Administration's apparent newfound-readiness to take tens of thousands of U.S. forces out of Iraq, pronto.As someone who's been skeptical about the war since before it began, I'm worried that pulling out -- without a viable Iraqi military, and without a discernable "victory" to declare -- gives the global Jihadist movement a gigantic win. After this war, and the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan, there are a whole lot of radical Islamists out there who are going to see the scoreboard as Jihadists 2, Superpowers 0. Which, as a resident of the most-bombed city in America, is more than unnerving. Because that first score is what eventually lead to the Twin Towers getting knocked down.And even if the terrorists never return to New York, without American troops, how do we keep a thoroughly-screwed up Iraq from becoming "a hornets' nest," as Martin van Creveld puts it, with "a hundred mini-Zarqawis spread[ing] all over the Middle East, conducting acts of sabotage and seeking to overthrow governments in Allah's name."What's the plan? (And, for God's sake, don't tell me it's air power.)THERE'S MORE: Eighteen months ago, when a left-leaning defense analyst told me that the U.S. military in Iraq was paving the way for Salvadoran-style death squads, I blew him off as a Bush-hater. I guess I owe him an apology now.

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