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Exit strategy?

 
 
Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:20 pm
"Victory means exit strategy," a critic of the president once said, "and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

Agree or disagree?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,260 • Replies: 97
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Lash
 
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Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:21 pm
He already did.

Innumerable times.
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:34 pm
Lash wrote:
He already did.

Innumerable times.

So I can put you down as "agree?"
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:47 pm
His exit strategy appears to be: Fight on until you finally have to get out, whenever that is.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:53 pm
Lash wrote:
He already did.

Innumerable times.

Source?
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2005 09:54 pm
Dunno about exit strategy but I can give you an exit time and date - about midday (Eastern Standard Time) 20th of January 2009. Very Happy
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Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 02:08 am
I'm not convinced "victory means exit strategy". I'm not even sure what that means. And while I initially nodded when I read "it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is", I changed my mind once I thought about it. Victory -- and by that I mean real victory, not a quagmire spun as victory -- is something you know when you see it. There isn't much of a strategy about it once you've achieved it: You just go home. Before you've achieved it, I'd say that if the president has a winning strategy, I'd like to know about it -- but I can also know imagine scenarios in which the president would undercut it by spilling the beans on his plans. On the other hand, if the US is on the path to losing the war and the real exit strategy is to get out with as few teeth knocked out as possible, a president announcing his exit strategy would definitely lose bargaining power over the terms of retreat. As an aside, I consider this latter "if" the most likely one to be true.

Hence, while my initial instinct tempted me to agree with your proposition, on reflection I disagree with it.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 04:15 am
Pretty much what Thomas said. The notion of a true "victory" negates any need for an "exit strategy." Did the Allies have an "exit startegy" during WW II? Not that I'm aware of. The goal was simply unconditional surrender of the enemy. But there's a second part to that proposition, isn't there -- that it's important for the president to explain something. So far, Bush hasn't even explained what our actual goals are, let alone what an "exit strategy" might be. Is it important for him to explain this? Put me down as "undecided."
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:01 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
Did the Allies have an "exit startegy" during WW II? Not that I'm aware of. The goal was simply unconditional surrender of the enemy.

And that was the exit strategy. The contrast between World War II and the current Gulf War couldn't be more stark: in the former, the allies knew what would constitute "winning" (destruction of the fascist and Japanese regimes); in the latter, we have no idea what would "winning" means. We only know that American troops* will be there until they're not there anymore.

Merry Andrew wrote:
But there's a second part to that proposition, isn't there -- that it's important for the president to explain something. So far, Bush hasn't even explained what our actual goals are, let alone what an "exit strategy" might be. Is it important for him to explain this? Put me down as "undecided."

I agree that it is important for the president to explain our goals in Iraq as well as our strategy for leaving (as I see it, they're two sides of the same coin). And I defy Lash or any other defender of the current administration to identify those goals and that strategy.


*It's increasingly pointless to talk about "coalition" troops, especially in reference to future events. Given that most of the coalition has already abandoned the Iraq adventure or is making plans to do so, I imagine that, if and when there is any kind of "exit" from Iraq, it will be only American troops who are doing the exiting.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:10 am
I would say that victory needs to be defined. In that sense I suppose it would coincide with an exit strategy, meaning, you leave when you've won. However, without a clear idea of what it would mean to win in this case, we won't be able to do either.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:12 am
bm.

I think victory means a clearly defined goal (which may or may not be an exit strategy).

We certainly don't have a clearly defined goal.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:19 am
Of course we do.

"Stay the course."

The beauty of it is that it can mean anything you want it to....
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:20 am
What about this statement, from the same critic: ""I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."

Agree or disagree?
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:27 am
No fair using Bush's words against him. That would require, like, integrity. We all know that expecting integrity from our rulers is expecting way to much.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:35 am
joefromchicago wrote:
What about this statement, from the same critic: ""I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."

Agree or disagree?


Don't agree with that unless, I say unless, the president is asserting that victory has already been attained. If our objectives have been met then we need to lay out a timetable as to when we will leave. Otherwise, no, I don't think that's realistic.
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squinney
 
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Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2005 08:42 am
Bush has said that as the Iraqi forces stand up, we'll stand down. I guess that's a goal and an indication of when we might exit, but not sure how that will be measured.

I don't think he can say we're leaving on a given date, which is the way Republicans are trying to phrase it so it sounds like a silly request from those that oppose the war. A date isn't what is needed. A goal and measurable success of that goal is what is being asked for.
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Francisco DAnconia
 
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Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 08:50 pm
This was covered some time ago, I believe, and my opinion hasn't changed.

Because to leave Iraq right now would leave the country in a shambles from which another tyrannical dictatorship would arise, or so history tells us, we can't just take off. Nor can we set a date for withdrawal, since that would assume that our job will be done at a certain point, which is impossible. I'd say that we'd need to have a majority of the Iraqi population participating in the democratic voting process, and when such an election takes place without protection from our military.

And from what I've seen, we're notoriously bad at exit strategies. Don't we still have troops in Vietnam? I'd say that we should withdraw troops, but apparently the higher-ups haven't deemed that a viable exit strategy.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 09:08 pm
Francisco D'Anconia wrote:

And from what I've seen, we're notoriously bad at exit strategies. Don't we still have troops in Vietnam?


Uh...no. Maybe you're thinking of Korea.
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Francisco DAnconia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 09:27 pm
Sorry, Korea.
(thanks merry)
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 09:40 pm
Trying to compare WWII with the war in Iraq is impossible when talking about "exit strategy." During WWII, we knew who our enemy was. The war in Iraq is an insurgency made up of Iraqis and others from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Jordon, Egypt, and possibly others. They do not wear uniforms. Friend and foe looks alike.

The only answer I've heard from Bush are "stay the coarse," and "no timeline."

The US started this quagmire; we'd better finish it, or this world is going to produce more similar type wars. It's too bad the incompetence of this administration didn't plan for the aftermath of "major combat operations are now over." At the very minimum, we should have secured Iraq's borders and munitions.
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