Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that if the surge goes badly, the military will probably move troops “out of harm’s way.” Why wait? He also said the surge is not the “last chance” to get it right in Iraq. Let’s hope Congress stops quibbling and makes him wrong.
Los Angeles Times:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates acknowledged Tuesday that Pentagon planners were considering alternative war plans in case the current buildup of forces in Iraq failed to quell ongoing violence in Baghdad, saying the administration strategy “is not the last chance” to salvage the war-torn country.
Although he insisted the administration would give the new offensive the time and funding it needed, Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee that if the strategy did not show the hoped-for results, the military would probably shift its efforts to a strategy centered on moving U.S. troops “out of harm’s way.”
“I think that if this operation were not to succeed—and we clearly are hoping it will succeed, planning for it to succeed, allocating the resources for it to succeed—but I would tell you that I think I would be irresponsible if I weren’t thinking about what the alternatives might be if that didn’t happen,” Gates testified.