Saturday, July 30, 2005

Questions I don't hear anyone asking.

It's the same old song

Speaking to reporters after talks with (Australian Prime Minister)Howard, Bush said that the American troops will be in Iraq "as long as necessary to complete the mission."

I have a question. How will we know when the mission is complete?

I don’t want a timetable, I don’t want dates. I just want to know how we’re going to decide that our objectives have been met. What are the criteria? What’s the yardstick we’re using to measure success?

If we’re there to establish democracy, how do we define when democracy is “established”? Is it elections? Adoption of a constitution? The first time the representative from Kirkuk manages to sneak a line item for a pet project into the national budget? How will we tell that we have achieved democracy?

If we can’t leave until the Iraqi security forces are trained, how will we define what “trained” is? How many forces constitute the critical mass? How proficient do these forces need to be? How are we going to test their proficiency and deem them “capable”?

If we can’t leave until the insurgents are defeated, how will we know they’re no longer a threat? Is it days without an attack? Is there a magic number of “Number Three” leaders we have to capture?

How will we know we’ve won the war on terror struggle against violent extremism in Iraq?


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