The big news out today is that the Army has plans to keep the current troop levels in Iraq until the year 2010. Some anti-war critics have siezed upon this to further bolster the “Iraq as quagmire” argument, saying that those plans prove that we will have in indefinite military presence in Iraq, that any good news is just a lie and a fraud.
Those people just don’t have the slightest grasp of how the military works.
The military has a huge budget, and a LOT of people with a LOT of time. Their primary function is the active defense of this nation and protecting our national interests. Their standard method for doing so is summed up in the phrase “killing people and breaking things.”
But there just isn’t enough call for killing and breaking to keep them out of mischief. So they do other things. Some times they practice killing and breaking, but mainly they sit around and make plans.
There are probably plans for invading or attacking every country on earth somewhere in the Pentagon. The military has learned, through hard experience, that things are always changing in this world, and today’s ally can be tomorrow’s enemy — and vice versa. For example, in 1938, hardly anyone could have predicted that within 6 years we would need a plan for a massive, opposed invasion of France?
The most entertaining game has to be “what if?” For example, what if Palestinian terrorists attack and sieze the alleged Israeli nuclear weapons depot at Dimona? Why, we better be ready to attack and destroy that facility. Suppose Belgium succumbs to militant Islamist immigrants and becomes an exporter of terrorism, like Afghanistan under the Taliban? We’d better be ready to take them out.
The Pentagon has, I’m quite sure, killed acres of trees for plans to cover any imaginable event.
So the Army has plans to stay in Iraq for another four years. I’d be gravely disappointed if they didn’t.