Frank Gaffney writes that
the only way a truly rapid disengagement and redeployment from Iraq can be accomplished would be via a kind of Dunkirk in the desert: a pell-mell rush for the beachhead points of embarkation the object of which would be to extricate as many personnel as possible, probably without regard for their equipment and surely at the expense of their safety.
A report last week on, of all places, National Public Radio made clear why the alternative — an orderly, careful and proper redeployment of most, let alone all U.S. forces in Iraq simply cannot be done any time soon. Friday’s broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition program featured a story by Pentagon correspondent, Tim Bowman, entitled, “Logistics Mean an Iraq Exit Can’t Happen Quickly.” Citing several unnamed current Defense Department officials and a retired officer who managed the last withdrawal from Iraq and Kuwait in 2001 after Operation Desert Storm, Bowman reported that it will take at least ten to fourteen months for the United States fully to withdraw from Iraq.
That, it turns out, is the best case. …
[U]nder the approach to withdrawal advocated by virtually all Democratic leaders and several prominent Republicans, Americans will surely be retreating under fire. As Tom Bowman put it, Americans “would likely have to fight insurgents overland, all the way to Kuwait.” This endeavor, according to one officer quoted by NPR, would require “attack helicopters [and] recon helicopters in the air, possibly tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and, of course, armored Humvees [on the ground]” providing protection for the disengaging forces. …
If the prospect of leaving behind chaos and genocide on an unimaginable scale in Iraq is not enough to dissuade our leaders from cutting and running from the fight there, perhaps that of a calamitous and bloody retreat under fire for U.S. forces will do the trick. After all, it will be utterly untenable for any to profess that they “support the troops” if the predictable consequence of their actions will be to subject those troops to a devastating — and strategically catastrophic — Dunkirk in the desert.