Saturday, February 22, 2003

War Now

We should start the war against Iraq immediately for three reasons: 1. The troops are in place and ready. 2. There is a slight lull in the expectation with all the chatter about getting a second UN resolution. 3. France and Germany are on the ropes with the rest of Europe steadfastly maintaining support for the US.

Frederick Kagan makes the case that waiting longer will degrade the abilities of our troops who are poised for the attack now. The psychological readiness of troops does not last forever; the "daily expectation of an event that does not come is both exhausting and numbing." The longer we wait, the more we endanger our troops and our likelihood of victory not only because of these psychological factors but because we are giving Saddam more of a chance to dig in. It is, therefore, not obviously more just to "allow diplomacy to take its course" in this matter which the last twelve years of diplomacy have not ameliorated. War will come in any case; we should have it on our terms as much as possible.

Although it will hardly be a surprise whenever we do attack, there does seem to be some expectation now that we are waiting to commence military activities in order to obtain a second resolution from the UN. Therefore, this would be as opportune a time as any.

A second resolution is not needed and Colin Powell made an adequate case that Iraq is not cooperating with inspections. Moreover, the recent outburst and apology of Jacques Chirac shows that most of Europe backs us. It is not Old Europe vs. New Europe anymore; it is all of Europe vs. France, Germany, and Brussels. Clearly, Europe doesn't think we need another resolution and most of the Continent views France as much more of an ogre than the US. International support is solidifying, and we should take advantage of it.


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