As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.
Is Webb’s assertion that Korea is a good model for military strategy on target?
Well an armistice was signed in 1953 and open hostilities ceased, but not the US military presence there. In fact, every president since Truman has maintained a major US military presence in Korea. Even President Carter, who promised to withdraw all US troops within the space of five years, dropped his plan in 1979 after pulling out only 3,600 troops.
Even during Sen. Webb’s 1987-1988 term of service as Secretary of the Navy, US Naval forces continued serving in the Korean theater--34 years after the end of the Korean War. Apparently with Jim Webb’s approval.
US Navy forces are still in the area today. As of August of 2004 22,500 US troops were there. Why?
A starboard side view of the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship, USS ESSEX (LHD 2), resting at anchor in the harbor at Pohang, Republic of Korea (ROK). DoD photo by: JO3 ADAM R. COLE, USN. Date Shot: 2 Apr 2006 U.S. Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit load onto Landing Craft Utility One Six Three Four in P'ohang, Republic of Korea, March 26, 2006, in preparation for Reception, Staging, Onward-Movement, and Integration/Foal Eagle 2006. DoD photo by: JO3 ADAM R. COLE
Maybe because no US president has dealt with the underlying problem. That problem has now expanded to a North Korea with nuclear weapons working towards rockets capable of carrying them to distant lands--including the US.
Perhaps Korea isn’t Sen. Webb’s best bet as an analogy to how to deal with Iraq. Using that model, we will still have a heavy troop concentration in Iraq until, oh, 2059--with no end in sight. Not to mention, the probability of having unbalanced leaders in the area with nuclear weapons in hand and rockets capable of carrying them to distant targets.
With military strategists like Sen. Webb, who needs enemies to pin our troops down?