At the risk of giving the impression that I’m a fan of G-Dub, let me say that I think if winning the war is important, a total commitment is necessary. Withdrawing troops before Iraq is able to function on its own would cause more problems that it would solve and please don’t suggest that the UN Peace Keepers handle the brunt of the work… in my opinion, the UN is about as valuable as your appendix… we don’t know what its for, experts doubt it is necessary, but we keep it just in case it might have some heretofore unrealized value.
No, I think the US should take a page out of Hannibal’s notebook… That’s the Carthaginian general Hannibal (247-182 BCE) and not the scary man from the Silence of the Lambs. It is said that Hannibal believed mightily in making sure those loyal to his enemies were destroyed. He would kill everyone related to his enemies just to make sure there wouldn’t be some kind of reprisal later.
So long as were are only partially invested in actually destroying the mechanisms of terrorism (poverty, subjugation, intimidation, ignorance, zealotry), there will never be an end to this boondoggle. The only way to ensure that terrorists lay down their weapons of hate is to make their position untenable. To do that, you have to make sure they pay heavily for every casualty suffered by the civilian populace.