This article was last modified on March 5, 2007.

On The Troops as Tools

The following letter was sent to The Post-Crescent on March 5, 2007 (and published March 9).


Last month on a dare, my friend Matt would eat meals with only a spoon while my friend Kate would likewise use only a fork. Predictably, eating spaghetti and soup, respectively, became more of a mess than a success. Our administration’s approach to Iraq is very much along the same lines.

While I “support the troops” (whatever this hollow catchphrase actually means), they are simply not the right tools for the job in Iraq anymore. When the situation is America versus Iraq, there is a need for adequate military personnel. But when we encounter Shiite versus Sunni, with no clear side to support, military presence is no longer a sensible option; we have entered the nation-building and security phase. To be blunt, our troops are now nothing more than targets.

In recommendations 56-58 of their report, the Iraq Study Group suggests the training of police and security be lead by American police and FBI – people with very specific expertise – not the military. So when the issue in Iraq is security and lawlessness, why are we sending more troops? No increase in troop levels could be a viable solution if they are simply the wrong people for the job.

This asinine approach recalls the words of a similarly banal Alanis Morissette song: “It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.”

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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