Foreign Policy Blogs

General Petraeus Advocates for 'truth', States 'No Victory in Iraq'

In an interview with BBC, General Petraeus, the outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, states that he probably will not ever use the word ‘victory’ in discussions about Iraq.  Further (and this is what I like about our military leaders), he argues that honesty is the best policy when it comes to reports about the security situation in Iraq.  Petraeus will go on to lead US Central Command, which includes overseeing troops in Afghanistan.  He describes the need for readjustment in terms of US strategy with both countries, and also states that security in Iraq is much more ‘durable’ than it was, however still has a long way to go.  The new Iraq commander, General Odierno, also feels this way, addressing the insecure situation in one of his first speeches as Commander.  (To see the BBC interview and article on Petraeus, click the picture).

Also in the news recently, President Bush will redeploy 8,000 US troops from Iraq, sending an additional 4,500 to Afghanistan.  Some argue that this may be his last major policy initiative concerning troops in the region.  Senator Obama criticized Bush's move as ‘not addressing the urgency’ of the situation in Afghanistan. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with some statistics concerning violence in Iraq published by BBC.  The bar graph toward the top shows Iraqi death tolls listed by source.  They state that the three discrepancies result from different definitions of death caused by war.  The largest number, published by Lancet, is said to include deaths blamed on other causes beside violence, such as the collapse of the Iraqi infrastructure.  The pie chart shows military deaths by country, demonstrating that US troops have given many more lives than all other coalition countries combined.  The article also discusses the refugee crisis, civilian death tolls by region and US and UK fatalities. 

 

Author

Jennifer Bushaw

Jennifer Bushaw holds an MA from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies with an emphasis on policy. She focused her research, including her Thesis, on modern Iraq and the Iraq war. She also has a Bachelor's in History from the University of Michigan. Jennifer is currently working as an Investigative Research Associate for a security advisory and management firm in Chicago, Illinois.

Areas of Focus:
Iraq-US Policy; Security; Coalition Operations;

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