No More Money for Iraq without a Clear Exit Strategy
March 12, 2005
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret.) / True Majority.org
The American people, through their Congressional representatives should tell the Bush administration that the Iraq Quagmire threatens an endless and potentially destabilizing drain on both Iraq and the US. There should be no more bilions appropriated for this misadventure without a clear plan for a timely exit.
This alert is from Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret.), who served in combat in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and commanded the North Atlantic fleet. We are thankful for his depth of experience and his insight as he guides TrueMajority’s national security policies.
When Congress refused to continue funding the Vietnam War, that spelled the end of the US campaign there. Based on thoughtful analysis by both conservative and progressive analysts, this alert is the first step in the process of getting out of Iraq.
Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on the president's request for $82 billion to pay for the ongoing military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s a lot of money. It is enough to feed the world’s starving people for five years or more, and would save the lives of millions of kids.
Aside from how that money could be better spent, a toll continues to be taken on the Iraqi people, our own service members, and America's image throughout the world.
Yet even as the quagmire in Iraq worsens, Bush continues to refuse to:
• (1) specify when we will exit the country and
• (2) make clear that America will not establish permanent military bases there.
If you are a TrueMajority member and you’d like to send a message (text below) to your representatives urging them to oppose the supplemental bill for Iraq unless an exit plan is included, just click "Reply" and "Send" in your email program to send your message. If this was forwarded to you or you’d like to customize the message to your congresspeople, click here.
Proud to be working with you,
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret.)
We Are Not Alone in Our Concerns
Senator Edward Kennedy said in an address in January, "At least twelve thousand American troops, and probably more, should leave immediately to send a signal about our intention. America's goal should be to complete the drawdown as early as possible in 2006."
Carter administration national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said: "I do not think we can stay in Iraq in the fashion we're in now... If it cannot be changed drastically, it should be terminated."
He also confirmed that it would take 500,000 troops, $500 billion, and the resumption of the military draft to ensure adequate security in Iraq.
Conservative military analysts increasingly urge an end to the occupation.
"We have failed. The issue is how high a price we’re going to pay... Less, by getting out sooner, or more, by getting out later," said retired army lieutenant general and former director of the National Security Agency William E. Odom.
In a detailed plan for a careful withdrawal published in the respected journal Foreign Affairs, Edward Luttwak, a national security counselor to former President Reagan, writes that the "...best strategy for the United States is disengagement. This would call for careful planning and scheduling of the withdrawal of US forces from much of the country."
"Our large, direct presence has fueled the Iraq insurgency as much as it has suppressed it," said Michael Vickers, longtime senior Central Intelligence Agency official.
"The end of the foreign occupation will seriously undermine the terrorists' claims that their acts of violence against Iraqis are somehow serving the interests of Iraq," according to the article "Exiting Iraq," which was published by the conservative Cato Institute. Moreover, "The occupation is counterproductive in the fight against radical Islamic terrorists and actually increases support for Osama bin Laden in Muslim communities not previously disposed to support his radical interpretation of Islam... Staying on the current course, looking at the trends, is not going to work." 
Here’s the message that we will send to your representatives:
Dear (name of Congressman or Congresswoman):
I know that you are seriously analyzing the supplemental bill on Iraq right now. With the vote coming up, I would like to see you ask for clarity regarding US intentions in Iraq.
I would like you to commit to keeping permanent US bases out of Iraq. I would also like you to commit to an exit strategy in Iraq. Our troops and the nascent government in Iraq need to know that there will be an end to this war.
Please let me hear from you on these important commitments.
(we'll insert your name here)
• 1) Bread for the World describes what it would take to end global hunger at www.bread.org/hungerbasics/index.html
• 2) Excerpted from the ’s January 7, 2005, article "Scowcroft Skeptical Vote Will Stabilize Iraq" by Dana Priest and Robin Wright. To view the full article, visit www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54680-2005Jan6.html.
• 3) "Former General Sees ‘Staying the Course’ in Iraq as Untenable," Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2004. See www.dangerouscitizen.com/Articles/1131.aspx
• 4) To view "Time for Disengagement," a specific plan for how to exit Iraq written by former President Reagan’s national security advisor and originally published in Foreign Affairs’ January/February 2005 issue, visit
• 5) To view "Hawks Push Deep Cuts in Forces in Iraq," originally published in the Boston Globe on November 22, 2004, visit www.truthout.org/docs_04/112304A.shtml.
• 6) To view a conservative analysis on the need to withdraw from Iraq, visit .