Argument: Setting a timetable would boost troop morale not damage it

Issue Report: Withdrawing from Iraq

Supporting quotes

  • Lt. Gen. William E. Odom. “Cut and Run? You Bet. Why America must get out of Iraq now.” Foreign Policy. May/June 2006 – “Setting a withdrawal deadline will damage the morale of U.S. troops. Hiding behind the argument of troop morale shows no willingness to accept the responsibilities of command. The truth is, most wars would stop early if soldiers had the choice of whether or not to continue. This is certainly true in Iraq, where a withdrawal is likely to raise morale among U.S. forces. A recent Zogby poll suggests that most U.S. troops would welcome an early withdrawal deadline. But the strategic question of how to extract the United States from the Iraq disaster is not a matter to be decided by soldiers. Carl von Clausewitz spoke of two kinds of courage: first, bravery in the face of mortal danger; second, the willingness to accept personal responsibility for command decisions. The former is expected of the troops. The latter must be demanded of high-level commanders, including the president.”
  • Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr., testifying before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in April 2008 – “some publicly expressed window of withdrawal is necessary, for no other reason than to give soldier’s families some hope that their loved ones will not be stuck on a perpetual rollercoaster of deployments”.[1]