That's the question asked by retired Army general William Odom (who served as Director of the National Security Agency under President Reagan) about the continued US military presence in Iraq. Odom says, "I'm trying to think like a strategist, and in war, as well as in politics and diplomacy, one has to know when to withdraw and when to attack. This was a misguided act and it requires a strategic division and moral confidence to turn it around."
...AMY GOODMAN: So, you say the arguments against pulling out, we’d leave behind a civil war, we’d lose credibility on the world stage, it would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy, Iraq would become a haven for terrorists, Iranian influence in Iraq would increase, unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors, Shiite-Sunni clashes would worsen, we haven't fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet and talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops. You say all of this has already happened.
LT. GEN. WILLIAM ODOM: Sure. Just take the last one. You can see from the exchanges over the training of troops that went up to the Congress the other day, when General Abizaid and General Casey both gave a rather dismal picture of progress in training up units that can fight on their own in Iraqi’s forces. They said only one, Rumsfeld, previously had, within [inaudible] before, had told Congress that three, and the number was surging, and, you know, he gave her a rosy picture. And they were much more cautious.... .
Listen/Watch to this interview here