If the dems were competent...
Promoted for discussion by Brendan
I know, believe me I know...
but if they were I think they could make a withdrawl from Iraq a winning national security issue. Right now our ability to react to any world events in a military manner is severely constrained by having our resources tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are any number of scenarios we can posit where the ability to put boots on the ground could be useful to influencing situations, and just as many situations where not having that ability means we have few options.
Examples- China's looked askance at Taiwan for a long time now.
They claim that Taiwan belongs to them and resent that the island was refuge to many fleeing Mao's take over. US plans for pacific fleets explicitly include an assumption that we may fight a naval war with China at some point over Taiwan. Right now two out of 11 carrier strike groups are in the Middle East (Eisenhower and Enterprise). A third just finished a rotation and has come back to rest and refit.
That leaves 8 for all other eventualities, not all of which are likely to be simultaneously available for action.
But overall the Navy and Airforce have gotten off easy when it comes to Iraq, so let's consider a scenario which would require army and marines. North Korea is not exactly the most stable nation. Kim gives the impression of being bombastic and petty. It is hardly ridiculous to imagine a ground war with South Korea could occur.
North Korea also has the largest percapita military in the world (although their equipment is probably less than spectacular). We do keep troops in South Korea, some 25,000 of them. NoKo's military has over 1 million active members and another 5 million reserves.
South Korea has about 500,000 men under arms. If Kim decided to make a serious run at Seoul we'd need more "boots on the ground" to stop him. Air sorties won't do it. They couldn't in the jungles of Vietnam or the deserts of Iraq, they won't in the mountainous terrain or cities of Korea.
What if Putin completes his journey to the dark side and decides he really really wants to run a new russian empire? On the pretext of a terrorist attack and its former status as part of the USSR he invades Belarus.
It might help if we coincidentally had a bunch of marines conducting joint landing exercises in Poland to keep Putin from getting carried away.
None of which is possible when our military is straining to meet the mission in Iraq. That the surge is unsustainable is admitted by the Pentagon. We will break the army if we try to keep the current levels up. Recruiting has been down for a while now, made up only partially by the loosening of restrictions on enlisting criminals and the insane. At the same time experienced non-com officers are leaving in numbers far higher than usual.
That we've let a completely optional and useless war so compromise our national security is criminal, and the dems should paint McCain, and any republican that wants to continue the war at all cost and for no gain, exactly that way.