Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rumsfeld In Iraq

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been in Iraq for three days, and working diligently:
WASHINGTON (AP) - At every stop on his three-day tour of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sent a similar message: The U.S. military is not rushing to get out, but it is getting out, nevertheless.

In his public appearances with U.S. soldiers and commanders, as well as with Iraqi officials, Rumsfeld emphasized the positive - an elected Iraqi government is being formed under a new constitution, and Iraq's own soldiers and police are shouldering more of the security duties.

Secretary Rumsfeld is laying the groundwork for an appropriate U.S. exit from Iraq, and I do emphasize "appropriate". There is still an insurgency, and still lingering civil disputes, which essentially lead to a prolonged U.S. presence in Iraq.

But after the ratification of the constitution and the successful parliamentary elections this year, progress is being made in Iraq.

This is one of the main reasons why the U.S. troop presence is getting less, and not more prominent.
Rumsfeld and his commanders are now scaling back the U.S. presence in Iraq by canceling the deployment of two Army brigades that had been scheduled to deploy in coming weeks. Fewer U.S. combat troops are needed because the Iraqis will be doing more of the fighting.

"We'll keep passing off responsibility to them," as Rumsfeld put it more than once while in Iraq.

This can be seen as nothing other than good news. The newly-born democracy of Iraq is growing. It is becoming more self-sufficient. It is becoming more stable. It is becoming a real, functioning democracy.

And as the U.S. continues to pass off security and protection responsibilities to the Iraqis, the country is one step closer everyday to being a beacon to freedom in teh middle east.