Max Boot takes the administration to task for the Falluja retreat:
This Sunni city has emerged as a stronghold for Baathists and jihadists who are perpetrating terrible atrocities against Americans and Iraqis alike. The Marines began the process of draining this swamp in early April.
Though they lost more than a dozen men, they were perfectly prepared to see this battle through to a victorious conclusion, as previous generations of Marines had done at Belleau Wood, Tarawa and Hue. But they never got the chance.
The White House became nervous that further Iraqi casualties would undermine support for the occupation among Iraqis and that further U.S. casualties would have the same effect among Americans. So the Marines were told to pull back and turn over security to a ragtag force of former Iraqi soldiers who are more likely to reinforce the insurgents than to repress them. This may all work out somehow, but U.S. troops have already tried a hands-off approach in Fallouja. It’s hard to see why it would work now when it failed before.
The administration may deny that this decision