U.S. Adviser's Blunt Memo

A memo prepared by Col. Timothy R. Reese, a senior U.S. military adviser in Baghdad, states bluntly that it's time for American forces to "declare victory and go home." The memo suggests that an American military presence in Iraq beyond 2010 will do little to help Iraqi military performance and will more likely cause more native resentment towards American occupation. Though the memo does admit that the Iraqi forces are plagued by corruption, poor management, and weakness against Shiite political pressure, it also asserts that the forces are entirely capable of holding off Sunni insurgency and Shiite militias. The memo suggests a new withdrawal deadline of August, 2010—accelerating existing U.S. plans by 15 months.