Democratic Congressman: pulling out may not be enough of a plan for Iraq

In The Politico today, Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA), a former 3-star Admiral who served in the Navy for 31 years, explains why he feels the Democrats' current plan for Iraq is insufficient. Although Sestak voted yesterday to withdraw troops by April of 2008, he expressed serious misgivings about the current incarnation of the bill. From his thoughtful statement:

"We need a strategic approach to ending this war because the consequences of failure are immense. Congress is close, as it should be, to ending this tragic misadventure but we need to set a date certain for a safe redeployment. Ending this war is necessary, but insufficient.  How we end it, and by what means, are more important for our troops' safety and our own security.

...I voted for this bill, but I did so reluctantly for it does little to define the how and why within a strategic approach to redeploy from Iraq with a date certain and leave behind the possibility of an un-failed Iraqi state. We owe such a comprehensive explanation to the country and the world for it is our responsibility to do so when the consequences are so great for our nation and Congress is the one to soon enforce an end to it by its own force of law."

Clearly, "Staying the Course" has not been an effective strategy in Iraq, and the American people are increasingly unhappy with the Bush Administration's gross mishandling of this war. But Sestak warns fellow Democrats against taking a similarly simplistic approach to withdrawl.