From our editorial today:
The military's current tactic is to increase its boot print in an effort to gain enough control of the country so that the Iraqi government can take charge. Winning hearts and minds is optional when it should be the key. Even if this tactic could succeed, our efforts would ultimately fail because Iraq's leaders are not onboard.
The Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites are thinking of their factions first and country second, with U.S. needs far down the list. Against this backdrop of competing interests is a U.S. strategy that supposes that the key to victory is pushing the right military buttons.
More and more war supporters are beginning to see the futility of that strategy. In the past two weeks, prominent Republican members of Congress have urged the Bush administration to adopt the goals and solutions recommended by the Iraq Study Group, which correctly concluded that what we need is a political solution, not a military one. A bill that would do that also affixes a tough deadline of March for the beginning of an orderly troop drawdown.
Absent such a deadline, Iraq's leaders will continue to act like new swimmers who will only venture into the deep end with life preservers. They'll never swim until our military is unbuckled.