"Unless we recalibrate our strategy in Iraq to fit our domestic political conditions and the broader needs of U.S. national security,” he said, “we risk foreign policy failures that could greatly diminish our influence in the region and the world.”It's about time Senator, welcome to reality - it's nice here, you'll like it. Instead of dishing up more snarky commentarty I'll point the reader to Blue Indiana where Thomas explains the situation:
Failure in Iraq is not inevitable, Lugar said, but success requires Bush to downsize the U.S. military role and “place much more emphasis on diplomatic and economic options.”
“In my judgment, the costs and risks of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved,” he said. “Persisting indefinitely with the surge strategy will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests over the long term.”
To me, the speech itself is not nearly as important as its symbolic value. Senator Lugar is more or less giving the Bush administration a shot over the bow, and the message is clear: "Stay the course" is no longer acceptable to Congress, and it is time to move on.Of course Congressman Souder has made similar remarks but continues to support the Bush administration lock, stock and barrel. But Souder's fence-sitting it's purely political while Lugar's certainly isn't considering he was the only Senator that went unchallenged by a Democratic opponent in 2006. So for now, I'll give Senator Lugar his due and hope that his emergence as a voice of reason within the Republican party can start to change our disastrous policies in Iraq...
Now, there are certainly Republicans that have been more proactive than Sen. Lugar in terms of helping to bring this conflict to an end, and there are undoubtedly some who are so wedded to this war that they will never abandon the sinking ship, but there is no denying the significance of a widely-respected voice on foreign policy choosing to make a very public gesture of discontent. Lugar didn't need to do this politically, and so I can only assume this was a move on his part -- and on behalf of others – with the intent of jumpstarting a dialogue between the White House and Congress on alternatives to the current "strategy" being used in Iraq.