"The Battle On the Home Front" [September 24] untangled a web spun by the Bush administration in its report to Congress on the progress of the troop surge in Iraq.
The additional 30,000 troops only achieved tentative success in Anbar province. It has not advanced a political settlement from the Iraqi government, which was the stated purpose of the surge in the first place. If 170,000 troops could not propel Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to take significant steps to end his country's civil war, how will the pre-surge level of 130,000 be any more successful? The best approach for U.S. policy in the short term is to gradually change the mission to fighting al Qaeda, guarding Iraq's borders, and continued training of Iraqi troops. Convening an international conference as quickly as possible to prod the Iraqi government to reach a political solution that benefits all Iraqis should be the long-term approach.
Silver Spring, Md.
"The Battle On the Home Front" quoted President Bush as saying: "Whatever political party you belong to, whatever your position on Iraq, we should be able to agree that America has a vital interest in preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East." No doubt we agree. The problem is that Bush's policies, especially his invasion of Iraq, have done just the opposite. It baffles me how anyone can imagine that Bush's policies in Iraq will produce anything but more of the same.