July 6th, 2007
10:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Gen. Lynch: 'It would be a mess' if forces are reduced

GOP Sen. Pete Domenici called for a change of policy in Iraq Thursday, making him the third veteran Republican to break ranks with President Bush over the issue in the last two weeks.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As another key Republican senator called for President Bush to change strategies in Iraq, a top U.S. General said pulling out the extra troops in the coming months would be “a mess.”

Responding to a question from CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre in a video briefing, Iraq Commander Major General Rick Lynch said, “Those surge forces are giving us the capability we have now to take the fight to the enemy. And the enemy only responds to force and we now have that force. We can conduct detailed, kinetic strikes, we can do cordon and searches, and we can deny the enemy the sanctuaries. If those surge forces go away, that capability goes away, and the Iraqi security forces aren't ready yet to do that. So now what you're going to find, if you did that, is you'd find the enemy regaining ground, re-establishing the sanctuary, building more IEDs, carrying those IEDs in Baghdad and the violence would escalate. It'd be a mess.“

General Lynch said the extra forces are needed to “mature the situation” and allow them to turn areas over to Iraqi security forces so they can start withdrawing US troops, but “that’s not going to happen any time soon.”

Lynch said one of his key rules of war fighting is “everything takes longer than you think.”

Related: 'Surge' essential to security in Iraq, general says

- Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ReadBtwthlins

    Cut and run is the resolution terrorists want us to follow.

    July 6, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Ann Brunswick ME

    So? Who are you listening to Mr. Domenici, the general or Hillary? It takes guts to stand alone on one's principles, doesn't it? Not too many with the courage of their convictions today. Gutless wonders all!!!

    July 6, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. RightyTighty

    US lefties want to give the Iraqi's the same future that their loony forefathers helped the Vietnamese and Cambodians achieve.., tryanny after the death of millions.

    July 6, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. John, Houston, TX

    A definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result" That describes Bush's policy.

    July 6, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. John K

    "The enemy only responds to force." Have we tried anything else? We don't seem to be capable of learning from past mistakes and the military isn't the most innovative group in the world. How do you get out of the bear trap? Please apply the rule of holes to this issues.

    July 6, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Ryan, New York, NY

    It's not a mess now??

    July 6, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Brian MacCartney Columbus, Ohio

    I fear this will never end well. I said before the United States went into Iraq that this would be a "mess" and sadly I seem to have been right. Too many of this nation's sons and daughters have lost their lives fighting for a people that don't seem to what to fight for their own freedom. They are content to let us die for them. Alas this will not end well.

    July 6, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Funny how neo-con numbskulls forget that it was Richard Nixon that pulled U.S. forces out of Vietnam under "Peace with Honour".

    Now after Bush leaves office...if the Democrats choose to pull-out, they too will be blamed for a failure of another corrupt Republican administration.

    July 6, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Stephen,

    It's already a mess its time to come home...

    July 6, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. RightyTighty

    Funny how the left wing loonies want to forget that it was the demoratic control Congress' purse that turned its back on the Vietnamese people after a two faced Tyrannt's claims of victory caused the "Peace with Honours" deal to fall apart.

    As if freedom is only for those that are already free..

    July 6, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. ReadBtwthlins

    Who should we listen to..???

    Iraqis and our military


    Political profiteers and Terrorists


    July 6, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    This reminds me of the Red Scare and MacCarthism.

    Either your with us or your with the terrorists...those were our Presidents exact words.

    The USA is quickly becoming a fascist police state at this rate and V for Vendetta and 1984 will turn out to be true stories.

    July 6, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Pete, Tarpon Springs, FL

    I am tired of the slogan postings like “cut and run” if we don’t fight them over there we’ll have to fight them here etc. Pure propaganda machine…..almost as good as the old Soviet empire.

    For the record: OSAMA attacked us and not IRAQ
    We created this mess
    IRAQ was under control until we screwed the pooch
    Afghanistan is still a mess

    I figure with the $2.5 billion that we spend in Iraq, we could build our wall, launch a missile defense system, fix Social Security, Medicare, truly leave no child behind, and whatever else that needs repair.

    All those of you that are against this must be siding with the enemy………………..a strong AMERICA starts at home!


    July 6, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. J. Kaye

    It is a mess now. I have heard countless persons stating that if we leave now, our troops would have died for nothing.

    By making that kind of statement, they must also believe that the 53,000 plus on the marble wall in Wasington, "died for nothing."

    It is time to leave and help those who came back broken, to help them pick up the pieces of their lives.

    July 6, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Suzanne K. Bloomington, IL

    I think Gen. Lynch would have a valid argument if and only if there was any evidence that the Iraqi forces will be able to take over at some point in the near future. However, this will not happen and any promise that it will is merely a pipe dream. It has been over 5 years now and the Iraqi people have yet to stand up and fight for their country. What makes Gen. Lynch believe they will ever stand up, especially when US soldiers are doing all the work for them? Our troops need to be brought home immediately. It is not right for our troops to be fighting and dying for a country that clearly does not want freedom!

    July 6, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Glenn,Birmingham,Al

    I think its safe to assume that force is all some people understand. History has proven it beyond reasonable argument. I don't agree with Bush on much. But being in Iraq has saved tens of thousands of lives there & abroad. Lincoln stuck with the Civil War with only 22 percent support from the Union. Hillary voted to go to war. A very serious vote. Then 25 days later or so she decides it was wrong. How old is she 12.
    Will not put my safety in hands. We are still in Germany & Japan 50 yrs later. Are they in better shape with us there. The answer is yes. This congress is more conservative than it was 3 yrs ago. Most know the war is unpopular and expensive. We pay our military to do this job for us. They will not leave it regardless of who is elected. This doesn't mean a President has to like being there. We need one who can lead show a future that has hope, we need a break from old leadership.

    July 6, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Lynne, San Diego, California

    “Those surge forces are giving us the capability we have now to take the fight to the enemy. And the enemy only responds to force and we now have that force."

    Sorry to ruin General McIntyre's pornographic fantasies of more death and destruction on a so-called enemy "that only responds to force. ." (Once again dehumanizing Iraqi people.) The people of this country are tired of war, death and lies. It is time to stop this madness and discontinue attempting to solve problems through military might.

    This is a dark time in American history.

    July 6, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Sylvester King Sonora Ky

    First General what security, we have went from Shock treatement, to the Banker plan, buy them off with planes load's of money, more troop plan. So
    now is this BS plan? We are getting lots of that plan out of Washington and
    it's not working.

    July 6, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. Paul Sabino, Benoni, South Africa

    it is high time for others to pick up the slack

    July 7, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Gary, Boston MA

    No.. it would be a mess to 'mega corporate profits' if the US pulled back. The military industrial complex needs an active war machine. Where else would tens of thousands of armed Blackwater mercenaries go? To the unemployment line? Saddam is no longer present to buy German chemicals, French aircraft, and US int/assets to stand off against Iran. Where would poor old billionaires make a killing in arms deals? *out*

    July 8, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |