Unilateral stance alienates U.S. allies

The flaws in the U.S. plan for Iraq’s sovereignty are starting to do more than expose themselves. These problems are putting the lives of U.S. troops in danger.

According to The Associated Press reports, in the first two and a half weeks of this month, 99 U.S. troops have died in Iraq.

Posting these kinds of casualty numbers are not indicative of a country planning to hand over control in almost 60 days.

Being aware of this, members of the coalition forces have begun to discuss and take actions to remove their troops from Iraq.

Both Australia and Spain have indicated that they intend on removing troops from Iraq as soon as possible. The primary concerns addressed by Australia and Spain indicate the incoherence of U.S. planning. These nations truly want an international policy to bring peace to Iraq as opposed to the unilateral stance of the United States that keeps foreign nations as mere footnotes in the plan.

Spain wanted the United Nations to be in control of the restructuring and occupation of Iraq, while Australia just wanted a clearer picture of their role. If the United States allows these countries to leave without actively pursuing means to appease them, the conflict in Iraq will reach a dangerous time unlike any that has been seen before.

If 99 U.S. troops lost their lives with coalition forces assisting them in Iraq, the death toll involved with a truly unilateral approach will more than likely reach astronomical levels.

The plan to turn over sovereignty to the Iraqi people by June 30 is foolhardy and irrational. Our allies realize it, as do the opposing forces in Iraq. By not stepping away from the situation now to seek international assistance, the United States is positioned to completely fail in a battle that we are losing at the moment.

The lives of American soldiers are worth the effort to retain the Spanish and Australian troops. If the United States do not act now, there will be great sorrow and many casualties to show for our unilateral, illogical response to foreign assistance and the June 30 deadline.

Jason E. Hutchins for the editorial board.