'US erred in announcing withdrawal deadlines'

Former Israeli brig.-gen. Oded Tyrah says US should not have announced Iraq, Afghanistan withdrawals deadlines.

October 22, 2012 03:55
1 minute read.
Protesters burn US flag in Afghanistan.

Protesters burn US flag in Afghanistan 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In a rare public criticism of US policy in Afghanistan and Iraq by an Israeli public personality, Oded Tyrah on Sunday called Washington’s war strategies an “inevitable failure.”

Tyrah, formerly a brigadier-general and ex-president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, said “uncertainty” was a key war strategy, and that US President Barack Obama erred when he announced deadlines for withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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“Once your enemy knows your deadline for disengaging, he can prepare how to outlast you,” Tyrah, who denies he has any political aspirations, said on the eve of third and final debate between Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Tyrah, who was an artillery officer during the 1967-1970 War of Attrition with Egypt, said announcing plans to withdraw is especially problematic during wars of attrition that are decided by staying power and stamina.

“When the enemy knows your deadline, he can always take a deep breath and outlast you,” he said.

Announcing plans to withdraw also can “revitalize an exhausted enemy,” and decides the battle for the hearts and minds of the local population in favor of the enemy, he said.

“This gives the enemies of the US a credible case for announcing they will outlast him and stay forever. Who would you side with? The side that pre-announced its departure, or the one there to stay?” The announcement of the withdrawal deadline was a strategic mistake that “re-energized America’s enemies, made the job of the US military much harder, and probably pushed the local population to the other side,” Tyrah maintained.

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