Owen West, a major in the Marine Reserves, has served two tours in Iraq. His last ended in February. He believes that Congress should support the surge:

“We’re four years into a global conflict that will span generations, fighting virulent ideologues obsessed with expansion. It’s time for those who are against the war in Iraq to consider the probable military consequences of withdrawal. But it is also time for supporters of the war to step back and recognize that public opinion in great part dictates our martial options.

“It’s hard for a soldier like me to reconcile a political jab like Senator Harry Reid’s ‘this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything’ when it’s made in front of a banner that reads ‘Support Our Troops.’ But the politician’s job is different from the soldier’s. Mr. Reid’s belief – that the best way to support the troops is by acknowledging defeat and pulling them out of Iraq- is likely shared by a large slice of the population, which gives it legitimacy.

“It seems oddly detached, however, from what’s happening on the battlefield…”