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Your e-mails: When should troops leave Iraq?

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President Bush said Wednesday that U.S. troops will "stay as long as necessary" in Iraq.

SPECIAL REPORT

• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

(CNN) -- The White House this week released an outline of a plan for victory in Iraq, including a definition of victory and eight objectives toward achieving that goal.

CNN.com asked readers for their opinions on what needs to be achieved in Iraq before U.S. troops head home. Here are some of your responses:

It is in this moment...we are needed in Iraq more than ever and, if we leave, all our progress will be in vain and all the soldiers, sailors, and airmen that have perished will have done so in vain. If we leave now we will provide terrorists a breeding ground to carry out future attacks on America and the world. We must stay until the job is done.
Staff Sgt. Jason Donovant, USAF, Wichita Falls, Texas

If it is true that some cultures have long memories of their histories, it seems also true that Americans have very short and fickle memories of historical events. Al Qaeda, anyone? Frankly, I am embarrassed to read and hear fellow Americans' defeatist attitudes of "it can't be done...it's such a mess over there...we never should have gone...things will never change over there..." Huh? Have we already forgotten the brave Iraqi voters? Their brave police forces? All of the positive constitutional gains being made in a centrally-located Middle Eastern country, as an example to the other Islamic countries? It would be greatly appreciated by many of us if our fellow citizens (and Congress) could try to exhibit some patience, some dignity, some fortitude, and backbone. Especially, we would appreciate it if the loud, pessimistic, hand-wringing would cease. Such actions are truly giving sustenance, comfort, and chuckles to al Qaeda and other foes; this should cause great shame to those Americans.
Deborah, Cullowhee, North Carolina

My comment is simple: WWII was over 60 years ago and we still have military there.
Kay Bogue, Hannibal, Missouri

Congratulations to the Americans for having freed Iraqis and now supporting democracy in the Middle East. You are, as usual, on the front line against totalitarianism. The 9.5 million Iraqi voters and the trial of Saddam Hussein, the first tyrant ever judged by those he oppressed, are evidences of the wonderful job the U.S. does in Iraq. Congratulations to President Bush. Reagan and Lincoln would have been proud of you. Keep on defending and spreading the U.S. heritage, these values that led so many people to travel and love the United States. Courage, you are holding the hope of the entire world.
Xavier, Fribourg, Switzerland

I think it is wishful thinking on the part of the president that he would achieve total victory in Iraq. History shows that no occupying power has been able to achieve this illusive "Total Victory" and has had to withdraw when their losses were unbearable. George Bush is no exception and the time will come when the American forces will withdraw in total disgrace for coming to Iraq uninvited and leave unwelcomed.
Hussein, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

President Bush is in way over his head and needs to listen to the majority and facts of this conflict. People will always debate 'if' we should have gone to war. However, it is in the best interest of the United States and the free world to leave now. Insurgency is not terrorism. Do not conflict the two. The Iraqi majority does not want us there. When we leave, more than likely there will be a civil war and the Iraqis will have to sort out their own future.
Brian Finney, Louisville, Kentucky

The Iraqi troops need to be well-trained and able to fight on their own before we can withdraw. If the U.S. pulls out now, it will be a victory for the terrorists and Iraq will turn into another Afghanistan under the Taliban. In addition, if we pull out now without upholding the plan for peace and security, the United States will lose all credibility in the international arena and will have trouble assisting countries in the future in any capacity.
Craig, Maitland, Florida

Continue training Iraqis to defend themselves and then, when the Iraqi government says it's time for the U.S. to leave, we should leave. We're fighting another Vietnam and once again our government isn't willing to pull troops out and admit they made a mistake. This is political posturing and the government is desperately back-tracking to cover itself. Is it just me or do all the "Plan for Victory" emblems plastered everywhere remind anyone of old foreign propaganda footage? It just looked tacky and desperate as the government tried to put on a unified, collected facade.
Mary, Rochester, New York

I think that it is time we pulled out. The Arab tribes have been fighting each other for centuries and there is nothing we or anyone else can do to stop it. All they know is violence and can only be tamed by brute force. Leave them to their own fate.
Ken Bench, Granite City, Illinois

Bush insists we will achieve "victory" in Iraq. How will we define victory? When Osama bin Laden sits down on the deck of the USS Missouri? But, bin Laden doesn't speak for the Iraqi nationalists or the Irani infiltrators. Bush is foolish to propose that there can be a clearly defined "victory" in Iraq!
Mike Moss, Albany, New York

How long does it take to train troops? How long is boot camp for the U.S. Army, Marines, etc? It certainly isn't two years!! Why is it taking so long in Iraq? Until the President can explain this, his "Plan for Victory" is doomed.
Susanne Watkins, St Louis, Missouri

Leaving Iraq to its own defenses now would be disastrous. We must stay until the job of training their forces is complete, their road to becoming a democratic country is more solid and their infrastructure is in better shape. These are all happening, but it takes time. How long were we in Japan and in Germany? President Bush is right in saying that bringing our troops home now would tell the rest of the world that we are not solid allies who should be trusted. Perhaps if the media spent an equal amount of time showing the accomplishments that have been achieved to the time they spend on the not so good things that happen, Americans would have a clearer and more truthful picture.
Mike Schoonmaker, Schenectady, New York

I believe that by shrewd manipulation of the pre-war intelligence, America was "led" into a Bush/Cheney War, and I believe we are again being misled into thinking that a victory in Iraq can ever be achieved. At this point we may have painted ourselves into a corner and a hasty pullout now will only damage our reputation in the world more so than it is already. I can only hope that history will judge how the lives of so many Americans were destroyed for the purpose of removing a dictator from power simply to satisfy the ambitions of a standing President.
Al Bariatti, Frederick, Maryland

What many Americans don't seem to realize is that the stability or instability of the Iraqi government or any other government will have both short-term and long-term effects on our way of life? We should not leave Iraq until their legitimately elected government asks us to leave. At that time we should recognize their sovereignty and leave them to run their own country.
Carol, Olney, Maryland

I agreed with the invasion of Iraq and removal of Hussein. The people of that part of the world have been at war with each other for hundreds of years so it will not change quickly regardless of our presence. After Hussein is out of the way and the Iraq troops and people interested in a quasi-democratic society can handle the terrorists then we should leave. Other Arab countries have relatively stable governments so I think it could eventually work in Iraq, but it will take time.
William Kauffman, Omaha, Nebraska

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