There Is A Tunnel, But Is There A Light?

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Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.

I listened closely this week as Washington debated the war. As you heard from our guests this morning, it boiled down to this: the administration believes there will be chaos if we leave Iraq, and Democrats see chaos if we stay.

The more I listened, the more I came to believe that neither side really knows what to do.

We have reached the point where there no longer are any good answers. Whatever we do, there will be consequences.

Yes, there has been progress, as the administration argues, but even the administration admits that what has been accomplished is so fragile that it could evaporate if we leave.

Democrats rightly argue that our military is stretched so thin we cannot continue to keep troop levels where they are for much longer, yet they cannot say what will happen if we draw down the force.

There is no longer even agreement on exactly who the enemy is or what poses the greatest threat to our own national security.

During Vietnam, the government kept seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

In the darkness of the Iraq tunnel, all seem to agree there is something ahead, but no one can make out just what it is … or how long the tunnel may be.

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By Bob Schieffer
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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.