Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

What is to be done?

The debate is on-going on how to win in Iraq. President Bush had a press conference on the subject today. The only thing that I find of importance in his press conference is that he is seriously considering increasing the number of troops in Iraq and the size of the Armed Forces overall. This is probably the right thing to do. But here is an interesting article I found, thanks to Steve Gardner of Old War Dogs:

Mission Possible: How the U.S. Will Win in Iraq.
By Robert Haddick
…………………………………………………………………………….
Here is what the President should say in his next speech on Iraq:

1. Yes, Iraq is in a civil war. Baathists, ex-army officers, and Al Qaeda are trying to overthrow the elected Iraqi government. These rebels are hiding in neighborhoods in mainly four provinces in Iraq.
2. Because it is a civil war, it is an internal affair of Iraq. The Iraqi government is and should be the lead principal to fight the insurgency. As an internal matter, and facing a national emergency, the Iraqi government will decide for itself the best tactics, techniques, and procedures to defend itself and its constitution.
3. The U.S. government will stand with its ally, the Iraqi government.
4. The U.S. will immediately turn all Iraqi army and police units under its command over to the control of the Iraq government. U.S. commanders will no longer direct the actions of any armed force of the Iraqi government.
5. U.S. teams embedded with Iraqi units will no longer act as advisers; Iraqi officers will plan their own operations and devise their own tactics Embedded U.S. teams will act as a liaison for logistics, intelligence, and fire support these Iraqi units may require from U.S. sources.
6. The U.S. military in Iraq will soon wind down its training program for Iraqi soldiers and police. The Iraqi government will train Iraqi soldiers and police to Iraqi standards and customs.
7. U.S. military units in Iraq will cease patrolling Iraq’s cities and towns. U.S. forces will continue their world-wide hunt for Al Qaeda terrorist and cells, including inside Iraq.
8. U.S. military units will be available to provide humanitarian assistance to distressed areas inside Iraq, when it is reasonably safe for U.S. personnel to execute such missions.
9. The U.S. will transfer most of its forces currently in al-Anbar province and Baghdad to the Iraqi/Iranian border.
10. U.S. military forces not necessary to protect Iraq’s eastern border or to support Iraqi forces in the civil war will return to their bases in the United States.

Is This Another Version of “Cut and Run”?

By taking these ten steps, would the U.S. be abandoning Iraq? Absolutely not. It would be abandoning Sunni reconciliation, a “national unity” government, and counterinsurgency. But taking these actions would empower America’s friends (the Kurds) and those it should have as friends (the majority Iraqi Shi’ites). These Iraqi friends would then crush the Sunni Arab rebellion, an object lesson for all to witness.

The U.S. would have to impose itself on Iraqi sovereignty in one area, by becoming the border patrol on the Iranian frontier. Moving strong U.S. ground forces to the Iranian border would accomplish several things. First, it would intimidate the Iranians. Second, it would attempt to limit Iranian influence inside Iraq. Third, it would make the Shi’ite winners inside Iraq more dependent on the U.S. Fourth, it would reassure other Sunni Arab governments in the region that the U.S. will not abandon them to Iranian domination.
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The U.S. can still achieve its strategic objectives in Iraq. And it can do so in way that reminds the world that the U.S. will defend its friends and punish its enemies. By following this plan, President Bush can serve America’s interests, revive his legacy, and make life easier for his successors. For everything else, the Iraqis will have to work it out among themselves.

There is only one disagreement I have with this strategy: I don’t think Iraqi Shias are our friends. Iran will still have influence there, unless Iranian agents (like Al-sadr) are crashed by us. And, short of a devastating bombing campaign, Iran is not going to be intimidated: they simply don’t believe that we will do anything about them. That is basically what happened in 1938 and 1939: Hitler simply did not believe that England and France would go to war. Flooding the border with our troops is still useful: at least the terrorists from Iran and Syria would not be able to get through. But it will not intimidate the ayatollahs.

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December 20, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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