Dec 18, 2006

On Troop Surges and Cutting Losses

President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney President Bush has been floating the idea of a "surge" in US forces as a strategy to bring an end to the civil war in Iraq. The infusion of 40,000 or more American soldiers, goes the theory, will restore order and quell the violence.

In the business world this type of thinking is called "throwing good money after bad," except in this case we would also be sacrificing more American soldiers.

There comes a time when, in any futile human endeavor, we need to just acknowledge that the activity is a failure, and then move on. The United States is at that point in Iraq, and sending tens of thousands more troops only means that the insurgents will have more targets.

The decision to topple Sadaam Hussein's regime through an invasion of Iraq created this civil war. While a brutal despot, Hussein ruled over a functioning government, and the destruction of the Ba'athist bureaucracy led to a power vacuum that has been filled by local militias and political factions.

The idea that 180,000 troops could better police a nation the size of France with 26 million people than could 140,000 is absurd. I suspect that it would be difficult for those 180,000 troops to effectively police Baghdad at this point.

The insurgency was driven by the presence of US troops on Iraqi soil, and the insurgency will not die out until US troops leave. The Iraqi security forces have become dependent on the US military, and they will not evolve into a sustainable police force so long as the Americans remain the primary decision makers.

Those who support the surge plan believe this is the only way to "win" the war, but -like Vietnam - this is a war that cannot be won. The Iraqis are fighting an internal civil war of a political nature, and the US military cannot "win" a political struggle.

Critics of bringing home the troops also argue that a "cut-and-run" strategy shows that America is weak. To those people I say that we survived our losses in Vietnam just fine, and life went on. Perhaps, too, we as Americans might stand to learn a lesson or two about rushing off to war.

There is nothing "weak" about admitting mistakes, learning lessons, and moving forward. I think this process is better described as "intelligence."

Bring home the troops in 2007.


Anonymous said...

That's just what the terrorists want! This could've been witten by Osama himelf.

McCaskey said...

The above posting is more deep-thinking from a Bush Administration Fan Club member.

No, anonymous, the 'terrorists' and 'Osama' would dearly love for us to keep our presence in Iraq indefinetly. It's the best recruiting tool Al-Queda has at its disposal.

By the way, in case you haven't been following this subject for the last three years, mean 'ol Saddam and Iraq had nothing to do with 'Osama' and the 'terrorists'.

It's two totally different....Oh Christ, never mind.

microdot said...

Anonymous still hasn't progressed beyond the first set of lies Bush tried to sell America. That Saddam and Osama were allies and somehow Hussein was connected with 9/11.
That said, we are going to have to witness the further degradation of America as Bush pushes forward Operation One Last Desparate New Way Forward in which we will waste unthinkable amounts of money and tragically the lives of more young soldiers and prolong the agony of the place once known as Iraq.
That will go on until the PR starts to backfire and the Administration brains will have to come up with a another snarky new slogan, like, ummm, Alternative Leap in Still Another Direction or Something Positively Completely Different...they will keep thinking up new slogans and sinking us deeper and deeper until we have had enough and make them leave!

Hooda Thunkit said...

There's always that "sea of glass" option, seeing as the Iraqis are either unwilling or unable to stand up for themselves.

Maybe we need to pull all of our troops out one quiet night and see how they handle their new responsibilities when they have no other choice.