Skip to comments.Bush's Iraq plan, between the lines(Tony Cordesman on the Surge)
Posted on 01/13/2007 11:20:46 PM PST by jeltz25
Bush's Iraq plan, between the lines Anthony H. Cordesman
Friday, January 12, 2007
WASHINGTON President George W. Bush has presented a new strategy for the war in Iraq that he feels can reverse the country's drift toward large-scale civil war.
The new plan focuses on stabilizing Baghdad by adding thousands of American troops with newly expanded powers to take on Shiite as well as Sunni rebels. It also includes a limited increase in United States forces in Anbar Province, and calls for Iraqi forces to take formal control of the security mission in November.
The president was refreshingly candid, saying that "where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." But taken as a whole, the speech raised more questions than it answered.
I've selected a number of important phrases from the address that beg for more detailed discussion, and included my own analysis of the validity and practicality of what the president seems to have in mind.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Tonight in Iraq, the armed forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror and our safety here at home.
ANALYSIS: Iraq is only one element in the war on terrorism. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the failure to suppress Al Qaeda globally are probably of equal importance, and the Bush administration seems to have no overall strategy for America's "other war" in Afghanistan or the broader war on terrorism.
(Excerpt) Read more at docs.google.com ...
ANALYSIS: The elections were anything but a "stunning achievement." The system used virtually ensured that Iraqis would vote by sect and ethnicity and that the outcome would further divide Sunni Arabs and Shiites, compounding the tensions created by American efforts to make Iraqis draft a new constitution.
That is an interesting take, but what exactly would he do? Drafting a Constitution is difficult, it took years for us to do it. As to people voting by ethnicity and sect, that is ordinary. Honestly these propeller heads have very little to offer practically.
The only real problem with the presidents approach is that he does not include in his speech, a method of fighting the Iraq War here at home. For it is a very real part of the battlefield, and the MSM, seditious media has wrecked havoc, with no visble adversary in sight. President Bush needed to change that arrangement, and so far he has not.I believe that to be his biggest mistake, and he has needed a counter campaign against the liberal socialist press for these last 3 years, it is not enough to simply be right, as the president is on the issue.He has to appear to be right in the eyes of the general public, and he is not, and our enemies know it and use the Democratic party as their launching pad, with the MSM media as the go between the two.
It really is too late for that. His best hope and a slim one at that is to have success in the military operation. The media have been against him and the GOP. I have not seen worse or more blatent bias. There is the additional problem in that the Iraqi government is Shiite dominated and they are, in the Sadr thugs, a bad offender in the Violence. The ones the US has to work with are guilty or are by proxy.
The smartest move Sadr could make would be to order his milita to stand down and come back later after we leave. In the meantime the Iraqi government would be VERY grateful to him. But the guy does not look that smart.
You are correct. The experts always state the obvious and think they have stated a profound truth.
I found Cordesman's analysis generally biased against the war on terror. Here's one example:
"PRESIDENT BUSH: Tonight in Iraq, the armed forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror and our safety here at home. "
"ANALYSIS: Iraq is only one element in the war on terrorism. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the failure to suppress Al Qaeda globally are probably of equal importance, and the Bush administration seems to have no overall strategy for America's "other war" in Afghanistan or the broader war on terrorism.
Iraq is key, because success in Iraq undermines Iran, which is the source of most worldwide terror.
Very likely the Taliban are supported by Iran, as well as by Pakistani supporters. At least in Afghanistan, we have NATO support.
We have been suppressing worldwide terror--or hasn't he noticed the arrests in the US, Europe, Indonesia, and the Phillipines? And did he forget the recent success in Somalia?
I just don't like his shallow and one sided analysis. A previous poster noted he didn't look at things from a military point of view and I think that sums it up.
Yes, I can hear the crickets chirping.
As for the now trite objection that the Iraqi elections broke along ethnic and religious lines...we have no room to brag. Witness the incredible monolith of the "black vote" in this country.
The Taliban and Iran were bitter enemeies. They almost went to war and Iran mobilized 250K on the border after the Taliban killed 11 Iranian diplomats.
You're point confirms his point. You mention arrests in the Phillipines, Indonesia, Europe, the US, Somalia. I agree, but none of that has anything to di with Iraq. Having 150K in Iraq doesn't lead to arrests in Indonesia. We can arrest act all we want in Somalia, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Europe, etc... We don't need to be in Iraq to do that.
His point is that Bush has overemphasized Iraq, pumping it up to be the key front and main struggle in the war on terror, when, when it comes to AQ and int'l terrorism, Iraq really doesn't have much of an effect.
Countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt, the GCC states, Iran, etc... are much more important than Iraq. All of AQ's money and support comes from the Golden Chain in KSA and the Madrassas in Pakistan. Another 20,000 in Baghdad does nothing to address those issues and even if Iraq becomes Paradise tomorrow, those Madrassas will still be in business as will the Golden Chain.
Neither did bombing the Taliban in Tora Bora have anything to do with getting Muammar Khadafy to give up his nuclear-weapons program, or halting Saddam's subventions to Palestinian suicide-bombers, or explaining why 600 lb. of ricin were found in Abu 'Orrible's mosque in Finsbury Park in London.
If you're determined to carp and cavil, and the media people are, you can always point to tenuous "connections" (this is a clandestine world, after all) and attack the Administration's targeting priorities. If the President does something over here, you can complain about his inattention to some other problem. If he addresses that problem, then of course he's neglecting another. You can always play games. Cordesman is playing games.
Having 150K in Iraq doesn't lead to arrests in Indonesia.
No, but it cuts off the Finsbury Park terrorists from their Ansar al-Islam ricin suppliers in Iraq. Or did you want to complain about that? And we interrupted Dr. Taha's work on germ warfare. Even though we never recovered her files or her working materials. Any suggestions about those?
We can arrest act [sic] all we want in Somalia, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Europe, etc... We don't need to be in Iraq to do that.
And we didn't need to bomb Tora Bora, or attack Afghanistan at all, to roll up the German and Spanish Al Q'aeda cells. And your point is?
Hell, I'll tell you what your point is. It's the media's point, and Nancy Pelosi's point, and Harry Reid's point -- the point is, a Democrat isn't in the White House. Period.
Concurring bump. You could feel those guys turning, as soon as our tanks arrived in Baghdad. You could hear them thinking about reliving the glory days of the Vietnam era, when the (falsely) morally-righteous Liberal Media pulled down two presidents and defeated another at the polls.
- The smartest move Sadr could make would be to order his militia to stand down and come back later after we leave.-
That's exactly what is gonna happen except all hell is gonna break loose just as we're leaving. Iraq implodes.
What that would prove is that Arabs are not suitable candidates for Democratic governement outside their own sect or tribe.
Iraq's no longer even a big enough conflict to call it a war or a battle as if it is separate from all else going on. It's a roach motel- somewhat less so that the typical Democrat run quagmires we call US cities - and it's a launchpad. The fact that it's the latter has liberal panties in a wad.