Sunday, January 14, 2007


El Presidente's "plan" for escalating our Iraq involvement is meeting unexpected resistance from, and it's a good one, the democratically elected Iraqi government. Per The New York Times:
"We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem," said an American military official in Baghdad involved in talks over the plan. "We are being played like a pawn."

And how do we feel about the guy the democratically elected leader of Iraq picked to run his side of the Baghdad co-U.S. operations:
In face of strong American skepticism, the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, has selected an officer from the Shiite heartland of southern Iraq who was virtually unknown to the Americans, and whose hard-edged demands for Iraqi primacy in the effort has deepened American anxieties.

Then there's logistics:
There are no solutions yet to longstanding problems like who — the American forces, or the Iraqis' own anemic logistics system — will supply the fuel required to keep Iraqi Humvees and troop-carrying trucks running, at a time when the American supply chain will face new strains in supporting thousands of additional American troops.

The plan gives a central role to the National Police, viewed as widely infiltrated by Shiite militias and, despite an intensive American retraining program, still suspected of a strongly Shiite sectarian bias. One American officer said that the National Police commanders have been "dragging their feet" over their role in the new plan and that they could seriously compromise the operation.

Then there's the likelihood that the very enemy we'll be surging after will melt away, as usual when we go in, into the populace and scatter around Iraq until things cool down again.

But maybe this would have been an okay some time...deep in the past:
Another senior officer involved in developing the new plan said that the new crackdown would have been much easier to implement if it had been adopted earlier. He said that when he returned to Iraq for a second tour in the fall, he was shocked to see how far the American war effort had regressed, something he attributed to muddled strategy. "When I got back three months ago, the hodge-podge called Baghdad was like a Rubik’s cube gone awry," he said.

And who is the author of this plan, the intellectual underpinning for this McCain Doctrine of increased commitment? Why, 36 year-old Frederick Kagan, to whom, "Wow, you mean we can still win this war?" a grateful Bush reportedly said. According to reader PS on Talking Points Memo:
So I am completely baffled by the extent to which the media has given him credibility as a "military expert"; one imagines how the surge would have been received if Kagan was accurately identified as "an expert on Napoleon and the early 19th century Russian army." His CV reveals no publications in refereed history or political science journals in the last decade. Basically the intellectual architect of the surge is an oped/Weekly Standard writer whose only substantive expertise is on Napoleon.

Really puts your mind at ease, don't it?


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