This is from Think Progress, but the link to the article is down. My comments will be in green
What’s Good and What’s Missing From the Democrats’ National Security Strategy
Today, the Democrats unveil their national security strategy, “Real Security: Protecting America and Restoring Our Leadership in the World.” On a number of issues – including strengthening the military and improving homeland security – the strategy includes concrete proposals that would make the country safer and go far beyond what the Bush administration has been willing to do.
The Democrats should be commended for, in many instances, recognizing the the status quo is unacceptable and drawing a clear policy contrast. (The President’s appointment of uber-insider Joshua Bolten to replace Chief of Staff Andy Card was another sign he plans to “stay the course.”) The glaring exception to their efforts is Iraq.
The three-part section dealing with Iraq is, for the most part, indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s policy and rhetoric –
>As more capable Iraqi police and soldiers come on line, they will assume responsibility for more territory — with the goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006. As Iraqis stand up, America and our coalition will stand down.
Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.
Just using the buzzword “redeployment” does not create a clear, substantive difference between the Democratic plan and Bush’s promise to have American troops “stand down” as Iraqis “stand up” in 2006.The reality is much, much grimmer. As I will explain in a later post, the Iraqi Army is unlikely to stand up if that means facing down Sadr or the Badr Organization. There is plenty of indications that they are already doing their dirty work, with bodies sprouting up everywhere. If the US were to send 80,000 people home, the remaining 60,000 would literally have to run for the border. The US cannot do it's job now, removing more than half of the troops would leave them essentially armed hostages
If the US Army is bogged down with 140,000 troops, a piecemeal withdrawal will only make things worse
President Bush, 3/12/06:
Iraq’s leaders know that they must put aside their differences, reach out across political, religious, and sectarian lines, and form a unity government that will earn the trust and the confidence of all Iraqis. The only path to a future of peace is the path of unity.
and defeat the insurgency; promote regional diplomacy; and strongly encourage our allies and other nations to play a constructive role.
Now how in the fuck are we going to abrogate hundreds of years of ethnic strife. And get our allies to "play a constructive role" is akin to wishing for unicorns to fly us to Pluto. Reality needs to seep in here. Our allies are content to watch us be humbled in Iraq. The Shia are going to run Iraq whether the Sunni and Kurds like it or not.
The Dems simply have to realize that the Iraqis who are running things aren't running shit. Jaafari sits in the big man chair because Sadr put him there.
The insurgency already has a stranglehold on Sunni life and the government. The Iraqi "government" represents no one but itself and to expect them to have the loyalty of people is ridculous.
The fact is that this has devolved into which church wins. We forget, and the Shia did not, how we let Saddam kill them by the bushel. They are not going to play by our rules to make us happyThe one exception to this pattern is the rather vaguely worded third section that promises to “hold the Bush administration accountable.”
So impeachment is around the corner? Article of impeachment being drawn up? No? OK then. We're going to cut funding, rightz?
A dramatic change of course from the administration’s flawed strategy in Iraq is long overdue. American Progress has a concrete proposal called Strategic Redeployment. It calls for 80,000 troops to exit Iraq in 2006, including all of the National Guard and Reserve. (Most would return to the United States, others would be redeployed to Kuwait, Afghanistan and other strategic locations.) Virtually all of the remaining 60,000 would exit Iraq in 2007.
This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Here what is likely to happen. As US troops draw down, domestic pressure to end the occupation will explode. The resistance will grow bolder in their attacks, starting to wage company-sized attacks in daylight. The remaining 60,000 will face an increasing pace of attacks as our Iraqi allies demand residence in the US to save their lives. Because when we leave, the killing will erupt in a wave closer to Rwanda or the Congo. Anyone who had contact with the US will be murdered, probably by their neighbors.As this happens and the Iraqi "government" collapses, with it's non-Iranian protected members fleeing back to their London and Detroit homes, where many of them spend a lot of time now. The Army will be the next to go, since most of the people were collecting a paycheck anyway, when their imams say it's time to choose up, the Wolf Brigade turns into the Badr Brigade commando unit.
So while people in Washington thinks the house of cards will stand without US glue, most Iraqis who can, will run when we leave. What fantasyland do people think we can just yank the Guard units and everything will be cool. They've born much of the infantry war and without them, it gets real ugly real fast My feeling is that once the withdrawal starts, the whole facade of the Iraqi government will collapse into a bundle of factions all looking for the door.
Given the absolutely critical nature of forming a wartime government, these clowns are going to fight over who does what. That should indicate that the next Iraqi government will not be elected and it's leader doesn't reside in the green zone.
Reality is not exactly popular, but the Dems do no one a service by pretending Iraq can be saved by 5,000 German troops. It is too far fucking gone. Nor forgetting to mention that Rumsfeld's plans for a tech driven Army are the opposite of what we need, which is more infantry, with better ground mobility. The era of air assault came to an end in October 1993, when a bunch of khat chewing street kids blew a $1m American helicopter out of the sky with a hundred dollar grenade, killed four special operators and captured another one.We do not have an army which can actually prevent mass killing and restore order. We have an army which is trained to kill the Group of Soviet Forces Germany. They are now lost to the mists of history, but our Army remains the same.
Yet, there is no plan to actually make an Army which can fight guerrillas, aid and protect NGO's and mobilize quickly. Instead, we're converting artillery and engineers into ad hoc infantry and MP's and sending people out to die in hillbilly armored vehicles.
Yes, this sets the ground for real reform in the face of Bush's failure, but it is a baby step and far short of the real and comprehsive vision needed for a 21st Century defense policy
posted by Steve @ 3:03:00 AM