Friday, October 13, 2006
Where are the serious threats to America? Are they the Taliban in Afghanistan? Insurgents and Iranian proxies in Iraq? No. Essentially a few thousand bad guys and a few bucks are tying up 300,000 front line troops and 80B dollars (150,000 in theater and 150,000 readying for deployment) that are not available for elsewhere in the world. Who are we killing? Foot soldiers and low-level leaders. Will they run out of the them in 10 years? Nope. They come from the dregs of the Middle East and there is an endless supply. The Iraqis may become self sufficient, but will the bad guys leave when we leave. Absolutely not. They will intensify their efforts. They think the can beat Iraqis and Afghans. Why not? They are getting support from Iran, Syria and Pakistan and the Soviet Union.
What are we doing about Iran, Syria and Pakistan? Nothing. There is no penalty for their involvement in the war. The Soviet Union and North Korea are supplying arms. What is their penalty? Nothing. Iran and Korea are now are expanding their nuclear capability with Pakistan assistance. At what penalty? Nothing. Pakistan provides a safe haven for the Taliban and Al-Quaeda. At what cost? Nothing. And what is China doing? Shooting lasers at our satellites, building a huge navy and army, far beyond their defense needs, supporting North Korea and screwing us economically, with devalued currency and getting rich off American greed for the cheapest price while becoming the biggest contributor to our trade deficit. At what penalty? Nothing. Saudi Arabia, privately is the biggest financier of world terrorism and world hate (Madras schools teaching Wahhabi hatred). What is their penalty? Nothing.
Of the seven nations I mention as directly harming us, Bush calls 4 of them friends. They have most favored nation trading status. Our enemies are harming us on the cheap, while we invest a fortune in manpower and treasure to kill the dregs of the Middle East. Afghanistan will never be able to take on the Taliban without our help. Afghanistan is more a collection of autonomous tribes than a nation state. Iraq will become self sufficient in manpower, but still will require enormous funding and material support from the US just to maintain the status quo.
What about our goal to stabilize the Middle East with a friendly democracy? Terrorism is the most cost effect form of warfare invented. Second comes guerrilla warfare. Conventional forces are very expensive. Can Iraq be considered a stabilizing force while under constant attack? Who will be positively affected? Will anyone in the Middle East want to become the second Iraq in 5 years? 10 years?