Thursday, January 18, 2007
Based on comments, I obviously needed to do a better job explaining why I wrote a 2002 plan in 2007. The major difficulty with participating in the dialogue with any president is that he has significantly better intelligence than you do. But eventually the facts come out. I am guessing that the intelligence we know in 2007 is as good as Bush knew in 2002. Pick your dates but we are always behind the latest classified intel. My second purpose was to establish a baseline for discussion. If you disagree with the assumptions no dialogue can be useful.
With regard to Bush's surge plan, it will accomplish the goal defined, pacifying the mixed neighborhoods (1.5M people). Nothing else before November. We are sending 5 brigades starting in Feb and 1 a month there after. Full compliment in 6 months. 3 months of fighting at full strength. Not going to accomplish anything additional by November. The question is will accomplishment of this goal advance our cause in the bigger war (eliminating threats to America.). We have eliminated the threat to America from Iraqi WMD and Saddam. The relevant question in November 2007 is whether a pro American democracy is achievable, and at what price in time and treasure. This choice should not be made in a vacuum, but always against the metric of reducing the threat to America. The two greatest threats to America are disruption of oil and major attacks on the civilian population or infrastructure. How will a stable Iraq advance our goals? I submit that a stable Iraq will make things worse. We have enticed the enemy to make Iraq a decisive battleground. This is a very good thing. No threat to the US mainland and no threat to the oil.
If Iraq remains unstable what is the worst-case scenario? Shia killing Sunnis and vice versa. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran getting involved on both sides. And this is bad because? It is not the moderates killing moderates. It is hot heads killing hot heads and moderates. Fewer hot heads is a good thing. Eventually the moderates will say enough is enough and take up arms against the hot heads. This is a very good thing. Our primary goal should be to get the hot heads to focus on Iraq; it is of very little strategic value.
Our second goal should be to minimize the enemy's strength, unconventional warfare and to maximize our strength conventional warfare. I chose a defensive perimeter in the open, but you can offer other suggestions, the how is not important. But we need to remain close to the action so that if events are not going our way we can intervene.
One of the assumptions that no one questions is that a stable democracy in Iraq will be pro US. What proof of this is there? The Iraqis and all Middle Easterners are inherently against us because we are infidels. They will use us until they no longer need us. In the long term we will have achieved nothing for a trillion dollars.
Do I think my 2002 plan is still valid? Absolutely. First and foremost is eliminating our dependency on Middle East oil. No serious military action can take place till this happens. Second goal is to keep the fighting in the Middle East and out of the US. 3rd goal is to kill all the hot heads. I believe this has to be done by the moderates. We can surgically remove the hot heads without a 30-year unconventional war. Totally unacceptable. Better to nuke them all, equally unacceptable.
In summary, the Bush plan will succeed, but accomplish nothing. If it is incredibly successful the hot heads will choose another place to fight. Is there another place you would prefer to fight the hot heads? I can't think of one.
Liberty or Death