Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Trouble With a Surge

There is talk that President Bush has chosen a 'surge' strategy in Iraq. The reasoning is that Baghdad security is the problem that underpins all other problems: that until Iraqis feel that their streets are safe all the political and economic issues are intractable. It is said that Bush will sign on to a two-year strategy raising the level of troops by perhaps 30,000 and concentrating them in Baghdad. There the mission will change from primarily training to primarily security. Neighborhood by neighborhood Baghdad will be cleared and held.

There are likely negative consequences to this:

  • Security means increased checkpoints and house searches. These will exceedingly unpopular with the Iraqis.
  • This frustration is going to be transfered to the Iraqi government, which will be seen as giving away national sovereignity. The government's standing will be eroded.
  • The U.S. will have to choose a Shiite faction to back -- the SCIRI or the Madhi Army. They will choose the Iranian-backed SCIRI, deepening the schism within the Shia and making it more difficult to put the country back together again.
  • The Mahdi Army will be a new and troublesome foe to U.S. forces.
  • U.S. casualties will shoot up. In order to hold neighborhoods U.S. forces will be far more exposed than they were before. This will further erode political support for the war in the U.S.
  • U.S. military force will be stretched close to a breaking point; our flexibility to respond to other threats will be diminished.

By the end of 2007, fearing the annihilation of their party at the 2008 polls, a group of moderate Republicans will enter the Oval Office and threaten to revoke funding for the war. Given that political cover, Democrats will be willing to vote with them. That's probably what it will take to change Bush's direction in this war.


Spartacvs said...

I prefer to call it an escalation allowing for truth in rhetoric.

Good points all, yet destined for obscurity. Perhaps you could double post?.

Good luck with the blog.

Wagster said...

If something is right for theforvm I'll usually double post, but like I said, there was already a very similar thread.

I have to say, though, my single-digit readership would take umbrage at being considered obscure.

Spartacvs said...

There's a similar thread at the Forvm that I posted, but a dearth of comments - except from Ken, and I am getting a little tired of that seemingly private conversation.

I guess we are both just trying to drum up business.

Obscure, oh my seems I insulted myself. Oh well, no harm no foul.