Big Shocker

I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day, now it’s time to get back to work…

Alright, show of hands, how many people are shocked that General Patraeus is, as early here as mid June, already starting to make the case that the surge will not be done by September, and that it’s possible that the whole plan may need to go into next year to work as intended?

A little history lesson here, folks, and maybe a quick hop on the logic train. The point of the surge, as I understand it anyway, was to reduce sectarian violence in Baghdad to allow Iraqi government officials to come to a political solution in Iraq, something that I’ve written a couple of times now is not likely to happen given the deep divide of the three primary cultural factions and their unwillingness to coexist sans dominance.

Therefore, if the point of the surge is to reduce violence so politicians can diplomatically come up with a solution then success of the surge depends upon a political solution coming to fruition. Therefore, if no political solution is likely to come about, then it is equally unlikely for the surge to succeed. If… then… it’s just that simple. No matter how ill-advised the solution is, it is dependent solely on Iraqi lawmakers, and their ability to progress politically. If they cannot do this, then we are dumping thirty-thousand soldiers over there for nothing.

Which, is indicative of another growing meme that calls into the question the very nature of the surge. In past wars, missions were successful, and partly because, there were mission objectives. You tell your platoon, “We need to take and secure that hill. It’ll give us an elevated position over the valley on the other side of it, and will allow us to provide artillary support to the 134th which is moving North.” Missions not only had a clear end, but there was a purpose to that end.

You told your soldiers to take a hill, they took it. Mission over. Job well done. There is nothing like this with the surge. You are essentially turning the troops into a very large bodyguard service for Iraqi lawmakers.

Another point is something Mikey T. points out in the comments to this post. Essentially, thirty thousand troops, really, what good is that going to do? If the surge is a band-aid-esque solution to a gaping wound problem, a thirty thousand soldier surge is a half assed band-aid, kinda like you know the little tiny circular ones that don’t seem good for anything and don’t fit on anywhere on your body, but you still have about a million of them in every box of band-aids you get.

All in all, it would seem that General Patraeus’ comments are just another example of him descending into unreliability, after entering the American consciousness with a generally high reputation.

But I will cut him at least one break. He’s in the military, this is kind of his job. He was given this plan and told to make it work, and to that extent, I believe he is doing the best he can. In the end, even an officer as highly ranked as General Patraeus still is just following orders; “Ours is not to wonder why, ours is just to do or die.”

So it’s not on him. Again, as all of these things, it’s on the administration. Again, Bush sold the strategy raw from the beginning, first saying it would take only a couple months, then until September, and now we’ve got this whole Korean model which has us there until I’m drooling all over myself and wearing adult daipers.

Then it’s failing to understand the concept of the surge. You want to know if it’s working or going to work? I’m no general, but I’ll tell ya now it’s not working, and won’t work as long as lawmakers in Iraq refuse to play nice with each other. And then you have the whole passing that long to the rest of the people which is up in the air. I don’t know how many people have talked about that.

So it’s on the administration to recognize yet another failed strategy and either go back to the drawing board (at this point, I have this funny feeling that Wile E. Coyote is in on the planning), or admit what so many people have been trying to say from the beginning. We have no business there, and our presence in the BEST case scenario, is only postponing the inevitable.

Ah well. El Presidente, you do what you want… I’ll see you in September.

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