Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Results of the McCain escalation in Iraq

Andrew Bacevich discusses the results of The Surge (aka, the McCain escalation) in Surging to Nowhere The American Conservative 04/21/08:

Unfortunately, partial success in reducing the level of violence has not translated into any substantial political gains. Recall that the purpose of the surge was not to win the war in a military sense. Gen. David Petraeus never promised victory. He and any number of other senior officers have assessed the war as militarily unwinnable. On this point, the architects of the surge were quite clear: the object of the exercise was not to impose our will on the enemy but to facilitate political reconciliation among Iraqis.

A year later, signs of genuine reconciliation are few. In an interview with the Washington Post less than a month ago, General Petraeus said that “no one” in the U.S. government “feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation.” While it may be nice that the Kurds have begun to display the Iraqi flag alongside their own, to depict such grudging concessions as evidence of an emerging national identity is surely to grasp at straws.

So although the level of violence has subsided somewhat, the war remains essentially stalemated. Iraq today qualifies only nominally as a sovereign nation-state. It has become a dependency of the United States, unable to manage its own affairs or to provide for the well-being of its own people. As recent events in Basra have affirmed, the Iraqi army, a black hole into which the Pentagon has poured some $22 billion in aid and assistance, still cannot hold its own against armed militias.
He also provides a concise description of our current position: "Saddam is long gone, but we’re stuck."

War, the Republican Party way. Nothing quite like it.

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