Monday, November 20, 2006

Iraq: Why We Can't Win While We Are There

While we have yet to see the Iraq Study Group's report on what we need to do to achieve some measure of success in Iraq, the Pentagon has released their own set of options entitled "Go Big", "Go Long", and "Go Home." Basically, one of the plans calls for more troops, one calls for the same amount for a longer period of time, and one calls for coming home. Thanks guys.

All three plans ignore one basic fact, and that fact is that we can't "win" while we are there insofar as we can't afford to spend the money the Iraqi Army needs to properly outfit itself while we are spending roughly a hundred billion a year to maintain our presence.

Every single television shot I've seen of the Iraqi forces, both police and army show a force that is in no way shape or form up to the task of making the populous under control. Their helmets look like they were found in some old army surplus store, if they have one. Their body armor has zero chance of stopping an AK-47 round, if they have any. They have virtually nothing in the way of armored troop carriers. In addition, they have no air power whatsoever. In other words, they are cannon fodder.

We could train a million of them and it just will not matter at this point because they are under armed in the conflict. The greatest military in the world has only managed to fight these guys to a draw, the current Iraqi military has no chance, and will continue to have no chance unless we give them the modern military tools to fight the fight.

Unfortunately, we are never going to do that while we maintain our current presence there, as we are afraid those tools will fall into the wrong hands and be used against us, so again we are stuck in a catch-22 even if we could come up with the additional funding to properly arm them.

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