Thursday, January 11, 2007

Loading The Powder Keg

If you are reading this and you live in Baghdad, now might be a good time to leave. The plan President Bush laid out last night in his address is nothing more than a loading up of the powder keg that is Baghdad. From the transcript:

Now, let me explain the main elements of this effort. The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi army and national police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi army and national police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations; conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.

So, we're going to put 18 brigades of Iraqis in Baghdad that are rife with militiamen, then probably turn and attack the militia that most of the infiltrators most closely associate themselves and not expect this to turn into a free-for-all? This is the recipe for disaster. It appears that we are going to keep the neighborhoods separated and only go in to conduct search and destroy missions where we will be subject to ambushes and what not.

I'm not saying the Iraqis shouldn't be involved in the security, it's just that I don't feel they have enough troops that are not compromised to participate at this level. I hope I'm wrong.

Also, the strict dividing of these neighborhoods will effectively kill commerce in the capital, which is scheduled to be jump started by the Iraqis kicking in $10 billion of their own money. It's money that they simply don't have, so look for us to end up giving them the money.

It all comes down to this, George Bush allowed this thing to fester for almost four years to get where we got, and at this point we have to now ask ourselves the three questions Aaron Mannes poses of at Counterterrorismblog:

1. Will the surge of troops allow coalition forces to break the forces fomenting civil war?

2. Has the U.S. military developed a sufficient understanding of Iraqi society and experience at counterinsurgency to maintain some level of order in Iraq?

3. Will the American public tolerate for a decade of U.S. casualties in Iraq?

One and two are unknowns that are probably a little better than fifty percent chance of success, eventually. Three, as we all know, is inoperable.

The only good part of this plan in my mind is something we should have done from the very beginning. Equal sharing of the oil revenue among all Iraqis. It probably would have mollified them somewhat then. I guess those morons at the Heritage Foundation thought is was too close to socialism.

Now, with no banking system, I don't even know how you begin to distribute the money.

No comments: