Monday, November 22, 2004

Still No Exit Strategy...

The Bush administration continues to compound its errors in Iraq. Once again, our top-notch military did what they were asked to do - this time in Fallujah. But Mr. Bush and senior government officials again failed to consider the long term impacts - impacts that are obvious to our military, but not to W & Company. Mr. Rumsfeld, why haven't you submitted your resignation yet when you continue to make critical mistakes in strategic planning?

... a secret Marine Corps report...reveals the major bind the US has gotten itself into by sweeping through Fallujah and attempting to pacify it.

This US strategy has created exactly the dilemma that many critics of the war had been predicting in order to hold Fallujah the United States has to keep large numbers of troops there, and then the Americans will not have sufficient troops to handle the uprising elsewhere in the Sunni areas.

...if American troop levels in the Fallujah area are significantly reduced during reconstruction there, as has been planned, insurgents in the region will rebound from their defeat. The rebels could thwart the retraining of Iraqi security forces, intimidate the local population and derail elections set for January, the officers say.

Beneath this general problem lie three key problems that made the attack on Fallujah a desperation measure in the first place, and which is now creating a new and deeper crisis for the US military in its aftermath.

First, and most important, the people of Fallujah hate the Americans and support the guerrillas (even if they may have complaints about much of what they do). This means that as soon as the people return, so will the resistance, hidden from US view because virtually all the guerrillas are residents of Fallujah with supporters in the community. They will not be turned over to the US or to Iraqi police, and they will therefore begin to mount attacks on whoever is left to guard the US-installed local government.

Second, the US cannot depend on Iraqi police or military to fight this next phase of the "battle of Fallujah"...The key thing here is that when the Americans entered the Fallujah battle they believed that the Iraqi forces would be ready to take over immediately after the city was cleared. But the mass defections and unwillingness to fight exhibited by the Iraqis have forced a drastic revision in these estimates...

The third problem is that the US simply does not have enough troops to hold Fallujah and also do all the other fighting that is now necessary...And one final note: the only remedy for the third problem is a vast increase in the number of US troops in Iraq. And that means a draft in the United States.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link