Friday, March 16, 2007

Gen. Petraeus: Super Surge Me

From today's Boston Globe:

The top US commander in Iraq has requested another Army brigade, on top of five already on the way, as part of the controversial "surge" of American troops designed to clamp down on sectarian violence and insurgent groups, senior Pentagon officials said today.

The appeal -- not yet made public -- by Gen. David Petraeus for a combat aviation unit would involve between 2,500 and 3,000 more soldiers and dozens of transport helicopters and powerful gunships, said the Pentagon sources. That would bring the planned expansion of US forces so far to close to 30,000 troops.

News of the additional deployment comes about a week after President Bush announced that about 4,700 support troops will join the initial 21,500 he ordered in January. They are in addition to the estimated 130,000 troops already in Iraq.

"This is the next shoe to drop," said one senior Pentagon official closely involved in the war planning. "But you cannot put five combat brigades in there and not have more aviation guys, military police, and intelligence units."

As much as I hate the Stupid Pointless War, I can't say I blame Petraeus. He has a job to do, and he wants to succeed. After all, Petraeus has previously said the surge only has a one-in-four chance of success. If this surge within a surge helps to improve the odds, all the better for Petraeus and his mission.

Let's be clear, all Americans will be winners if Petraeus can salvage a win in Iraq. The problem is, what will a win look like? Will we even know that a win has occurred when we see it? If we look back to the stupid BushCo and Neocon pronouncements of TOTAL VICTORY IN IRAQ, then a win is nowhere in sight.

The goal posts have been moved in, moved in again, lowered, widened, and moved in some more. What would a win look like today? 80 weekly attacks instead of 800 to 1,000?

Its a tough situation. BushCo has declared victory or bust. Many dems have have the right instincts, but are typically disorganized. The reeps are rallying around the policy, if not the president. The result is the surge, and no realistic option of a pull out (at least for now, until the latest horrific atrocity occurs).

So we look forward to additional surges within the surge. My big question is how far can we pull the rubber band back before it snaps?


Richard said...

Victory in Iraq will be when the Iraqi government can provide security for their own people and American troops are not killed on a weekly basis.

Victory in Iraq will be when Iraqi children can safely walk to school and their fathers have a job and hope for the future.

Victory in Iraq will be when local communities in the cities have clean water to drink, electricity, gasoline, and trash collection.

Richard S. Lowry

Joeprah said...

Heya Ron,

Wanted to see if you have taken in any of the great bloggers who are Iraqis that speak and write in English? They have some of the most revealing, candid takes on these topics and feel they are so interesting to read. Not nearly as anti-american as I would of thought. Also, there are a multitude of other Middle Easterners who blog about the US and the war and many other relative topics. I think it is a very difficult issue and one that I can not even begin to say that I qualified enough to comment on. I believe the war has been media trashed and biased unfairly simply due to the amount of reading I have done on the topic through foriegn news sources and foriegn op ed pieces (mostly blogs). I enjoy reading the pieces here and I will stop in again to see what is on the forefront of your mind.

Ron West said...


Thanks so much for your comments, and suggestion about Iraqi bloggers. I am familiar with two off-hand. One is called Riverbend, and the other is Iraq the Model. Here are the links.

Riverbend is written by a woman I believe is a moderate Sunni, while Iraq the Model comes from what I believe is a pro-US Shiite. Both perspectives are really interestng.

I agree wholeheartedly that we ought be getting a variety of viewpoints on Iraq, and must be sure to get the Iraqi POV.

If anyone has any links to Iraq blogs to share, I would love to see them.

Also Iraqslogger is a pretty good site for news on Iraq - good, bad and ugly.