Thursday, January 04, 2007

Parthian Shot 2

John Keegan has an article in the Telegraph describing plans to use a surge force of 50,000 to inflict damage on Iraqi militias and insurgents. Prior to large scale withdrawal. If Keegan's reportage on the plan is correct, then the "surge" will be the historical equivalent of the Linebacker aerial offensive in Vietnam; probably destined to be as tactically brilliant and as strategically pointless.

Breaking: Admiral William J. Fallon will replace General John Abizaid at Central Command and LTG David Petreaus will replace George Casey as MNF-I commander in Iraq according to ABC News.

President George W. Bush is about to launch a final push in Iraq with a large reinforcement of American troops in the hope of crushing the insurgency before America embarks on a large-scale withdrawal of force from the country.

The size of the force is commonly set at about 40,000-50,000 troops. The aim of this surge will be to inflict severe damage and loss on the problem-making elements within Iraq, including both Shia and Sunni militias, and to increase training of the Iraqi security forces under American supervision.

The arguments against the surge are that it might exacerbate the violence without deterring the perpetrators from persisting in their attacks and that it might result in a sharp increase in American casualties with no observable gain. The arguments for trying a surge are that it is defeatist to concentrate on withdrawal from Iraq without attempting a final effort to make military force work. ...

Hitherto most military activity by coalition forces has been reactive rather than unilateral. Typically, units have become involved in fire fights while on patrol or on convoy protection duties. During the surge, the additional troops would take the fight to the enemy with the intention of doing him harm, destabilising him and his leaders and damaging or destroying the bases from which he operates. ... The British contingent recently demonstrated that such overwhelming tactics have their effect. After their surprise move into Basra with massed columns of fighting vehicles and Challenger tanks, they succeeded in dominating the chosen area and evoking respect from the local militias.

In any case, the sending of such force will be a necessary preliminary to any reduction in strength, since it would be necessary to cover the withdrawal. Retreat is a complicated operation of war which paradoxically always involves far more troops if it is to be brought off successfully. The reason for that is that the spectacle of withdrawal tempts the enemy to interpret the time of withdrawal as an indication of weakness, and so risks infliction of passing shots and the launching of farewell attacks. It is vastly important to have additional troops on hand at such a time.

The surge reinforcements may therefore have a dual purpose to cover the reduction and also to deal final blows at the source of the disorder prior to departure. American commanders certainly will not wish to leave Iraq, tail between legs. We may therefore confidently expect to see the number of American troops in the theatre increase suddenly from 150,000 to 200,000, if only for a short time. An important side effect of the surge for which Western leaders will hope is that it will increase the size and capability of Iraqi security forces, which it will be vital to include in the operation. For it is upon them that the stability of Iraq and its elected government will depend when the size of Western involvement is reduced.

Keegan notes the difficulty of finding the additional 50,000 men for the surge; and an increase of this size must be temporary because sustaining an additional force of this magnitude ultimately requires a far larger force behind it, to allow for rotation. But while America struggles to find an additional source of kinetic power, it continues to fail to mobilize all the sources of national power, in particular information warfare power and political power, to complement the efforts of the troops. At an interview on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday, I emphasized that "troops are great but they can't do it alone". The surge which John Keegan describes is very disheartening because it does not differ in strategic intent from Andrew Sullivan's prescription of a retreat to Kurdistan or elsewhere, except that it inflicts on the enemy one last and parting shot -- Keegan's "final blows at the source of disorder prior to departure" -- before lowering the flag. Given this telegraphed intent, there may be no inclination for the enemy to fight at all. All they need do is quietly wait for the surge to collapse from its own weight and crawl back up when the lights are turned out.

The "surge" described in Keegan's article will be largely a kinetic effort aimed at destroying enemy fighting units. It will not have any obvious information warfare component. For example, the kind of video likely to emerge from US efforts will be documentary, unedited and taken from a tasteful distance to avoid any disturbing imagery of enemy dead; like this amateur video of Marines calling air and artillery down on an enemy position. On the other hand, the enemy will purposefully shoot video from the future surge engagements will be professionally edited, musically scored,  and designed to emphasize US casualties. Such as this enemy video which is complete with rap accompaniment. (Hat tip an informed reader for both links. But caution to readers, the enemy video is graphic). This will affect not only the Western audiences, whose news outlets will lap it up, but equally importantly, the Iraqi and regional audience. An earlier post noted that information warfare must ideally be targeted locally as well as globally. Whatever the proposed surge of 50,000 men accomplishes on the battlefield, the enemy superiority in information warfare will ensure that only one message will emerge. Rather than increasing the confidence of the Iraqis, the proposed kinetic surge, if unaccompanied by information operations for example, will hardly present the picture of a fearful force; only the image of a draggled, desperate force in its death throes.

Part of the problem, one that is openly acknowledged by the Baker report, is that the "sources of disorder" are partly in Syria and Iran, beyond the reach of any deployment to Iraq. The "surge" John Keegan describes can do nothing to address these sources; and is part of its ultimate pointlessness. But more fundamentally, surging the troops represents a continued reliance on the one American weapon that works while neglecting to acquire the capabilities whose lack has handicapped American efforts so far. It means using one dimension of national power -- kinetic warfare -- while refusing to develop the other sources:  political, informational and economic warfare -- that are needed for victory in the war against terror. The one essential surge that matters is a surge in the will to win. At an interview on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday, I mused that America literally had the power to march on Teheran and hang Ahmadinejad in three weeks -- not that it would but that it could -- because it could do that to Saddam, who headed a country of equivalent military power. But without the will to win, there would be no efforts of any decisive sort, nothing to subvert the Ayatollahs, not even radio programs beamed across the border. "The flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak."

Wars are won in the mind; and the mind of Washington as described by John Keegan appears to want a cover operation for withdrawal. It is not a "surge" so much as the arrival of the Rear Guard. It may be unfair to characterize it as the Andrew Sullivan strategy with a band flourish and colored spotlights added for Exit Stage Left and I wish it weren't so, but that's what it looks like.


Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The problem is that Keegan is talking about an imaginary Iraq, one in which there is a single enemy, a single bad guy.

The reality is that no one can say who the enemy in Iraq is, or what "winning" means.

Keegan does mention "crushing the insurgency", so maybe that can be used to examine his plan. By a standard definition of the word, "insurgency" would mean only the Sunnis and their Al Qaeda allies. Al Sadr not trying to over throw the government (in fact he is part of it), so he is not an insurgent.

Keegan's plan is that we put the 50,000 extra troops in, and eliminate the Sunni insurgency. It's not clear how we could eliminate an insurgency that way, since for example al Sadr's group has been difficult to track down, according to this article:


Keegan says "the additional troops would take the fight to the enemy with the intention of doing him harm, destabilising him and his leaders and damaging or destroying the bases from which he operates". So let's say that the Sunni insurgency is so destroyed and scared that none of them ever pick up a rifle again. Al Qaeda never dares to set foot in Iraq again, because of the shock and awe.

Would we have won at this point? I guess since the one enemy is wiped out, then we "won".

However, there would still be massive violence in Baghdad because al Sadr's Mehdi Army and the other Shiite groups would continue their ethnic cleansing. In fact it would probably increase since we just wiped out the only armed resistance to al Sadr's ethnic cleansing, the Sunni Resistance. It is quite likely that the Sunnis would be slaughtered en masse, with perhaps the women and children ran out of the country. But the Shiite government would support this, so would we still have "won"?

Someone might give another definition of winning, in order to avoid our support of this slaughter. They might say that winning means that "Iraq is peaceful while the US withdraws". With that in mind, maybe we could have cut a deal with the Shiites before we turned against the Sunnis. We would agree to wipe the Sunni resistance out, if the Shiites agreed to stop ethnic cleansing and not slaughter the Sunnis until we left the country. This would mean there were happy pictures on the way out, as we waved goodbye to our friends al Sadr and Maliki. Once we get safely out of the country, after we "won", then the slaughter of Sunnis could start. Is that "winning"?

What if three months after we left Iraq, after our victory, civil war broke out, with a new set of Sunnis that snuck back across the border plus two Shiite groups fighting each other and the Sunnis. Would we need to go back to Iraq in order to break their civil war up?

1/04/2007 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Keegan unfortunately is an old man who still thinks that wars involve things like Operation Cobra and the Falaise Gap and Army Group Centre being wiped out at Kursk as part of Operation Bagration.

Winning in Iraq is fairly simple and in fact, the US has already won in Iraq and its victory has been apparent for quite some time now. Victory was achieved by the end of 2003 and one of Bush's failures has been his inability to explain this to the public and instead to shift the definition of victory to an impossible objective. He pulled the old bait and switch.

Victory consisted of:

1)ending the threat to the US and its allies of Iraqi WMD programs then existing or possible in the future. This happened. Saddam's WMD programs are no more and will never again threaten the US and its allies.

2)ending the regime of Saddam Hussein and ensuring that he and his cronies remain out of power and unable to threaten the US and its allies. This too, has happened. Saddam is dead. His sons are dead. His top henchmen are either dead or in custody. The US botched this by allowing the trial to drag on and by not executing Saddam and the rest of the "deck of cards" immediately, as won done to German and Italian leaders, and Japanese leaders as well.

3)Ending the relationship bnetween Saddam's regime and al Qaeda and other terorist groups. Related to 1 and 2. This too has happened.

All of this and other lesser objectives were all largely accomplished by December, 2003.

At that point, Bush should have largely withdrawn US forces from the cities, deployed to the Iranian/Syrian borders and southern oil fields, delcared victory and moved on to the next stage of the war on terror-the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Peaceful coexistence between Sunni and Shiite and the transformation of Iraq into Switzerland shouldn't matter to the US.

Sunni and Shiite have struggled for 1400 years and will struggle for the next 1400 years. In fact, from the US perspective, as long as they are fighting each other, they aren't fighting us. Our strategy should have been to back off and arm both sides, as Iran is doing now in order to keep us tied down so we can't engage them. An excellent strategy, by the way.

Bush's goal of Iraq as the catalyst of an Arab domino theory is absurd and hsa been from the beginning. He's ruined the US military and his own party for years to come by insisting on some utopian vision that he never seriously planned on or devoted resources to.

But, victory was largely achieved and if Bush had explained it lucidly enough, declared it in late 2003 or early 2004 and brought most of the troops home by summer 2004, his party would still control the Congress and he and the nation would be in a lot better shape.

1/04/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

We're not going back in to break their civil war up. Once the troops are out we're not going to care what they do to each other.

1/04/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...


I wonder which side cares more about liberty and the rule of law a. Cindy Sheehan (mean-green-meme) types or mainstrret Iraqi's who know Saddam is really dead.

The flying monkey's (both Democratic and in Iraq) finally may be free.

If Saddam Hussein was half a meme, what kind of meme would his death esteem? Perhaps, we hope, something better.

1/04/2007 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Basically, the US policy in Iraq should be a modified version of the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s. We should aim to keep both sides fighting so that they exhaust each other and end up significantly weaker when they finally decide to give up. Hopefully later rather than sooner.

Iraq's internal strife sholud be largely irrelevant to us. Our concern should be on external threats and big picture things like Iran, Al Qaeda, and Wahabbi expansion. The internecine warfare between DAWA/SCIRI/Badr/Baath/Mahdi etc... is a sideshow. Iran and Syria have simply gone back to their Lebanon playbook of the 1980s. We should not fall into their trap.

Iran obviously has better strategists and thinkers than the Bush administration as this has been exactly their course. They know that as long as Bush is committed to his wrong course, and as long the military and other US assets/resources are focused on Iraq, and as long as the US is spending in excess of $150,000,000,000(that's BILLION)a year in Iraq, there is no way that the US will do anything about Iran, and their nuclear program in particular. So they and their partners-in-crime in Damascus will continue to string this out for as long as it takes.

The shiites in Iraq will naturally have the edge as they are the more populous side, but the Sunnis will be pretty vicious as well and both sides will undoubtedly spend much time and effort to killing one another and struggling for supremacy. Iraq will most likely continue to be a miserable place, as most Arab countries are.

Bush and his advisors thought Iraq would be like post WW2 Germany or Japan without realizing the vast diffferences.

To name but 2:
Both of them had unconditionally surrendered and their populace was disarmed

Their borders were completely secure and there were no outside powers that were continuiing to support any form of insurgency or resistance. Japan's being an island helped this tremendously. In this regard, the US and especially the Pentagon has failed to learn the lesson of Indochina.

A 3rd difference is that the US military ca 1945 dwarfed the current force structure-another inexcusable failure of the Bush administration. In a few short months FDR turned the US Military into the greatest arsenal the world has ever known. In 5+ years Bush has done virtually nothing to increase the size or materiel of the armed forces. Nothing. To his enduring shame.

Meanwhile, the US military should have been freed up the past 3 years to focus on Iran and other areas instead of being bogged down in pursuit of a fruitless mission of creating Geneva on the Euphrates.

Unfortunately, it appears the President is still determined to pursue his failed strategy to the end. He will order an escalation, which will no doubt fail, and he and his party will suffer as by this time next year it will be clear that the Democrats will have locked up the White House with increased majorities in both houses.

1/04/2007 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Bush has always planned to be substantially out before the end of his term - a key requirement if the ghost of Vietnam was finally to be laid to rest.

What he was trying to do was to avoid telegraphing his intent until late in the game so as to keep the pressure on our opponents, a goal now torpedoed, as you point out, by the election outcome.

Oh well.

1/04/2007 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Calling in your reserves to cover a withdrawal, worse than the “day late and a dollar short” that I thought we were up committed to. We may be good at kinetic warfare but we have not put it to good use in Iraq… not while US troops are parading around in the badlands doing “presence patrols”. Might as well paint a target on their back that says: “Kill me and go to heaven”. We have no reasonable pretense to hack the Mahdi army to shreds as long as a viable Sunni/AQ insurgency is a threat to average Shi’ite. Back the insurgents into their holes and provide security (I mean the offensive kind) and the Militias will stop having a reason to operate. More yet, high tempo kinetic warfare demands martial law and anyone with a gun without a police uniform is dead meat. Feigned retreat is the best opportunity to draw out the enemy. A surge and a reinvigorated campaign could be the excuse to go medieval on the bastards and, but I hate to say it, we need to go out with a lot of blood on our hands to win this thing in the historic sense. The Russians may have been attritted out Afghanistan but no one with a sense of survival would want to go up against those animals.

Look forward to hearing Wretchard’s interview.

1/04/2007 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Ric said,
It's best that we extricate ourselves from this nest of vipers.
Your words reflect those of one looking back in hindsite.

Perhaps we should have been really mean in 1979 re Iran? That had no chance of happening.

Perhaps we should have allowed Saddam to have Kuwait in 1990? That would have prevented some of the subsequent chaos. Then again if a dog shits on your yard what do you do? Leave it or pick it up. In 1990 we picked up the dog shit but left Saddam.

Blah, blah UN resolutions. Blah blah US protecting Iraqi's within no-fly-zones.

I'm OK with the choices made. None of the perceived bad things would have happened if we let Saddam have Kuwait.

I'm not OK with that.

1/04/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Well, Bush didn't choose the Keegan 50k surge. Sounds like it will be 9k more in Iraq with 11k on alert outside Iraq. The 9k divides into 7.5k in Baghdad and 1.5k in Anbar.

That's based on opinion from this article.


Bush said, "One thing is for certain: I will want to make sure the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished". Bush also said, "I'll be ready to outline a strategy that will help the Iraqis achieve the objective of a country that can govern, sustain and defend itself sometime next week". He meets with Congress tomorrow, so more will be leaked then.

IMO, Bush's goal is bad. For one thing, it is a political goal. Second, it is an Iraqi goal, not one we can achieve by ourselves. Also Iraq is already capable of governing and sustaining itself, and the only reason it doesn't have an fully trained army is that it won't cooperate.

1/04/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Under Abizaid, the American military has been reduced to digging sewage systems and trying to win hearts and minds. A little bit of terrorist-killing, but pulling back whenever Maliki stomped his curley-toed little foot. Remember, that Abizaid was introduced as being a fellow Arab who speaks Arabic, so he would be sympathetic to the Iraqis.

I am hoping that Mr. Bush is doing what Abraham Lincoln did, and systematically shuffling through his generals until he can find one who will actually fight ... who will go out, take the war to the bad guys and kill the terrorists. Someone who will say stuff like, "Damn the torpedo's - full speed ahead," and "Nuts!" to the NY Times.

Interesting, too, that since Michael Yon brought up the apparently intractable problem of reporters not being allowed to report because the military wouldn't let them embed, the top dog in THAT department is being replaced, too. I wonder if Mr. Yon's Lieutenant who refused to let him back into Iraq is still in his happy home, where-ever it was that he could stamp big "negatory" refusals on everything.

Good stuff, Maynard. But I still miss Rumsfeld. And wish that someone would rotate Condoleeza Rice out and bring John Bolton back in, just for the sake of his delicious quotes.

1/04/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

meme chose

if anything, the Bush WH and the Pentagon have shown that they have not learned a thing from Vietnam

Iraq is the South Vietnam of this equation.

As long as we keep fighting in Iraq and treating Baghdad as the center of gravity, nothing will change.

At least Abizaid and Casey are being cashiered. They sholud have been removed long ago. They're both failed generals. Beaten by guys in Tehran, Damascus and Baghdad with 1% of the combat power at their disposal. A pretty lame showing for two 4 stars.

The Generals in Tehran must have been reading themselves some Giap.

It's really amazing that Giap not only was able to defeat the Pentagon in the 60s and 70s, but he's doing it in 2007 as well.

As he said:
American generals knew little about our war theories, tactics and patterns of operation. ...

They still don't

1/04/2007 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

We've been waiting for a Churchill to arise in Iraq, and for a Patton to come forth from the Pentagon.

And we got Nancy Pelosi.

1/04/2007 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the video made by the insurgents makes my blood boil. These ragtag bunch of slime balls preening for the cameras behind their masks make me physically ill. The funny part is my reaction seems passe in todays poet modern world. I just can't see how any true blooded American can watch a video like that and think the best thing to do is turn tail and run. How can someone see that dead american soldier and not want to avenge his ultimate sacrifice? We should give these a-holes a "surge" that their childrens children will never forget. Flatten the place and then leave on our schedule. Then let's go to the UN bargaining table and talk to Syria, Iraq and North Korea. This is s fight, not a popularity contest.

1/04/2007 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

William J. Fallon has overseen the Navy show and tell excercises we conduct here in the Pacific for the benefit of the Chicom Spies, er "Sailors."

1/04/2007 10:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just learned from Frank Gafney today that one of Harriet Miers responsibilities has been to keep the JAG in check.
No wonder our Warriors now triple check before firing a shot.
...if they are lucky enough to still be alive.
...then it's filling out reams of paperwork and hoping you don't join the Pendleton Scapegoats.
Gafney gives Negroponte a D -

1/04/2007 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

MSNBC quote in bold:

Given the need to reduce high unemployment and draw Iraqis away from Shiite militias and the Sunni insurgency, the president is considering loans to businesses. He is looking at getting Iraqis into short-term jobs by proposing a significant increase in the discretionary funds that military commanders can use for reconstruction projects.


Which president? Which president is micro-managing the Iraqi economy -- the president of Iraq? No, the president of the US!

The rest of the new Bush plan is the same thing, the US trying to be the government of Iraq. We fight alone in Baghdad while all Iraqi groups attack us with snipers and bombs (Maliki will pledge 4500 more troops but he still hasn't delivered the troops he promised in summer); we try to put a different coalition in charge of the Iraqi parliament; we push Maliki to disband the militias...

The problem, IMO, is that Bush has expanded the scope of the war: instead of fighting terrorists, we are now trying to be the government of Iraq. This has caused many problems. The anti-war people, the Loony Left, can now claim that we are losing the war and that it is unwinnable, because every mistake anyone in Iraq makes is our fault. It makes us lose control of the situation because success depends on the Iraqis. We end up letting the reputation of the United States depend on what Maliki does. Like in the recent hanging where we are blamed for what the Iraqis did.

The whole situation is nuts. Bush needs to say that we won the war, and we aren't responsible for what the Iraqis do. We gave them freedom, and what they do with it is to their shame or their glory.

1/05/2007 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...


This is an important article from Oliver North, someone who has actually been on the ground in Iraq, coming under fire repeatedly, including at Ramadi.

The title is "More Troops = More Targets". Quotes are in bold.

McCain and Lieberman talked to many of the same officers and senior NCOs I covered for FOX News during my most recent trip to Iraq. Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: "We don't need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops," ...

A "short-duration surge" in U.S. combat strength also ignores progress that is being made on the ground in places like Al Anbar province, where few of the so-called mainstream media dare to spend much time. In Ramadi, long a hotbed of Sunni terrorism, new National and Provincial police forces are increasingly effective. Calling themselves "The Sons of Al Anbar," thousands of young Iraqi males have volunteered to defend their cities, villages, homes and families from terrorists...

These new police recruits had all responded to the call of Sheikh Abdel Sattar Baziya. He is Al Anbar's most powerful Sunni tribal leader and the instigator of what he calls "The Awakening" -- self-determination through Sunni cooperation with local U.S. military commanders and the Shia-led government in Baghdad. In conversations with Sheikh Sattar at his home, and later at Camp Phoenix, where Iraqi police receive tactical and human-rights training, this populist Sunni chieftain made it clear that this is a war that the Iraqi people must win for themselves...

A "surge" or "targeted increase in U.S. troop strength" or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets.

1/05/2007 06:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea that we cannot win a military victory, (as opposed to winning a hearts and minds victory) in Iraq is just stupid.
Whether it is possible to win hearts and minds in this great world war can be left to the far future, fighting a religion that allows no compromise may preclude that option. So I'm quite happy to win militarily.
To do that we need to:
1) Disarm the country 100%. No guns. Nothing.
2) Blow up all the arms dumps in situ.
3) State that the Maliki government, hopelessly under Iranian control is doomed and reinstall our own system. Declare Iraq an American protectorate. Flip off the UN.
4) State that we intend to be in Iraq for twenty to fifty years.
5) Fight all remaining pockets of opposition with air power.
6) Notify Iran that any further act of war by Iranian forces inside of Iraq is an act of war upon the USA and will bring immediate large scale retaliation upon Iran.
Now that actually can work. It doesn't need to be submitted to Congress for approval. There are two years left to
President Bush's term. Enough time to make a good start.
The only, the only other alternative is surrender to Iran and surrender to al-qaeda. How long until the war moves to our shores? Not long.
If the American people really want to surrender, they should be offered a referndum question, specifically asking whether the USA should surrender to Al Qaeda and Iran. The last election did not comprise such a question.

1/05/2007 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Charles Krauthammer puts it best while commenting on the Huessein execution in today's Wapo:

The whole sorry affair illustrates not just incompetence but also the ingrained intolerance and sectarianism of the Maliki government. It stands for Shiite unity and Shiite dominance above all else.

We should not be surging American troops in defense of such a government. This governing coalition -- Maliki's Dawa, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and Sadr's Mahdi Army -- seems intent on crushing the Sunnis at all costs. Maliki should be made to know that if he insists on having this sectarian war, he can well have it without us.

Question for Dave M and his "military solution". What do you think the reaction to this plan would be from the democratically elected Iraqi government? How about that amorphous entity called the "Iraqi people"? Perhaps I ask to much.

1/05/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> How can someone see that dead american soldier and not want to avenge his ultimate sacrifice?

We got them.


The terrorist mastermind behind the kidnapping, brutal torture and killing of two American soldiers in June was apprehended in a raid in a town just south of capital on Tuesday, American and Iraqi officials said today.

1/05/2007 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger jfreddd said...

Well, it is pretty clear that nothing is clear. President Bush is commonly considered to be vacillating and helpless by Left and Right here in the USA. Who can dope a strategy out of what we see in Washington?

Perhaps it is so. However, being inscrutable is the most important military principal and it is possible that there is less disorder among our leaders, Left, Center, and Right than we see.

A bunch of thousands of years ago, Sun Tzu wrote:


All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

>>>end quote

It is not necessarily so that our 'flypaper strategy' has yet achieved its grandest aim: capture of the famous ancient peacock fly--known for its pride and vanity.

Master Tzu wrote about the 'flypaper strategy:


Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear, and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.

>>>end quote

Hmm. Najaf and Basrah. Check.

Unity within Islamic forces? With Iran's elite 'al Qodsies' revealing themselves in Iraq and with the entire Gulf region begging us in panic to neutralize Iran, and with civil disorder rising all over Peacocklandia (the Azeri's are Turkic-derived, much like the Kurds are Persian-derived), the enemy's forces are increasingly 'separated'.

Gotta admit that we 'seem unable' to attack. 'Feign disorder'? Perhaps some of our disorder is feigned. Pretending to be weak or not, the Mullocracy is off the charts arrogant and boy, are they 'irritated'.

['check' * 4] ?

The more confusing the so-called 'Surge' is, the likelier it is to offer a valuable cover for deceptions and enticements. Perhaps our leadership really is as doltish as many folks on this page and in the lefty blogs make it out to be, but that does not 'resonate' for me, plentiful evidence to the contrary.

Most importantly, this has been a regional war since 1948, with shifting alliances and hot spots comparable both with post feudal Europe and with the 'Warring States' period in ancient China when Sun Tzu wrote his classic treatise.

Putting mobile assault forces in the mountains of Eastern Iran would certainly offer many opportunities to change the picture on the ground if the Azeris rise up and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards find themselves suddenly very overextended. All those coastal defenses will look a little silly then, won't they?

To say the American leadership is too dull to have digested well the insights of Master Tzu when "The Art of War" has been a basic handbook in American corporate culture and a standard text in our military academies is to fall prey to Rangelism, an aberration exhibited by people who really are dolts.

To the maxim, "Never underestimate your enemy" we might do well to add this: "Never underestimate inscrutable leadership".

Hey, just being hopeful, you know. . . .

1/05/2007 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger jfreddd said...

A small retraction/correction to the above post. 1948 is perhaps the least characteristic year to cite as a starting point for the ongoing war of civilizations in the Middle East.

We Americans may have a 'natural' or 'historical' border but there really is no such thing in the Middle East. They have Civilizations. They remember their civilizations past.

Even Universalistic Islam failed to stop the constant wars [and may even be said to have made them worse]. The rise of the Europeans from the time of Napoleon was just more of the same, really.

I mean, like, would factionalists be screaming bloody murder about "Crusaders" all day and all night if everyone actually believed it?

Right, of course not.

That said, I think we should accept at face value Iraqi's who claim to be for Iraq first. It makes sense for them to want a functioning nation with a friendly and beneficial state, federal or whatever.

Our alliance with Iraqi nationalists is the long-term most stable position we can take and hold. Beats the House of Saud by a country mile, or so. Iranian dice-rolling exploitation of Shia and Sunni extremism is a measure of Iranian weakness. It further cements our welcome in Iraq where it matters, among the non-fascist nationalists.

Iraqi nationalism is a rock on which Iranian meddling will smash itself. The Iranians are being forced to become more and more adventurist, thus more and more blatantly exposed.

Did Alexander the Great (a) 'conquer' the Middle East or (b) did the Middle East flock to his banner out of hatred for the Persians?

Gotcha, didn't I?

And when was there not murderous rivalry between Arabs, Persians, and then the invader Turks within the Islamicised world?

Right. In Indonesia, maybe.

When have Iraqi Shia been submissive to the 'true' Persians OR the 'true' Arabs OR the down and dirty Turks?

You get one guess...

Right. Never for long.

The USA is in the right place at the right time to establish a genuine nation-to-nation friendship at a very deep and ancient level we can hardly imagine.

Iraqi secular nationalism with American support might even bring a restoration of the fortunes of the beleaguered descendants of ancient Babylonian Christians and Jews.

It has been often reported that Iraqi Shia consciously fear Iran and Iraqi Sunni consciously fear Iran. They know who will screw them over big-time if we leave.

However, once put back in their cages, we might even see the Muji-Mullahs overthrown and reestablishment of secular, multi-national society in Iran.

And, what the heck, maybe even reestablishment of some ancient Christian and Jewish communities of Persia. True, their remnants often live here these days but they really do want to send some of the family back, ASAP.

The alternatives are too ghastly to contemplate. The possibilities are, "like, totally cosmic", if you will.

What's not to like about that?

What's not to fight for?

And, BTW, it is my opinion that any commentator who advocates willfully nuking the peoples in question -- all the while pontificating about Holy Scripture -- deserves judicial thrashings on each of several counts. I would feel more pity for Saddam Hussein as lynched by the Sadrists than for such a one, and that is very little pity, indeed.

We are at war, Sir; we are not cornered animals thrashing out against dogs.

1/06/2007 02:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fight Videos The best fight site on the web

3/08/2007 02:51:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger