Saturday, May 12, 2007

Iraq, Time is not on our side

"The majority of people are timid by nature, and that is why they constantly exaggerate danger. All influences on the military leader, therefore, combine to give him a false impression of his opponent's strength, and from this arises a new source of indecision." - Carl von Clausewitz

This is the situation we face today in Iraq. A small minority is wrecking havoc on U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians. This has disheartened the American public and provided a theme for Democrats to attack the Bush administration. Essentially we are on the defensive against the Jihadists.
"The only advantage the attacker possesses is that he is free to strike at any point and in full force." Che Guevera.

We began this war with two disadvantages. A military leadership poorly equipped to fight a guerilla war and an administration who promised an easy victory.
"War makes the victor stupid and the vanquished vengeful." Nietzsche.

The Generals that planned the invasion were trained to fight large conventual wars. They did a fine job in the rush to Baghdad, a conventual military exercise, but when the situation deteriorated into guerilla warfare they were unable to adapt. In selling the war, President Bush painted a picture of American troops being greeted by cheering crowds happy to be liberated. At first this was the case, but lack of planning for the aftermath of victory soured the population. As time passed and the Iraqi's experienced chaos, looting and lack of essential services, they turned to their age-old sectarian hatred, Sunni's against Shiite, clan against clan, and everybody against the "occupiers."

Now the "big battalion" Generals have been replaced with officers skilled in counter insurgency. Guereva points out "the defender, on the other hand, is able to surprise his opponent constantly throughout the engagement by the strength and direction of his counterattacks." This is what the ‘surge' in Baghdad is trying to accomplish.

Now it's a question of time. Will the American public support a decade of involvement in Iraq or will the Democrats force a premature end of the war? If we have the intestinal fortitude to tough it out, the Iraqi's will have a chance for freedom. If not, Mesopotamia will erupt in violence with grave consequences for an energy dependant west.

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