Thursday, November 15, 2007

Strategic Drift, eh?

John Podesta et. al. certainly don't believe that we have won/are winning in Iraq. Let's take a look.

With apparent disregard for the opinion of the American people, the debate over whether the large U.S. military presence in Iraq threatens our national security has been put on hold. Both political parties seem resigned to allowing the Bush administration to run out the clock on its Iraq strategy and bequeath this quagmire to the next president. The result is best described as strategic drift, and stopping it won't be easy.

The debate is on hold is it? I suppose that this vote never happened. And check this out - 40 more imaginary votes!

Strategic drift is being aided by many in the legislative and executive branches (in both political parties), most of the foreign policy elite, and several policy research institutions. Conservatives continue to align themselves with Bush's Iraq strategy; some have offered muted criticisms of the implementation and handling of the war, but there has been no call to change direction.

So people in the Executive Branch are helping the President implement his policy? What perfidy! Mr. Podesta was Pres. Clinton's Chief of Staff for four years. One might think that he would realize that those in the Executive Branch actually work for the President. They are doing their jobs. And the Presidents political allies are with him too - whoulda thunk it?

Proponents of the current path claim that, after four years of failed strategies, the surge was needed to get Iraq on track. They point to recent declines in the overall level of violence and cooperation at the local level between some Sunni insurgents and U.S. forces. But the progress being made at the local level often undermines the stated goal of creating a unified, stable, democratic Iraq.

The last sentence here is actually a fair point. Gen. Petraeus is now going around the Federal Gov't. in Iraq to give aid directly to local gov'ts/sheiks/merchants/etc.. I'm not sure that I can prove it, but this seems like a tactic that could be very helpful in the short term while possibly damaging when one takes a longer view.

Similarly, the presence of a large U.S. combat force contributes to regional instability. Since the surge began, the number of internally displaced Iraqis has more than doubled. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has said that more than 2 million Iraqis have left the country, and tens of thousands flee every day, often to squalid camps in Syria and Jordan.

I guess the esteemed authors couldn't be bothered to notice that this trend has started to change.

These guys could do better.

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