Thursday, January 11, 2007

Whoa whoa whoa

Hold on a sec. Loyal readers may remember that I'm one of those crazy folks who think that more troops in Iraq is a good idea. I still do. But before blaming people like myself for Bush's last-second desperation buzzer-beater (or is that "the last throes of resistance"?), I really should qualify my statement.

Securing a few neighborhoods in Baghdad is not going to win this war. Do you think that insurgents who waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing via temporary roadblocks in the countryside are going to go near Baghdad? They might if they crave some American blood to 'show' Iraqis the mistake that their liberators have made. But for the most part, no. Let's also stop treating Baghdad like it's the most important element of this war. It's just the easiest place for journalists to get stories from, that's all. Big city, lots of troops, lots of stories. If you want to win this war, you've got to switch the focus to reclaiming the countryside.

John Robb has it right here:
The latest US "strategy" for Iraq, a small increase in manpower focused on controlling sections of Baghdad, has generated substantial debate/commentary in the US. The reason for this has vastly more to do with domestic political issues than anything substantive in the military sphere. To wit, almost nothing in the current plan -- from troops to tactics -- has changed in any meaningful way. Further, the general situation of country-wide chaos will not change due to any efforts to pacify select Baghdad neighborhoods

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