Thursday, January 11, 2007

The plan...for what exactly?

The President's plan for "success" in Iraq is, it seems to me, a non-plan. From a raw political point of view, it is a non-starter even among many Republicans and conservatives. From a military point of view, if "victory" or "stability" was the goal of this war from the beginning, troop levels should have been massive from the beginning of this conflict-we needed something on the level of the First Gulf War in terms of numbers.

When the war began, I remember having the discussion with my Dad as to what would happen in Iraq. Dad is, like his Dad before him, an Army man. He long ago left the Army, but I don't think the Army has ever left him. When I was growing up, Dad was the man to talk to in the house about any matters military-as a former staff NCO stationed at Fort Knox, my Dad could tell you what was happening on the ground or going through the mind of the foot soldier better than anyone that I knew of.

When the war began, I remember asking my Dad in a conversation on the phone how he thought the war would go. He plainly said "in the beginning it will appear as though we have won." He explained how he believed our troops will march straight to Baghdad with little resistance. He compared the situation, though, to the German advance into Russia in 1941, when German panzer divisions surged deep into the country with little resistance and believed they, too, were essentially victorious. When the Germans made it as far as Moscow and Stalingrad, the people began to resist and winter set in. The Iraqi people clearly do not want us there, and our "Russian winter" would seem to be the ongoing terrorist insurgency that is often led by people who are not Iraqis at all.

One hundred and fifty thousand troops is simply not enough of an invasion force to conquer an entire country-we needed three times that number. On top of that, we have not finished another war that we needed to finish to really win the war on terror: As a result of our negligence of a far more important conflict, the Taliban are making a serious comeback in Afghanistan.

The way out is now uncertain, but I am quite certain that as far as Iraq goes, the United States should never have found a "way in" to begin with.



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