Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why are we in Iraq?

Apparently, it's not to defeat the insurgency.

A senior American commander in Iraq said Tuesday that U.S.-led military operations are "stifling" the insurgency in western Anbar province but are not strong enough to defeat it.

Marine Maj. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer told reporters in a telephone interview from his headquarters in Fallujah that he has enough U.S. troops — about 30,000 — to accomplish what he called his main mission: training Iraqi security forces.

"For what we are trying to achieve out here I think our force levels are about right," he said. Even so, he said the training of Iraqi soldiers and police had not progressed as quickly as once expected.

"Now, if that mission statement changes — if there is seen a larger role for coalition forces out here to win that insurgency fight — then that is going to change the metrics of what we need out here," he added.

And all this time I thought we were trying to beat the insurgents. Now I find out that the reason American commanders haven't asked for more troops is because that's not their job.

For the rest of his comments, I'll refer you to a previous post on the subject:

He's right that a reconciliation process is the only way to achieve long-term stability. But he just blithely ignores that short-term stability is needed to get the reconciliation process started.

I've got an idea. How about we defeat the insurgents in order to create that short-term stability we need for long-term stability to take root?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a different but related note. I am amazed at the strategy of the administration to collectively tag the terrorists , the baathists, the shias militia, the sunni insurgents,the lebanese guerilla army, al qaeda , persian, as "they". And that "they attacked us" on sept.11th.
It is like a death wish, wishing that all of them put aside their own differences and target their common enemy. If this goes on,inevitably the loss will be ours becuase "they" are more in number than "we" and "they" are driven by hate.
I am reminded of a quote of a Pakistani prime-minister (Bhutto?) in the 70's who responded to India's nuclear tests by saying "we will eat grass if we have to but we will get a nuclear weapon".This shows the desperation of a person driven by hate.
To simplify and frame the debate is quite a popular thought among the conservatives, I guess. But it looks to me a long term death wish.

9/14/2006 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are in Iraq, and we will be in Iraq until we have a new President, because Bush, Cheney, Runsfeld, and Rice, have decided that we will remain in Iraq for whatever nefarious reasons of their own.

There must some reasons why the U.S. is building permanent military bases in Iraq, and why the U.S. is building the largest embassy compound in the world in Baghdad. The powers-that-be simply do not want to share those reasons with us. Perhaps, it is time to start asking questions.

9/14/2006 10:46 AM  

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