Monday, December 04, 2006
Do Iraq Right!
At the outset of the Iraq War, I posted my opinion that we needed 500,000 foot soldiers on the ground to pacify the country, dig out all of the arms stores, disarm all of the militias, patrol the streets, occupy the cities, and seal the borders as well as possible. Later on, I became more specific as to where the main problem was,
We played “nice guy” in Baghdad, permitting the citizens wide freedom of movement, the use of all kinds of vehicles, and relatively few serious searches for illegal arms, as well as setting hard rules of engagement for our troops that have been, in my opinion, ridiculous. What was needed from the start was martial law, shooting of armed men on sight, restricted use of vehicles, day and night control of all streets, and instant reaction to attacks.
Liberators we were, in fact, but Occupiers we should have been, but with a plan and schedule for creating a new government that everyone knew about. Anyone getting out of line anywhere should have been grabbed and imprisoned, if not shot. Force, naked force, should have been up front and clear to all of the 30 or more tribes in the country. But all of this is simply passé now. Or is it?
The problem with this approach was simple. We didn’t have the guts to commit that number of troops to
Further, I had asked a question: “Why are we paying for a full overhaul and upgrade of the Iraqi infrastructure?” This still puzzles me. I can see where Iraqi oil production should be helped back on line. That would give them the ability to help pay for our expenses and for their own reconstruction. To foot the entire reconstruction bill by the
The military seems to have booted it also, in that their reassessment of either “Go short, go long, or get out,” fizzled with a politically-nuanced “go longer but shorter” concept, which helped nothing. Or was it, “go shorter but longer”? I forget which, but it doesn’t seem to have mattered, yet, anyway.
What I believe is that we have been far too humane to win. We coddled our troops with relatively rapid rotations back home; we coddled the Iraqi’s by allowing too much freedom of action too soon; and we coddled the insurgent terrorists by not being able to pursue them and kill them at every turn; all because of lack of troop power on the ground.
We coddled the American people too, by not bringing them into the battle directly in some manner; instead, going for both guns and butter at the same time. We also coddled the Muslims by not demonstrating their bloodthirsty ways and their religious fervor for conquest of the West. I wonder to this day whether our
Could we go back to the “Go Long” strategy and beef up our forces to execute the really tough approach I alluded to earlier? We could. It is within our power and our resources to do so, if we seriously wanted to win.
Our ground forces must be increased overall by three to five divisions, mainly equipped for heavy firepower, rapid deployment, and movement, and sufficient armor to protect our men as well as possible from increasingly powerful IEDs and RPGs. Participation by the general public should be realized by instituting a universal draft, designed to replace the volunteers sent to
We need to cleanse