Friday, July 13, 2007


Iraq: Simplistic Reduction

Starting Over is the Way!

Since the current government of Iraq is incapable of initiating the reforms necessary for stability, it is up to us to fix the problems. The alternative is a bloodbath between Sunni and Shiite when we look the other way or depart. In this sense we have grabbed the tar baby with both arms. So, what needs doing?

We should force the current government to give us control of oil and revenue sharing as the impartial force in the land. This would remove oil matters from the table for the present, and perhaps allow other issues to be decided by the Iraqi government.

We should ensure that all Iraqi forces and police enforce the law impartially, or else.

We should redeploy our troops to seal the borders, protect the oil infrastructure, protect our forces from attack, and be prepared to engage Iranian or Syrian forces.

We should continue the clear and hold actions in Baghdad and surrounds, and in other major cities, such as Basra, and where the Iraqi have decided to support us.

We should ensure our lines of supply.

We should support the semi-autonomy approach to the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdistan areas. This may well require building walls in some areas.

We should not continue to reconstruct the Iraqi infrastructure using US funds, but rather, the Iraqi should use Iraqi oil revenue. We have no obligation to fix what we didn’t break.

We should exact an ample fee for our efforts from the oil revenue, to help alleviate our costs.

We should continue to train and weed out the Iraqi forces and police from partisanship and allegiances to tribal leaders.

We should destroy the local militias.

A military assessment of these objectives would undoubtedly conclude that we need more troops in Iraq. When the possibility of war with Iran is taken into account, it becomes obvious that our current strength is far too low to cope adequately against Iranian incursions or full-scale invasion of Iraq.

Our armed forces in general are too low in troop power and their supporting bomb-resistant vehicles, armor, and massed-fire weapons. This should be fixed, preferably by increased authorizations and funding from congress, and recruitment of volunteers. However, a draft should be considered as well. Five or six new divisions should be authorized, funded, and built up. Increases in the air force, navy and marines should also be authorized.

We should ask why we are bending over backwards to rotate our troops so often. In other wars, we were not so concerned about the idea of frequent rotations. Men were in for the duration, period, and were given R&R after time in combat, usually in the theater, not all the way home, and it was up to their commanders as to the policy, not congress. Emergency leaves were used to cover home events of a serious nature. The “guns and butter” approach can work only if the basic resources are there to provide the continuous combat strength needed.

We need, most of all, the will to win.



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