Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Two Dismal Strategies for Iraq

Today's Daily Kos posts include some lightweight politico-military theory on how to exit gracefully from Iraq. From the outset the careful reader will note that there are problems in the logic to follow, however. Kos begins,

So here are two ways to talk about the war that don't betray weakness:

Pardon my often inadequate mastery of the English language, but Kos uses the words "betray weakness" and one cannot betray something that is not there. Freudian slip, perhaps? Nonetheless, Kos continues with his discussion, apparently quoting someone else without providing attribution,

We have accomplished what we set out to do -- bring freedom to Iraq and rid the region of the specter of Saddam's terror.

But now it is time to let the Iraqis take charge of their own lives. The future belongs to a free democratic Iraq, but it is a future they must fight for themselves.

What this proposal boils down to is essentially, "declare victory and leave." Making this work would of course depend upon you're definition of "victory", but in my estimation we're not there yet. Signs of success are plenty, but the end is not in sight.

The Iraqi people do not yet have a constitution or even a permanent government. Iraqi security forces cannot yet maintain security, and the civilian government probably would exercise only tenuous control over the security forces. In short, this scenario is a recipe for disaster and would in the best case result in a Shi'ite dominated Iraq, or in the worse case the Balkanization of Iraq into three separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shi'ite states.

The second trial balloon floated by Kos is, again quoted without attribution,

We are facing a crisis in Iraq, and yet no one is being held accountable. Our troops don't have enough men, equipment, or armor to effectively and safely do their job, yet those responsible for these deadly miscalculations remain at their jobs. They claim, as they always have, that Iraq is about to turn yet another corner, pass yet another milestone on the road to peace and prosperity. But the reality on the ground mocks those assertions.

We must have accountability in order to win this war. Those responsible for so many catastrophic mistakes must replaced by more competent, more effective, people.

This is like saying, "the orphanage is burning, but since we don't have the number of firefighters and array of equipment that would be ideal to fight the fire, let's just accept that we cannot succeed and let the orphans burn."

Since humans are universally fallible in reading the future, the logical implication is that we should never fight any war, even one of national survival, because the military and resources we have at any given time will not be perfectly suited and completely adequate to defeat all possible enemies. This is mere fatalism, and while it has become a hallmark of today's Left, it doesn't fit in the American character.

In addition, this approach takes issue with the execution of the war, not the rationale. If you disagree with the war and the political goals, then say so and be gone. Merely quibbling with the manner in which it's being executed is not a good reason to cease and desist. The war is either just or unjust, and if it's just, we're obligated to finish the job even if we have but sticks and stones at our disposal.

Perhaps to people who practice this perverse logic of the Left and think the time is right to get out of Iraq we should point out the less than stellar success of the Left's most recent exit strategies. Haiti and Somalia are still, after a decade, both bloody messes, and Kosovo still requires a heavy NATO sponsored peacekeeping force to maintain order. The answer in Iraq is not exit, but perseverance.

Trackbacked to Outside the Beltway and Mudville Gazette.