The Iraq Study Group Report For a “New Approach” Is Collecting Dust – But Bush Has His Answer from the Neocons

According to John King, of CNN, ” … to embrace the gloomy verdict of the Iraq Study Group, Mr. Bush would have to concede he got just about all of it wrong.”

Frederick W. Kagan

But not to worry, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is going to rescue The Decider from his “Mess O’ Potomac.” According to the AEI web site on December 14, 2006, their representatives, “presented a new AEI report, Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq, which explains how Baghdad and other critical areas can be secured and held with an increase in combat troops and describes the perilous consequences of failure. The interim report (to be followed by a full report in January) further recommends increasing the size of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to meet the demands of the War on Terror — a goal that President Bush announced yesterday would be part of his agenda.” The author for this AEI report is Frederick W. Kagan.

Using fear mongering, an authoritarian trait, and economic GDP comparisons, as in ‘mine is bigger than yours,’ the report says, “Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. ” Here are their recommendations to the President:

  • We must change our focus from training Iraqi soldiers to securing the Iraqi population and containing the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the U.S. military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority.
  • We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and especially into Baghdad to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient.
  • These forces, partnered with Iraqi [Shi’a?] units, will clear critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shi’a neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city.
  • After the neighborhoods have been cleared, U.S. soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis [Shi’a?], will remain behind to maintain security.
  • As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to reestablish normal life and, working through Iraqi officials, will strengthen Iraqi [Shi’a?] local government.

It appears that we will be taking sides with this plan and partnering with the Shi’a majority, 60 to 65 percent of the Iraqi population. What do you think the other Sunni nations will think of this partisan approach? According to the CIA World Factbook, the nations that are predominantly Sunni are: Afghanistan (don’t we and some of our allies have troops there?), Algeria, Egypt, the Gaza Strip (that should help our relations with Israel), Jordan (to the east of Israel), Kuwait (didn’t we rescue them from a preemptive invasion a few years back), Libya (I hope that won’t cause them to restart their nuclear and WMD programs), Pakistan (along with Afghanistan, won’t this make it even harder to find Osama), Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria (to the north of both Iraq and Israel), Tajikistan (on the northern border of Afghanistan), Turkey (to the north of both Iraq and Syria), Uzbekistan (also north of Afghanistan), and the West Bank (say goodbye Israel, we’ll be too busy to help you). On the other hand, this approach might appease Iran (89 percent Shi’a) and stop their nuclear program without having to bomb them – yeah, right.

Map of the Middle East
Click on the image for a full view.

As I said in an earlier posting, “be wary of neocons and anything related to the American Enterprise Institute.”

With the AEI Plan for Victory, they prove my point by trying to make a one nation conflict a regional one. How will the Sunni try to extract their revenge? Attack Israel? Minimize the already weak support from Pakistan in our hunt for Osama? Increase the threats to our efforts in Afghanistan? Or, All of the above?



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About Andy Hailey

Vietnam Vet, UT El Paso Grad, Retired Aerospace Engineer, former union rep, 60's Republican now progressive, web admin, blogger.

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