August 22, 2009

Withdraw for Peace!

Hatched by Dafydd

I've been pondering the new Obamic strategy for Iraq: Withdraw from joint patrols to a Fortress of Solitude, withdraw from the successful counterinsurgency strategy (COIN) of Gen. David Petraeus, and announce to the entire world exactly when we are going to withdraw from Iraq altogether. How has that worked out so far?

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Saturday alleged there had been collaboration between Iraqi security forces and the insurgents whose massive truck bombings killed 95 people three days ago.

Zebari, whose ministry lost 32 workers in the blast at its headquarters, admitted the attacks were a serious security setback and that the government had failed to protect its citizens.

Wednesday's bombings at the ministeries of foreign affairs and finance culminated in the worst day of violence seen in the conflict-hit country in 18 months, with around 600 people also wounded.

It's not that the entire war is falling apart, mind; it's just a small setback -- set back to about 2006, that is, the nadir of the failed "containment" strategy, in which we cached American forces in moated castles, whence they would sally forth to engage any passing enemy army.

The hallmark of COIN was the remarkable cooperation we got from Shia, Sunni, and Kurd, once we made it clear that we were willing to patrol, fight, and if necessary, die alongside Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people. It was that commitment to civilian security that finally turned the tide, snatching victory in 2007-8 from the jaws of a 2006 defeat.

But our new Commander in Chief has other ideas; we no longer patrol with Iraqi forces, fight alongside them, or concern ourselves much with protecting the civilian population. Evidently, Barack H. Obama believes that the two years we've been building up the Iraqi military and civilian infrastructure should be plenty. "Enough!" as he is fond of saying in many contexts. It's been such an incredibly long time that surely our Iraqi partners can stand on their own hands by now.

Let's see... we spent fourteen years (1899-1913) in the Philippine jungles, building up indiginous forces (Philippine Scouts) and inculcating Filipinos with radical ideas such as the rule of law and the evil of involuntary slavery, before we could finally put down the Moro (Moslem) Rebellion and set up a functioning civilian republic. That country is still functioning today, with a vibrant economy (after a recession in the 1980s caused by their brief flirtation with socialism under Ferdinand Marcos), and still strongly allied with the United States. This is the model of a successful counterinsurgency followed by successful nation-building.

By contrast, France under Charles De Gaulle -- whipsawed by the socialists abroad and the French Communist Party at home -- pulled their troops out of Algeria prematurely, only three years after the French COIN strategy finally suppressed the Front de Libération Nationale; thus they never gave the 60% majority of Algerians who opposed complete "independence" from France their opportunity to erect civic institutions and security forces to protect and defend the liberties of a free people. And today, the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is a socialist totalitarian regime with much closer ties to the Middle East than the West.

President Barack H. Obama carefully pondered these historical examples, analyzed them with his unequaled military acumen... then decided to follow the French example. (Of course!) Ergo, today in Iraq...

Zebari said Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had ordered the arrest of 11 senior security officers on Thursday so they could be questioned on how a four-tonne truck had entered an area where even two-tonne vehicles were barred.

He also made the first official admission that the blasts signalled that security gains made in the past year were under serious strain following a series of deadly attacks in recent months.

"They have been moving their attacks... now they have focused on their main concern, their main attention, on Baghdad and this is a dangerous and a serious development and a security setback," said Zebari.

"This has been going on for the last two months. Every week, every two weeks we see a wave of these bombings and killings of innocent people."

I picture Petraeus tearing his hair out in frustration, watching all the gains of COIN poured out onto the Iraqi sands. Our allies are starting to sound desperate, even plaintive:

But Zebari went further and called for a re-appraisal of the country's entire security apparatus as it was not, he said, obtaining sufficient intelligence to counter the enemy threat....

"Sometimes you can't fight these people with checkpoints. You should be mobile. You should go after them you, disrupt and penetrate their network to get human information. This is the key," he added.

Sadly, however, the real "key" would be a change of leadership here in the United States. That is beyond the grasp of Nouri al-Maliki, Hoshyar Zebari, or any other Iraqi; and the Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq know they have at least three more years to slaughter and butcher before they must worry about that possibility.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 22, 2009, at the time of 10:38 PM

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» Surge Against the Resurgence of the Insurgency from Big Lizards
Since Barack H. Obama took office, anti-war protesters, major media figures, and even conservatives seem to have forgotten that there are wars going on still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to General David Petraeus and his counterinsurgency strategy (... [Read More]

Tracked on August 23, 2009 5:34 PM


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