Saturday, December 16, 2006

The new new plan for Iraq

You’re going to hear it on the Sunday morning news shows: “The Keane-Kagan plan.” From Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard with “We’re going to win – The president finally has a plan for victory”:

Why would the Keane-Kagan plan succeed where earlier efforts failed? It envisions a temporary addition of 50,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. The initial mission would be to secure and hold the mixed Baghdad neighborhoods of Shia and Sunni residents where most of the violence occurs. Earlier efforts had cleared many of those sections of the city without holding them. After which, the mass killings resumed. Once neighborhoods are cleared, American and Iraqi troops in this plan would remain behind, living day-to-day among the population. Local government leaders would receive protection and rewards if they stepped in to provide basic services. Safe from retaliation by terrorists, residents would begin to cooperate with the Iraqi government. The securing of Baghdad would be followed by a full-scale drive to pacify the Sunni-majority Anbar province.

The truth is that not all of Iraq needs to be addressed by an increased American presence. Most of southern Iraq and all of the Kurdish north are close to being free of sectarian violence. It's Baghdad that has become the "center of gravity" for the insurgency, according to Keane. And it could be brought under control by the end of 2007.
“Could” being the operative word. Plus, I’m skeptical that Americans would support another injection of troops into Iraq. Of course, a new show of force could also send the message that we’re in this fight for the long run which could demoralize the insurgency and serve notice to other terrorist groups. Once again, “could.”


Anonymous said...

A great plan from a great strategist.

Bush is like a guy who's lost all of his gambling money at the craps table. But now he's going to the ATM machine, to make it all turn out right.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks pumping large numbers of troops into Baghdad is a receipe for success should read a little about guerrilla warfare.

The city would be a killing ground not only for thge ratbags but also allied forces and civillians. Unless the rules of engagement are relaxed the Allies will be slaughtered.

Think of the secod battle of Fallujah without kncking any houses down.

Think more about Jenin when the Israelis went house to house to save civilains from being hit by indirect fire. The Israelis suffered heavy casualties.

Starve the enemy of funds, ideology, and people.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the plan would require committments of several years for certain volunteers, including National Guard troops. "The ground forces must accept longer tours for several years. National Guard units will have to accept increased deployments during this period."

Also, the reconstruction has been so terribly botched so far that asking for more CERP funds from a Dem Congress in a media climate of defeatism and the ISG's self-serving nostrums, including Baker doing mini-shuttles to Syria and Iraq all spell big trouble.

Politically stillborn, but perhaps our only chance for a decent ending to this fiasco.

Anonymous said... a media climate of defeatism...

Yeah, damn those unhelpful reporters. Why don't they report about all the people who AREN'T being kidnaped daily by Iraqi police? Or the roadside bombs that fail to explode?