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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

US Strategy In Case of Iraqi Civil War

Leaving aside the debate over whether or not Iraq is already in civil war, (I know, Greyhair) take a look at this piece by NBC's Jim Miklaszewski on the military's planning for that possibility.
Military officials tell NBC News the first objective, however, is to head off a civil war. The U.S. military hopes to keep Iraqi security forces from taking sides in the sectarian violence by pressuring the Iraqi government to crack down on any rogue elements within the police or military.

The second option: U.S. forces could again be sent into combat against sectarian militias, which military officials say would require an increase in the number of American soldiers and Marines in Iraq.

And the last resort, if violence is spinning out of countrol: Military officials say they would also have to consider the possible withdrawal of American forces.

No real surprise in any of those options, but it seems to me that option one is more or less a tinkerbell strategy, and with Bush still in office, option three is probably off the table.

(My reasoning on this is that Bush seems more concerned about his legacy being "losing Iraq" than any concern for US troops, the fate of Iraq, or the US's future standing. Like the debt, his plan is to leave the mess to the next president so his "legacy" will be clear. He can then blame failure in Iraq on someone else for "not continuing his policy.")

So, if these are the choices the military is really considering, the American public had better prepare itself for US troops in the middle of an Iraqi civil war.

It just keeps getting worse.


  • As I wrote over at my place yesterday, I think Bush's strategy is to just keep saying "we can't leave because that's what the terrorists want us to do" until he is no longer President. Eventually, we will leave, and he will blame the next guy for not staying the course! It's about not having to be responsible for taking us into a war we couldn't win.

    By Blogger seenos, at 9:28 AM  

  • Can anyone tell me what this guy is still doing at the helm? It's sort of like having a really bad dream about falling and waking up to find yourself in a crashing plane. And they wanted to get Clinton out of office because of shenanigans with a freaking intern??? At least she wasn't responsible for the deaths of more than 2,500 young Americans, the dismantling of our social security structure and adding trillions of dollars to our national debt. Where is the Shrub's Ken Starr? Enquiring minds would love to know.

    By Blogger Rachie, at 9:53 AM  

  • Outstanding post.

    There is a part in Woodward's Plan of Attack where Woodward notes Blair's comments about regret at lose of life and then -- not soon after -- Bush's inability to consider his own regret.

    I think the man may be crazy. It would not be the first time a war and the level of responsibility has drove a man off the deep end. Iraq is his legacy, his belief in success seems to be as much a part of his identity as any other trait.

    And the military, through a mix of incompetence from the White House and denial, will be pulled into option 2.


    By Blogger copy editor, at 10:17 AM  

  • :)

    We've been in the second option for some time ... without the increase in troops. And that will likely continue simply because there aren't anymore troops.

    The Iraqi "military" and "police" that the U.S. has trained are Shiite. The only Sunni's are infilitrators, of which there are many. We've simply trained and equipped one side of the civil war, which incidently, further fuels the other side. It's a circular situation that will only get worse until the dynamic changes. And the possible changes in dynamic are all bad ... with some "less" bad.

    And mind you, none of this analysis takes into consideration the very large amount of violence occuring within the Shiite sectors.

    It's called a quagmire.

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 12:05 PM  

  • Greyhair, I wasn't picking on you, I just was trying to preempt the "whether we're in civil war argument" because we both think we are, but for some reason, you keep thinking I disagree. I assume the smiley face means we're cool.

    And you're right in diagnosing quagmire. But I would draw a slight distinction as to how we've been participating with the Shia against the Sunni. I do think there's a difference whether we train the Shia to kill Sunni or whether our troops do it themselves. I know it's minor, but it's a perception thing that affects the greater politics.

    Seenos, that's exactly what I was trying to say in my little aside. That US soldiers will die to protect his sense of legacy.

    Copy Editor, I go back and forth on crazy. Sometimes I think yes, sometimes I think no, but generally I would choose less inflammatory laguange. Social disfunction, sociopath, I don't know, because at the same time he is seen as the backslapping likeable popular frat boy, he also seems incapable of real empathy. It's like he doesn't connect.

    And Rachie, I don't know. I'm not huge on the impeach Bush movement, mainly because I think the potential replacements, Cheney, Hastert, are scarier, but there is a really big question as to why the Congress is not holding Bush accountable for any of his illegal actions. As for why he was reelected in 2004, that's a much bigger discussion.

    Thanks folks, great comments.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 12:43 PM  

  • :) = way cool.

    And I recognize that you finally came around to my way of thinking ....


    ;) = kidding.

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 4:45 PM  

  • Aaaarrrggghhh!


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:15 PM  

  • If Bush really intends to pull the troops from Iraq, why is he having permanent military posts built, some with 15' thick walls. Complete with all amenities for self sustaining, enclosed mini-cities.

    I certainly cannot predict US strategy for Iraq, but as a matter of fact the US has consistently repeated a pattern in Central and South American nations, in Africa and other trouble spots of fomenting rebellions and arming one side. Ofcourse there's always a lot of civilian deaths, but oh well, that's collateral damage.

    check out www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/library/wonderful/elsalvador.php



    Or just google CIA involvement in (name the country) civil unrest.

    By Blogger Worried, at 8:02 AM  

  • Yeah, I saw a pretty good article on the permanent bases the other day.

    In my opinion, the Iraq war was primarily about establishing a permanent operating base in the mideast.

    After we got thrown out of Saudi, they thought that Iraq offered the best possibility, and with it's history and proximity to both Iraqn and Saudi, Iraq was the choice.

    So, the war was about oil, but not really Iraqi oil.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:51 AM  

  • The U.S. military hopes to keep Iraqi security forces from taking sides in the sectarian violence by pressuring the Iraqi government to crack down on any rogue elements within the police or military.

    Bwahahahahahahah! They are the sides!

    Sorry...that was insensitive to the US troops who'll very soon be in an all out shooting war, but--arrggghhh!--it's hard to resist.

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 8:17 PM  

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