24 April 2007

Iraq. Again.

I'm baffled by events lately. Senator Harry Reid is, not to put too fine a point on it, a liar. He lies for personal political gain, and he lies in the face of established reality.

Castle Argghhh! has an excellent discussion of Reid's drivel.


Sen. Reid: "General Petraeus has said the ultimate solution in Iraq is a political one, not a military one." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks On Iraq , Washington , DC, 4/23/07)

· Of the President's FY 2007 supplemental request, the Senate cut $243 million in critical programs that would help the Iraqis meet important political and economic benchmarks. The Senate added $120 million to the President's request, of which $70 million is for refugees and internally displaced persons and $50 million is for a specific USAID program, leaving a net cut from the President's request of $243 million.

· The $243 million in net Senate cuts included:

Ø $70 million to build the governing capacity of local governments.

Ø $50 million to help the Iraqis draft and implement key legislative and legal reforms.

Ø $50 million to support rule of law programs so Iraqis can better govern themselves.

Ø $43 million to promote democracy and civil society efforts.

Ø $40 million to build the governing capacity of the national government.

Ø $10 million for private sector development.

Ø $100 million to support our diplomatic mission and civilian presence, including $41 million for supporting the doubling the PRTs.

· President Bush: "We fully recognize that there has to be political progress and economic progress, along with military progress, in order for that government to succeed." (President George W. Bush, Remarks, East Grand Rapids , MI , 4/20/07)

In other words, Reid votes to cut funding, and then criticizes Bush for not spending more money in the areas that Reid cut funding for.

No wonder he thinks we're losing. He's so confused that he can't think in a logical manner. He says that car bombs are evidence that we are losing! What a stupid bastard. Car bombs are the weapon of terminal losers.

Let me say this again.

Car bombs are the weapon of losers.

Wars are fought to control something. It may be expressed in territory, resources, or population centers. Wars are fought for the accomplishment of a positive goal. Car bombs don't accomplish control of anything. Blowing up crowds of civilians accomplishes nothing positive. It does attempt to create a climate of fear. Creating a climate of fear in an attempt to weaken the legitimacy of the popularly elected government is a negative goal. In other words, the terrorists are trying to keep their existence in the forefront of the news and the minds of the Iraqi people. Because otherwise, they are afraid they will disappear into irrelevancy. They are desperate to avoid losing. They are a weapon of desperation, a weapon of people too afraid to challenge either the Coalition or Iraqi forces for control of geography or population. It sucks, sure. But it is a survivable suck. Hitler dropped more bombs over a longer period of time on England, and all it did was piss the English off. The English firebombed German population centers, and all it did was piss the Germans off.

Terror bombing, be it aerial or ground-based accomplishes nothing. Bombing which destroys key infrastructure and eliminates enemy military forces is a useful adjunct to more decisive military operations, but bombing by itself is high-explosive masturbation.

OpinionJournal dissects this in more depth. They start with a discussion of the war in Algeria in the 1950s, which was probably one of the first times an army in the field defeated their enemy, then was outright betrayed by homeland politicians. Vietnam was another--Tet having destroyed the NLF and the 1972 Easter Offensive having broken the back of the PAVN, the Congress proceeded to cut off the funds and military support that would have allowed the ARVN to continue to defeat the PAVN.

How did that work, and how does it relate to Reid's assinine pronouncements and Baghdad?

As recently as two years ago, Galula's book was virtually unknown in Pentagon circles. Today it has become the bible of American counterinsurgency thinkers like Gen. Petraeus, whose field manual (known as FM 3-24) it largely informs. Its masterful approach to breaking, isolating and then uprooting a terrorist insurgency is the core of our revised near-term strategy for Iraq, a strategy based, in Gen. Petraeus's words, on the principle that "you're not going to kill your way out of an insurgency."

The current surge of 21,500 troops in Baghdad is a textbook example of Galula's lessons in action. First, as in the northern city of Mosul in 2003-04, where he used a similar grid system, Gen. Petraeus aims to turn things around in the single most vital "pink" zone--namely, Baghdad and its environs, within whose 50-mile radius 80% of the violence in Iraq takes place. Critics have already charged that our recent successes in suppressing the militias in this area signify only a temporary respite. But Gen. Petraeus, like his predecessor Galula, understands that in counterinsurgency warfare, temporary respites are all there is. The goal is to make those respites last longer and longer, until eventually they become permanent. As he has said, "The idea is to end each day with fewer enemies than when it started." Anything more ambitious leads to overreaching, disenchantment, and ultimately failure.

The Baghdad surge also illustrates the second of Galula's lessons. "Increasing the number of stakeholders is crucial to success," writes Gen. Petraeus, again self-consciously following both Galula's model and his own prior experience. In the northern district of Kabylia, for example, Gen. Petraeus had his men operating schools for 1,400 children, including girls, offering free medical support, and helping with building projects and road construction. One of his proudest accomplishments was the help given by troops of the 101st Airborne in rebuilding and opening Mosul University.

Gen. Petraeus's field manual states: "Some of the best weapons do not shoot." They come instead in the form of meetings held with local leaders, wells drilled, streets repaired, soccer leagues organized. In the current surge, one of his stated goals is to get American soldiers out of Baghdad's Green Zone to meet, eat with and even live with Iraqi families. Such "cultural awareness," to quote Gen. Petraeus again, "is a force multiplier." Political victories won street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood do not so much destroy the insurgency--it cannot be destroyed in any traditional sense--as replace it, forcing the bond between insurgent and citizen to give way to a new bond between citizen and government.

Finally, in an application of Galula's third lesson, Gen. Petraeus's men in northern Iraq trained more than 20,000 Iraqi police who even now continue to patrol the border between Iraq and Turkey. It was, in fact, Gen. Petraeus's success in organizing and staffing a reliable Iraqi security force that convinced his superiors to put him in charge of training the new Iraqi army and to make him commander of American ground forces this year. Now his experience is being put to the test on a broader scale as we attempt, in his words, to "build institutions, not just units"--a process as vital to American success in Iraq as it was to French success in Algeria 50 years ago.

Of course, Mr. Reid and his purile compatriots on the Hill have no interest in the intricacies of counter-insurgency warfare. They aren't intelligent enough to understand it, and they simply don't have a worldview capable of assimilating the basic concepts.

And God Forbid some general should come to the Hill to explain it for them.

A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at first acknowledged Tuesday that the Pentagon's request to have Petraeus give a House briefing had been denied due to "scheduling conflicts" next week. Later on Tuesday, Pelosi's office contacted Roll Call stating that the Speaker was now working to set up a session...
"It's puzzling that for the first time that Gen. Petraeus is in the country since he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate that the House has declined an offer to talk to him. We would hope that they would reconsider," the official said before Pelosi reversed course Tuesday and agreed to set up a House-wide meeting with Petraeus next Thursday.
From the Weekly Standard.

How dare General Petraeus get in the way of their political grandstanding! He might even have facts! And we know facts aren't nearly as important as emoting about how the war is lost.

Finally, I leave with one comment I saw on Xavier Thoughts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you are missing some points.

During the WWII Germans dropped some bombs on London, while the whole Germany was flattened.

I got some data over the Internet, I can't verify them so I can't say they are exact.
But... here they are:
At the end of the war there were 7 million german casualities (about 10% of Germany population) of which more than 50% civilians.
The data I found say Germany lost: 3.250.000 soldiers 3.800.000 civilians.
Americans lost about 200.000 soldiers and almost 0 civilians.
Other european countries lost:
England: 370.000 soldiers 60.000 civilians
France: 250.000 soldiers 360.000 civilians
Italy: 330.000 soldiers 85.000 civilians
Russian: 13.600.000 soldiers 8.000.000 civilians

Now the point is:
I guess you can "pacify" ANY contry with war and bring there "democracy" once you have killed almost any male in soldier age and 3 or 4 million civilians.
This was precisely what the ancient Romans did to bring some where the "pax romana" (roman peace).
On a side note You can also understand why Europeans look "weak" today, expecially if you think for example Italy lost 300.000 soldiers in WWII just 20 years later WWI when they lost other 700.000.

11:41 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 04/25/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

6:49 PM  
Blogger dracphelan said...

You have hit on why I will not vote for any Democrats in the foreseeable future. They have placed scoring political points with the radical left above the good of our country. Until there is a massive change in the Democratic party, they have completely lost me. I have made the decision to join the Republican party and work to change the aspects I find most distasteful.

12:06 AM  

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