Sunday, January 07, 2007

Long Shot Gamble

If we believe the news reports, the cornerstone to the new Iraq strategy President Bush will announce will be adding 20,000 more troops to the current force already in Iraq. Instead of whining, bitching, pissing, and moaning, let’s look at what these new troops are supposed to accomplish.

1) The troops will secure Baghdad. Once they have cleared a violent neighborhood of its violent militia elements, some troops will remain in the neighborhood to keep it secure and free of militia elements. That discounts how US troops just happen to be lightening rods for attack. You have to wonder how an Iraqi will feel with a US trooper standing outside her door. There is a high probability that is where the bomb will explode.

2) The additional US troops will train the militias as security forces. They will gather Sunni and Shia militia troops together in the spirit of peace, love, understanding, and national unity. An additional advantage is that the militias will be supplied with even more guns, ammo, and training to keep the peace. It is like training someone in the best way to kill you.

3) The US will give the Iraqi government a billion dollars to help with economic recovery. Can the US avoid the corruption and incompetence of the first Iraq aid mission? One wonders if a new group of unqualified and totally incompetent Evangelical Christians who pledge fealty to President Bush will administer this new program. One also wonders whether this will be another chance for consulting companies to get rich quick. Let’s not forget the corruption and political motivations in the current Shia led Iraq government

4) Of course, we will hold the current Iraq government accountable for meeting milestones of decreased sectarian and civil violence just as we have in the past and to no avail. This time when we do, it will mysteriously be different.

The additional troops sound like a long shot gamble. You had better get some pretty long odds if you are betting that adding troops will be a success.

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