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November 30, 2005

Git 'Em

Matt, in his post on the NSC Iraq strategy, puts his finger on exactly what's been bugging me about the document. It's not a strategy, it's a goalset. Things like:

• Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing
enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven.

• Hold areas freed from enemy control by ensuring that they remain under the control
of a peaceful Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence.

• Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services,
advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.

Aren't touted as objectives but steps. The only question is, considering we've shown no facility at doing any of those things, what's to say we do them now. Was all we were missing really a document counseling us to defeat the evildoers?

Update: Man, what a brilliant response! All those Democrats who'd been calling for some sort of realistic strategy really wanted a bullet-pointed picture of perfection. Yes, this is what we've been missing. I am chastened.

November 30, 2005 | Permalink

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» Bush pushes his Iraq victory strategy from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
President Bush confronted doubts about his war policy Wednesday, asserting more Iraqi security force [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 30, 2005 5:37:35 PM

» Iraq: Do you want a Strategy or Tactics? from QandO
He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 30, 2005 7:02:35 PM

» Thursday Winds of War: 01DEC05 from Winds of Change.NET
Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the global War on Terror that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 1, 2005 3:27:16 AM

Comments

Well, yes, Ezra, we were, and if you and your lefty pals would just get with the program, the war would be going swimmingly. /sarcasm

...or something like that. I think I've been spending too much time at Lucianne.com :)

Posted by: weboy | Nov 30, 2005 3:37:11 PM

Ezra there are some very definite, well planned steps for success in Iraq, but they aren't in the document. They are;
1)Dump millions of dollars into psy-ops to convince Americans that the war is going swimmingly.
2)Pull the hell out when politically expedient.

Posted by: sprocket | Nov 30, 2005 4:13:45 PM

This is good progress, but I still think Fafnir's lure-the-terrorists-and-dump-a-big-rock-on-them idea is more specific and practical.

Posted by: Julian Elson | Nov 30, 2005 4:54:27 PM

Wow. Julian. The "Roadrunner/Flypaper" strategy should be considered.

The President seems to be an afficonado of cartoons, so I'm stumped why this isn't debated at AEI. Is it because Acme Company would outbid Halliburton that prevents us from this being implemented?

Posted by: Chris R | Nov 30, 2005 5:00:27 PM

I don't know how you can say that "we've shown no facility at doing any of these things." Without even reading Centcom reports about the military operations in the last year, just locate the operations on a map. You'll quickly see that US and Iraqi forces have been steadily pushing out from town to town along two major axes following the rivers, and are now busily choking off the "ratlines" from the border.

To me, that sure sounds like "Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven."

I'd say more, but I gotta go. My main point is that you really need to look at the ops going on before you say that our military hasn't been active. For starters, check out ThreatsWatch (because I know how much you adore Bill Roggio, hehe).

Posted by: Mastiff | Nov 30, 2005 8:13:01 PM

I liked how this week's Bold New Strategy had upbeat yet official-looking checkmarks. Way better than the little pointing finger icons that we all remember from the Gettysburg Address.

I've never been able to get my head around why the Bush operation hypes these "important" speeches, when every time they turn out to be more of the same. Do they like shooting themselves in the foot?!?!

Posted by: sglover | Nov 30, 2005 8:21:18 PM

Man, what a brilliant response! All those Democrats who'd been calling for some sort of realistic strategy really wanted a bullet-pointed picture of perfection. Yes, this is what we've been missing. I am chastened.
(shrug) That's what a "strategy" looks like. "We'll help to build the social, political and security institutions until such a time as Iraq can handle their own security." You're looking for tactics, and I'm not sure that tactics can, or should, be given.

Apart from questions of how much detail we want to disclose to the opponent, there's the ever-present problem I mentioned in the post: tactics change.

I do agree that there should be some more estimates (as Kerry put it) for the achievement of the goals put forward in the strategy, as well as some metrics (which Ken Salazar remarked upon) for measurement. But the critics have been demanding a strategy and this is what a strategy is.

Posted by: Jon Henke | Nov 30, 2005 10:10:50 PM

Mission:Defeat terrorists
Strategy:Fight terrorists
Tactics:Shhhh...top secret,need-to-know,loose lips etc
Next question?

I thought some of the Quando comments weren't so bad, tho some were horrible:

"Amateurs study strategy and tacics, professionals study logistics. Keep your eyes on inflation, W." ...Mrs. Davis

"1) Give the balance of power in the Middle East to the Shiites, thereby forcing the Sunnis to face an enemy more formidable than the USA (to them" ...Jim Peterson
(This makes more sense than what we are being told)

"A good measure of victory would be in NOT having to bring the troops home. We’re still in Germany big time. I know. I live here (Germany)."

My personal position.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Nov 30, 2005 10:22:42 PM

The is only a wack-a-mole game, but the moles are not the iraqi insurgents to the White House - although they may be to the US military.

The moles are any who oppose whatever Bush and his personal advisors (God and Rove) say.

The Bush Strategy is to have a politically necessary 'Strategy'. God and Rove haven't yet revealed to Bush (and whomever Bush will tell when he knows) how this strategy will come to be. Rove is still researching Revelations for answers. Maybe a prayer week will provide more ideas revealed.

Posted by: JimPortandOR | Dec 1, 2005 3:54:22 AM

The Bush Strategy is to have a politically necessary 'Strategy'. God and Rove haven't yet revealed to Bush (and whomever Bush will tell when he knows) how this strategy will come to be. Rove is still researching Revelations for answers. Maybe a prayer week will provide more ideas revealed.

I take this speech as a sign that, if Rove really is running the psyops campaign that is this administration, his reputation is vastly overblown. I don't see the political genius in hyping an event that's guaranteed to disappoint. Bush would be better off stonewalling and saying nothing (I mean, even more than he already does), than delivering the same goddam platitudes over and over and over.....

Posted by: sglover | Dec 1, 2005 10:38:29 AM

The Bush Strategy is to have a politically necessary 'Strategy'. God and Rove haven't yet revealed to Bush (and whomever Bush will tell when he knows) how this strategy will come to be. Rove is still researching Revelations for answers. Maybe a prayer week will provide more ideas revealed.

I take this speech as a sign that, if Rove really is running the psyops campaign that is this administration, his reputation is vastly overblown. I don't see the political genius in hyping an event that's guaranteed to disappoint. Bush would be better off stonewalling and saying nothing (I mean, even more than he already does), than delivering the same goddam platitudes over and over and over.....

Posted by: sglover | Dec 1, 2005 10:39:41 AM

People, c'mon, its stategery.

I personally think that this strategy v. tactics argument is simply a way to distract from the real problems and ought to be ignored. After all, it really didn't provide anything more than a slightly more bulletpointed outline of what they've been incoherently saying over the past few years. If thats the case, someone needs to tell me why this is supposed to reassure the American people that everything is going well and according to plan.

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