Monday, February 05, 2007

Opinion (Paul G. Buchanan): In Iraq, it's all over but the killing

Notwithstanding the claims by President Bush in his State of the Union address, the outcome in Iraq has been decided. His recently appointed commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General David Pretreus, has come closer to the truth, saying that the situation is dire but that the hard task of pacifying Iraq does not mean that it is impossible. For both men military defeat is not an option even if the possibility of victory is more remote than ever. The new Democratic majority in the US Congress agrees that all is not well, but has wavered in offering a counter-strategy to the surge, seize, and hold contingency plan offered by the White House early in the New Year (which involves a 21 thousand increase in troops deployed to Iraq that was not supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff). It seems that in Washington a reality check is needed.

The reality is as follows: In Iraq the occupiers have been politically defeated and are looking to withdraw because the local population have shown their thanks for the removal of the Baath dictatorship by the mettle of their resistance. The military situation is a standoff in an irregular, low intensity conflict along multiple fluid fronts involving a loose coalition of autonomous sectarian guerrilla units engaging in a protracted struggle against the conventional forces of the rapidly diminishing Coalition of the Willing. As asymmetric warfare specialists know, military standoffs favour the weaker actor, especially when it is fighting on its home soil with popular support against a stronger opponent whose civilian support base is unenthused about its foreign military adventurism.

Read the rest at Scoop NZ