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October 20, 2006

McCain: We Need 100,000 Additional Troops In Iraq To Win

Sure, he's been saying this forever, but now I agree with him.

We're either going to try to win this thing or we should, yes, pull up sticks and redeploy to Okinawa, which commands the critical Middle Eastern sealanes in the Sea of Japan.

I resisted the call for "more troops" as being too glib, too obvious. Better a "light footprint" than a heavy metal crushing of Iraq.

That now seems misguided to me. More troops -- and these can be on a timetable, if the Democrats and public demand it (which, of course, they will). A timetable for the additional troops may also help with the internal politics of Iraq, as many Iraqis will be resistant to the idea of a 100,000 fresh "infidels" in their country.

Six or nine months or so. If a near doubling of the American force in Iraq can't do the job in six or nine months, then there's no point keeping them there anyway. Either the situation can be stabliized by a bigger and more aggressive American presence, able to both take and then hold key insurgent hotspots, or it can't.

But it's time to try.

And if it takes a lot more money to recruit and field them, well then, fine. We may be being penny-wise and pound-foolish here. An actual stabilization of Iraq, and a righteous slaughter of the jihadis, will save us a lot of money down the road.


Bush Considering Changing "Tactics:" Maybe that includes changing the "light footprint" tactic as well.

This thing either needs to be won or lost. The current situation just seems like losing in slow motion. Something dramatic needs to be done to change the trajectory of this war.

It might help if we got more brutal, quite frankly. We seem determined to win the "hearts and minds" of those whose hearts are black and whose minds are fixated on murder.

Ralph Peters wrote of this recently-- well worth reading.

The politically correct atmosphere in Washington deems any discussion of religion as a strategic factor indelicate: Let our troops die, just don't hurt anyone's feelings.

So the doctrine writers faked it, treating all insurgencies as political. As a result, they prescribed an excellent head-cold treatment - for a cancer patient. The text is a mush of pop-zen mantras such as "Sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction," "The best weapons do not shoot," or "The more force used, the less effective it is."

That's just nutty. Should we have done nothing in the wake of 9/11? Would everything have been OK if we'd just been nicer? What non-lethal "best weapons" might have snagged Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, where the problem was too little military force, not too much violence?

Should we have sent fewer troops to Iraq, where inadequate numbers crippled everything we attempted? Will polite chats with tribal chiefs stop the sectarian violence drenching Iraq in blood?

On the surface, the doctrine appears sober and serious. But it's morally frivolous and intellectually inert, a pathetic rehashing of yesteryear's discredited "wisdom" on counterinsurgencies and, worst of all, driven by a stalker-quality infatuation with T.E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia," who not only was a huckster of the first order, but whose "revolt in the desert" was a near-meaningless sideshow of a sideshow.

Lawrence is quoted repeatedly, with reverence. We might as well cite the British generals of the Great War who sent men over the top in waves to face German machine guns.

You can trust two kinds of officers: Those who read a great deal and those who don't read at all. But beware the officer who reads just a little and falls in love with one book. A little education really is a dangerous thing.

A more aggressive and destructive military -- willing, yes, to destroy the village in order to save the country -- may backfire. But at this point gambles are worth it.

We can either win or we can't, and we might as well know earlier rather than later.

If they react only to force -- then let us give them force, and plenty of it.

Rebuilding should stop completely in all terrorist-controlled or terrorist-friendly areas. It's time for punitive actions, not attempts to win over those supporting the jihadis killling our troops. If they make their neighborhoods and towns battlegrounds, then let them be battlegrounds, and stop trying to build schools and hospitals there.

And put the oil weapon into play. Allow the Iraqi government to begin adjusting oil profit distributions according to provinces' and cities' compliance with the government. If they reject the government, the government has no reason to share with them its money.

It's time to get tough, and get serious, and get brutal, or get the fuck out.

One Vietnam analogy is clear -- we're trying to fight a war by half-measures. Either a war is important enough to fight as ruthlessly and as destructively as necessary, or it ought not be fought in the first place.

And Put Moqtada Al Sadr on Fuckin' Notice: We can't take him out because we fear the country would devolve further into chaos and violence as a reaction.

But 100,000 more troops may enough to control such an outbreak.

Making taking al-Sadr out finally feasible.


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posted by Ace at 05:29 PM

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