This does sound like a working Surge

Since DQ asked in a comment how we can tell if the surge is working, I’ve been collecting links to blogs and articles that discuss that point.  The Captain has a lucid summary of an article in The Australian in which General Petraeus gives the heads-up about his probable report to Congress.  It all sounds good if you believe, as I do, that the Surge’s purpose is to use a powerful American military offensive to stop on the ground fighting in Iraq, thereby creating a window of peace in which lasting political progress take place.

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Comments

  1. greg says

    Haven’t you heard, Book? Petraeus has been thrown to the sidelines as a sniveling enabler of Dear Leader’s war, with the Pentagon having successfully maneuvered to force Dear Leader himself to engineer the war’s future course. It’s all over except for the Prime Time address from the Oval Office.

  2. swampacreage says

    Oceanguy and Captain’s Quarters are all wet between the ears and Bookworm is a few chapters short of a hard cover but I digress before I even start.We all saw the little weasel’s concoction before the Iraq invasion(that Bad Sad and WMD) and now the witless Iraqi’s can’t even take over and run the country after all we did ! Thankless twits ! Those ingrates ! Here we are(always the good guy . . hey how does that happen all the time . . . lucky I guess or blessed but I digress ?) trying to spread a little democracy and common cents(sic)and the Arabs are to stupid to cooperate.I’m getting so confused. Was the surge going to work even it didn’t or is the surge working? Do they want it to work ? Or does Georgie Porgie want to take his ball and run home to mommy because nobody is playing nice. THAT OLE BATTLE AXE WILL BE !.$$.. at Junior.ROL !

    ps Greg is a genuis. He is MY DQ even though he doesn’t want to be. He is so mysterious. Who is that masked man ? Is he Book’s alter ego ?

  3. says

    It all sounds good if you believe, as I do, that the Surge’s purpose is to use a powerful American military offensive to stop on the ground fighting in Iraq, thereby creating a window of peace in which lasting political progress take place.

    The specifics of that essentially means that Petraeus wants to build a grassroots network similar to what the Colonies had in the Americas before the war of rebellion with Britain.

    The American Colonies had decades in which to create a stable, if not perfect, hierarchy from which laws could be created and enforced. Because OIF was too short to conduct much if any grassroots building in the Sunni or Shia areas, you need to demonstrate a show of force to motivate Iraqis to band together. Through hope, grassroots organizations can spring up against a common foe. Look at Kurdistan and you will realize what hope can bring to a group of individuals that have already had time to build networks of trust, confidence, and security amongst the grassroots level, Book.

    Don worries about the long term results. This is the long term results, for as we can see in Kurdistan, a society with proper grassroots preparation is far more resistant to violence and social destabilization.

    The Hurricane of Disbelief has a much harder time uprooting trees with roots buried deep in the earth, Book, than trees with short roots.

    ps Greg is a genuis. He is MY DQ even though he doesn’t want to be. He is so mysterious.

    I just want people to keep that in mind next time they see swamp gas around.

  4. Mike Devx says

    The war in Iraq is just one small battle in a very long war between Islamic radicalism and Western liberalism. (Liberalism in the classic sense, not the socialist sense.)

    One long-lasting positive effect of the successful Surge is that we now have an irrefutable and now-proven mechanism for combatting insurgency. We’ve *never* been successful at this type of warfare before.

    The successful Surge experience is therefore invaluable in the long-term. It’s beyond invaluable, if that’s possible. The greatest treasure, by far, of the Iraq war is this addition to our military knowledge.

  5. says

    We’ve *never* been successful at this type of warfare before.

    Funny you would say this because it would be technically true.

    And only technically true because Lyndon Johnson and company would not protect the Vietnamese civilians, rather they went the route of the attrition strategy. Attrition strategy is a conventonal war stratagem used by a more numerous and qualitatively superior force, against a less numerous and qualitatively inferior force. The focus on inferiority is why both the US Army in Vietnam and Iraq chose to attrit and destroy the enemy’s forces, rather than focus on protecting civilians.

    That might be a reason why the Joint Chiefs advised Lyndon Johnson, but that is no excuse for Johnson to accept such a illiberal strategy. No classical liberal would tolerate the consequences of such a strategy.
    For such a strategy meant that you would have to use civilians to bait in enemy soldiers and insurgents

    The Americans liked the village. They liked the freedom to drink beer and wear oddball clothes and joke with girls. They liked having the respect of tough PFs [Popular Forces government militia] … who could not bring themselves to challenge the Viet Cong alone. They were pleased that the villagers were impressed because they hunted the Viet Cong as the Viet Cong had for years hunted the PFs … The Americans did not know what the villagers said of them … but they observed that the children, who did hear their parents, did not run or avoid them … The Marines had accepted too many invitations to too many meals in too many homes to believe they were not liked by many and tolerated by most. For perhaps the only time in the lives of those … Americans, seven of whom had not graduated from high school, they were providing at the obvious risk of death a service of protection. This had won them open admiration … within the Vietnamese village society in which they were working and where ultimately most of them would die.
    ****

    Except we weren’t fighting to hold ground, at least in the hinterlands. We’d go in, clean house, then leave. We’d wait for a while, knowing the VC or NVA would re-occupy, then we’d go in again. Then leave.

    The strategy was to attrit the enemy, not hold ground and make it safe for the population. Letting him re-occupy territory he’d previously been evicted from saved a lot of time going looking for him.

    Sometimes it was worth the price we paid, but once the Gang of LBJ assured the North Viets that Haiphong port operations wouldn’t be interrupted, the rail lines from the PRC would not be attacked and they would be allowed to build as many SAM sites as they wanted without being disturbed, the attrition strategy should have been abandoned.

    Iraq is a different war against a different enemy and we can’t play nice. The troops are tough and they understand what’s at stake; tell them to do something and *explain why* and they’ll come through every time.

    In Vietnam, we (meaning us, the dogtag-wearers) didn’t fight for national political intangibles. Our world was narrowed to “club members” — guys in our own units, neighboring ones and those we flew out to support. In this particular war, as far as the troops are concerned, every American is a club member. You may not be able to see or feel the dogtags around your neck, but they’re there.

    Al-Q sees them, even if you don’t…

    Posted by: BillT at September 1, 2007 05:59 PM

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