Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Is the current strategy in Iraq good?

On the ride home the night of 9/20/2004, the local talk fill in host talked about how he was for George Bush, but he didn’t think he was being aggressive enough prosecuting the war in Iraq. Most of his callers agreed. He’s the skinny: Step back and look at the proper long term strategy. If President Bush had gone full tilt boogie on the bad guys, it’s still like trying to get rid of the cockroaches in your southeast low country home. You can go after them and beat them back, while you consider your options, or just burn the house down. Option two helps you make it through the day, with only sometimes seeing the bugs at night when you turn on the light. You keep them from overrunning the place, and it’s pretty livable, given other more aggressive options. If you burn the house down, you’ll probably have the cockroaches around, and you’ll get really, really wet when it rains. So here George is, standing at the threshold of getting rid of many of the cockroaches, while his “family” pleads with him to quit gassing the house and spreading chemicals all over, because it hurts the environment. He’s within striking distance, but the gate he must pass through to do more is the one labeled “Re-Election.” If George leaves office now, we will slip in our resolve, and many of the hard fought gains will be lost. Because the “family” of the American public is teetering on the fence right now, it’s good that he takes a generally moderate, strategic holding battle into the war. It will cost some lives, but here’s the advantage: It will keep the squeamish conservatives on his side that may sway the vote. Since the President has a term limit, once he’s back in, then he can roll up his figurative sleeves, take off his gloves and stand and fight hard for us. It will repel some, yet in the long run, think what four more years of fighting terrorists would do for World peace? If we have come this far since 9/11/2001, and we have had a military that has been transmogrified into a flexible, well trained organization, capable of fighting in asymmetric environments, and conducting joint operations, augmented by OGAs as well as drawing on the significant expertise of the citizen-soldiers of this modern time. In Vietnam, the book On Strategy argued we took a European heavy armor mentality to the triple canopy jungle. The author was right, it didn't fit the battle field strategically. Since Vietnam, we have evolved somewhat in our war fighting orientations, but it was still focused on building a better self-contained military. We have been pretty successful at that. What we didn’t seem to learn very well, until we somewhat got it in GWI, is that war is a multi-faceted thing, to include the press, economics, and many other things, and not all of those arenas have people in camouflage in them. We did better this time. Anyhow, back to may main thesis: George Bush needs to grit his teeth until he is re-elected, before he goes to the “and I’m not joking” bare knuckles approach needed to get rid of the terrorists. Once in office for the four more years, then he can get busy prosecuting war as he should, for the betterment of the entire human race. Short of impeachment, and it has been demonstrated how hard that is, he will be able to run it well, provided he has a Republican Congress in his bag of tricks. So, for those who are frustrated with George Bush, help put him back in and see where this goes. Don’t put him in and see what happens in our back yard.

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