Thursday, September 16, 2004

"The War is Lost"

I've seen this posted in several different places today, but it definitely bears repeating. This comes from Sidney Bluementhal at, his article "The War is Lost". I'll try and be nice about copyright issues here, and only quote some excerpts. But the article is fairly short, and worth reading in full (and even worth sitting through the obligatory day-pass advertisement):


Retired Gen. Joseph Hoar, the former Marine commandant and head of the U.S. Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

"I see no ray of light on the horizon at all," said Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College. "The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after World War II in Germany and Japan."

"I don't think that you can kill the insurgency," said W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the top expert on Iraq there. According to Terrill, the anti-U.S. insurgency, centered in the Sunni triangle, and holding several key cities and towns, including Fallujah, is expanding and becoming more capable as a direct consequence of U.S. policy. "We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are X number of insurgents and when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the U.S. presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."


"This is far graver than Vietnam," said Gen. Odom. "There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with a war that was not constructive for U.S. aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile and we're in much worse shape with our allies."


Gen. Hoar believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it -- after the election. The signs are all there."
(Emphasis added.)

That last part is particularly interesting, because of its implications. If the Bush adminstration is waiting until after the election for the attack, then it's fairly obvious that they're worried about it. Either they're expecting the attack to not go well, or they're concerned that it will damage them politically.

Whatever happens, though, it's really starting to look the the USA is stuck in some really, really deep shit.


At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say "Quagmire?"

Thought so.

Hi CE!


At 8:12 AM, Blogger cke said...

I have a comment! I have a comment!

::happy dance::

Hiya Mags!

Yes, "quagmire" seems a pretty apt description. I was thinking about this while warming up the car this morning, and the only other term that came to mind was "tar baby", but people don't generally use that one very much.


Post a Comment

<< Home