Friday :: Jan 19, 2007

Is There Hope For Iraq?

by Steve

I know that many of us distrust the motives and statements of this administration, but the desired outcome of the White House from this surge may be emerging:

1. Gradually ramp up to the additional 17,500 troops in Baghdad between now and May, based on the Iraqis meeting their commitments;

2. Hope that the Iraqis keep pressure on the Mahdi Army all this time;

3. Hope that the Mahdi Army reduces its reprisal attacks against the Sunnis;

4. Hope the additional 4,000 troops in al-Anbar province gain the upper hand against the Sunni insurgency and Al Qaeda in Iraq long enough to show results;

5. Spread as much money around as possible in the interim; and

6. Then hope that by September things appear to be good enough for Gates to recommend a face-saving drawdown of those 17,500 troops in Baghdad, allowing Bush to declare victory as we head into the teeth of the 2008 presidential race so that the GOP doesn’t get bludgeoned in the next election.

Sure, there’s a lot of hope in there, and it rests solely on the ability of the Iraq police and security forces, which are the Achilles heel to the entire plan. But a large reason for the sudden talk by the administration of a late summer drawdown date is the bipartisan opposition to the surge in the first place, which I think caught the White House by surprise. If there had not been a bipartisan pushback to the surge, I have no doubt that the administration would have resisted any mention of when the surge would be reversed.

But we do see progress here at home, when someone like right-wing pundit Charles Krauthammer now supports a sensible redeployment outside of Baghdad, which meshes with what John Murtha has been talking about for over a year.

Steve :: 9:38 AM :: Comments (22) :: Digg It!