US plans last big push in Iraq
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.Give us one last chance to get it right is what this is all about. So what is this four point "Victory Strategy"?
Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.
Although the panel's work is not complete, its recommendations are expected to be built around a four-point "victory strategy" developed by Pentagon officials advising the group. The strategy, along with other related proposals, is being circulated in draft form and has been discussed in separate closed sessions with Mr Baker and the vice-president Dick Cheney, an Iraq war hawk.
Nothing new here. No mention of talking to the neighbors who could actually do something, Iran and Syria. All the resources in the world are not going to change the fact security forces are loyal to their tribes and ethnic and religious groups first. An additional 20,000 more troops is just going to result in 20,000 more targets.
- Increase US troop levels by up to 20,000 to secure Baghdad and allow redeployments elsewhere in Iraq.
- Focus on regional cooperation with international conference and/or direct diplomatic involvement of countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
- Revive reconciliation process between Sunni, Shia and others.
- Increased resources from Congress to fund training and equipment of Iraqi security forces.
The most significant paragraph in the Guardian article is this:
He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it," a former senior administration official said. "He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."While it's not news that Bush is in denial it is depressing that 30 years after Vietnam that war criminal Henry Kissinger is still getting Americans killed. I'm inclined to believe that withdrawal will begin in late summer or early fall. The "Victory Strategy" is more of the same - stay the course on steroids.