Bush to Name a New General to Oversee Iraq
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 — President Bush has decided to name Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus as the top American military commander in Iraq, part of a broad revamping of the military team that will carry out the administration’s new Iraq strategy, administration officials said Thursday.This of course is just another example of rearranging the deck chairs on Bush's own Titanic. While Casey's emphasis on training the Iraqis and getting out has failed Steve Gillard points out that Petraeus doesn't have a great record of success.
In addition to the promotion of General Petraeus, who will replace Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the choice to succeed Gen. John P. Abizaid as the head of the Central Command is expected to be Adm. William J. Fallon, who is the top American military officer in the Pacific, officials said.
Dave Petreus talks a great game, but has failed repeatedly in Iraq. His second tour, was, in effect, a diaster. The Iraqi Army is now factionalized and useless. The officers still think they're fighting Iranians. Many of the troops have other loyalties.Former war supporter Andrew Sullivan wonders if maybe it isn't time to just turn the country over to Sadr.
He's gonna play Jacques Massu in Baghdad and fail because the Mahdi Army now runs most of the city and the government. The government and most of the police and Army are now loyal to Sadr, as the execution of Saddam shows.
But my view right now is that we should withdraw most combat troops by the middle of this year; and leave a remaining force in the Kurdish region and along the Iraq-Turkey border. Protecting the fledgling democracy in Kurdistan and reassuring Turkey should be our top priorities. This will force Iraqi indigenous forces to come up with their own leader, a man who has real power and a capacity to restore order, however brutally. We may get another dictator. In fact, we may have witnessed his unofficial swearing-in at Saddam's execution: "Moktada! Moktada! Moktada!" So be it. The current chaos ties the U.S. down in a hideously tightening vise. We have to change the dynamic and actually do something we can accomplish. We cannot win this civil war for any side, and we shouldn't. We can, however, withdraw.I don't often agree with Joe Biden but I think he gets it right here.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.
"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."