T Nation

Gen. Petraeus on Iraq

In a not-at-all-surprising development, General Petraeus acknowledged that the US will not get out of Iraq any time soon.

The head of US forces in Iraq, Lt Gen David Petraeus, has told the BBC that fighting the insurgency is a “long term endeavour” which could take decades. […] “I don’t know whether this will be decades, but the average counter insurgency is somewhere around a nine or a 10 year endeavour.”

I seem to recall Bush Cheney saying in 2003 that the war will not take more than a couple of months. But then again, they also said Saddam had WMDs and that he had ties to Al-Qaeda.

How many of you bought their lies? Raise your hands, don’t be shy.

US General’s have been saying this forever. This isn’t really news.

This is the reason the approval ratings of the pres+Congress are so low.

Gen. Petraeus is the man with a plan. Stay tuned.

There is no plan for success. There is no way to unite the various warring factions, with the use of military force. Bush fucked up the Iraq situation, and there is no way he will be able to un-fuck it. Bush is stalling for time, so he can get out of office and hand the mess off to the next president.

In September, Petraeus will say “The plan hasn’t had a chance to work. We need to stay the course”.

Or he’ll say “The plan shows signs of success. We need to stay the course”.

Either way, the plan is to stay the course, purely for political reasons on Bush’s behalf. This way, Bush will be able to pretend that somebody else lost the war, not him. “I would have won the game, I just ran out of innings!”

The American people do not have the will to spend another 10 years occupying Iraq with major combat forces. We’ve already spent 450 billion tax dollars so far. That is completely unsustainable financially and militarily.

Also, Bush has treated the Democrats as a nuisance that he can ignore, or villify when elections are close by. You cannot effectively wage a long term war effort with support from only one political party. That is not a recipe for success.

None of the plans for “success” explain how Iraqi factions will come together and live side by side. Nobody can explain how that will work. Peace among Iraqis isn’t going to be accomplished with a military-only solution. But Bush doesn’t have the international credibility or the political chops to put together a diplomatic component.

Nothing will change in Iraq until Bush is gone, and since there is no possible clear-cut victory while he’s in office, that’s what Bush wants… more of the same. He cares the most about his legacy, not as much about how many troops will be killed or maimed, or how much higher the deficit will go, while he runs out the clock.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Gen. Petraeus is the man with a plan. Stay tuned.[/quote]

Agreed. He’s the first guy that we’ve had run the show that I have taken a liking to. He just recently coauthored the counter insurgency fleet manual. Anyone that is willing to take a look at the man’s career will see a pretty squared away soldier. I’m not sure that America has the balls to keep fighting, but if they do, Patraeus is the right man to take the lead.

mike

[quote]Brad61 wrote:

Nothing will change in Iraq until Bush is gone, and since there is no possible clear-cut victory while he’s in office, that’s what Bush wants… more of the same. He cares the most about his legacy, not as much about how many troops will be killed or maimed, or how much higher the deficit will go, while he runs out the clock.[/quote]

I agree, but if he only cares about his legacy, his fucked. He wil go down as the worst US president ever.

Well, the pigs do have a plan to let him off the hook by selecting an even worse president next time, but they probably won’t get away with it.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Brad61 wrote:

Nothing will change in Iraq until Bush is gone, and since there is no possible clear-cut victory while he’s in office, that’s what Bush wants… more of the same. He cares the most about his legacy, not as much about how many troops will be killed or maimed, or how much higher the deficit will go, while he runs out the clock.

I agree, but if he only cares about his legacy, his fucked. He wil go down as the worst US president ever.

Well, the pigs do have a plan to let him off the hook by selecting an even worse president next time, but they probably won’t get away with it.[/quote]

Good thing the opinions of foreigners don’t matter much here.

Whether Petraeus is good, smart or competent doesn’t matter. He can’t use the tactics he’d need to use to win at guerilla warfare. It doesn’t matter how long the US can sustain the war; they’ll eventually pull out having accomplished nothing more than what they’ve got now. Which isn’t much, unfortunately.