T Nation

The Future of Iraq: Iraq Divided

As we all know, “stay the course” is an election catch phrase, not a viable solution. Since redeployment seems all but certain, given that it appears highly unlikely that 300,000 troops are going to be added or even 150,000 due to President Bush not actually being serious about winning in Iraq (nation building as he said was never his goal), not to mention our military not having the boots to do this anyway, It’s time to start looking at what may happen in Iraq:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101100809.html

"BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 – Parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial law that will allow Iraq to be carved into a federation of autonomous regions, after Sunni Arabs and some Shiite Muslims stormed out of the session in protest.

The bill passed the 275-member parliament by a vote of 141 to 0, despite a nearly successful attempt by opponents to prevent a quorum by walking out, said Mohanned Abdul Jabbar, an aide to parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

The measure, introduced by a powerful Shiite group last month, creates a mechanism that many believe will lead to a predominantly Shiite zone in southern Iraq that would parallel the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north. Sunnis vehemently oppose such a division, which would leave them with an area in central Iraq that lacks the vast oil wealth of the north and south.

Under a compromise worked out two weeks ago, the bill includes a provision that prevents the formation of federal regions for 18 months. In exchange for that delay and the creation of a panel to review the constitution, the Sunnis agreed to call off a boycott that had prevented the federalism bill from being introduced.

Although the principle of federalism is enshrined in the constitution, the law passed by parliament is the first to set up a system that will allow provinces in 2008 to merge into autonomous regions."

Given that…you can see “staying the course” just ain’t happening. I’ll bet the Baker group recognizes this reality and suggests some kind of redeployment of troops, of course not till after November.

Now that the neocon ideology has been utterly debunked in every regard as it pertains to Iraq(how is Bill Kristol still allowed on TV?) Will realism again prevail?

Elected represenatives at work. Debating and compromising.

Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

Britain should “get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates security problems,” he told the newspaper in an interview published Thursday.

“I don’t say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.”

Dannatt, who took over as the Army’s chief of general staff in August, said that the U.S.-led coalition’s plan to establish a democracy in Iraq that would be “exemplar for the region” was unlikely to happen.

“That was the hope, whether that was a sensible or naive hope, history will judge,” he said. “I don’t think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition.”

Dannatt’s views directly contradicts the position of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is a staunch supporter of the war and U.S. President George W. Bush’s closest ally in the fight.

Blair and Bush both insist that troops must stay in Iraq until Iraqi security forces are able to stand up on their own.

But with the country edging nearer to civil war – if not already immersed in it – Dannatt said that the strategy for implementing an Iraqi democracy was ill-prepared.

"“I think history will show that the planning for what happened after the initial, successful war-fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning,” he said.

Dannatt said that Britain had essentially overstayed its welcome in Iraq.

“The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in,” he said, noting that was a far cry from being invited into the country.

“Whatever consent we may have had in the first place may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance.”

Bush still pushing “stay the course”…

[quote]100meters wrote:
Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

…[/quote]

Aren’t you the hypocrite that says we need more boots on the ground?

Make up your mind man!

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

Aren’t you the hypocrite that says we need more boots on the ground?

Make up your mind man![/quote]

In order to win while staying the course in Iraq (to secure the status quo) you need more boots. Every commander behind the scenes, and all the recently retired ones confirm this. I would fully support sending in 3x the troops to do this.

One problem.
This will never happen.

  1. President doesn’t care/doesn’t have the balls.
  2. Rummy’s lean/mean fighting machine would be debunked—making him look like the misguided idiot he is.
  3. We don’t have the boots.
  4. Afghanistan will also be won via boots on the ground (still not enough boots)

In light of that unquestionable reality, a change needs to be made…hence redeployment(which can very likely be IN-country, at least partially)

[quote]100meters wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

Aren’t you the hypocrite that says we need more boots on the ground?

Make up your mind man!

In order to win while staying the course in Iraq (to secure the status quo) you need more boots. Every commander behind the scenes, and all the recently retired ones confirm this. I would fully support sending in 3x the troops to do this.

One problem.
This will never happen.

  1. President doesn’t care/doesn’t have the balls.
  2. Rummy’s lean/mean fighting machine would be debunked—making him look like the misguided idiot he is.
  3. We don’t have the boots.
  4. Afghanistan will also be won via boots on the ground (still not enough boots)

In light of that unquestionable reality, a change needs to be made…hence redeployment(which can very likely be IN-country, at least partially)

[/quote]

But you just posted an article that indicates our presence there is causing trouble.

Which is it, more or less boots?

Did George Bush happen to pick the exact wrong number of people on the ground?

You are such a phony. No matter what is done you will criticize.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

Aren’t you the hypocrite that says we need more boots on the ground?

Make up your mind man!

In order to win while staying the course in Iraq (to secure the status quo) you need more boots. Every commander behind the scenes, and all the recently retired ones confirm this. I would fully support sending in 3x the troops to do this.

One problem.
This will never happen.

  1. President doesn’t care/doesn’t have the balls.
  2. Rummy’s lean/mean fighting machine would be debunked—making him look like the misguided idiot he is.
  3. We don’t have the boots.
  4. Afghanistan will also be won via boots on the ground (still not enough boots)

In light of that unquestionable reality, a change needs to be made…hence redeployment(which can very likely be IN-country, at least partially)

But you just posted an article that indicates our presence there is causing trouble.

Which is it, more or less boots?

Did George Bush happen to pick the exact wrong number of people on the ground?

You are such a phony. No matter what is done you will criticize.
[/quote]

Uhmmm…Zap?
If we had more troops we could possibly secure Iraq, regardless of the fact that our presence is part of the current problem…

however since there won’t be more troops, those who recognize reality (me,democrats,military, conservatives) are going to favor redeployment.

And yes Bush picked the wrong number of troops (in both countries sadly). Everybody agrees that we should have went in with 3 times the men, but worse is the hubris that kept them from adjusting to their initial catastrophic mistakes.

Chalk another one up to the “conspiracy theorists”…

U.S. Considers Dividing Iraq Into Three Separate States After Saddam Is Gone
October 1, 2002
http://www.kurdmedia.com/articles.asp?id=11976

Iraq is Under Occupation
March 31, 2006
Iraq is under occupation and the current rivalry between what are indeed Iraqi factions has to be interpreted within this context.

The possibility of civil war in Iraq is not the result of mismanagement on the part of the Bush administration or some inherent hostility in Iraqi society; civil war, rather, is and has always been the favored alternative should the United States fail to dominate Iraq politically.

The pirates of both the Right and Left side of the establishment agreed before hand that if they could not steer the ship they would sink it…

As Mike Whitney has recently pointed out in an excellent piece in Countepunch the discussion of civil war in Iraq has been a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” The American backed members of the current Iraqi government have played a vital role in this self-fulfillment…
http://www.counterpunch.org/laith03312006.html

The mistake is in believing the Bush administration has merely been incompetent lo these many years.

General: Appeals for More Troops Were Denied
LA Times
September 26, 2006
WASHINGTON - Adding to criticism of the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war in Iraq, a retired senior general who commanded an infantry division in the conflict said Monday that requests by commanders for more soldiers were repeatedly turned down.

“Many of us routinely asked for more troops,” retired Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste said, contradicting statements by President Bush and his senior aides that the administration had given the military all the resources it had asked for.

“There simply aren’t enough troops there to accomplish the task,” said Batiste, who has previously called for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign. “It’s a shell game we’re playing in Iraq, and we’ve been doing it since day one. And we’re still doing it today.”

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq
NY Times
October 25, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq’s most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man’s land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year…

Chaos was required… so chaos was created…

Nah, continue to train their troops and police, turning over regions for them to secure as their troop and police levels increase. And then leave. If they kill each other after we leave…that’s up to them.

Region, by region we should see less and less troops patrolling. Not more. At some point the Iraqis will have to decide if they want to fight for their young democracy. Or, give it up for some rigid theocracy.

I actually believe the country NEEDS a civil war.

I think there has been and continues to be a grave mistake with respect to expecting the general population to rally behind things.

They need to be included at a deeper level than simply getting there fingers dipped in ink once in a while.

You build teamwork and cooperation by learning to work together. By sitting on your ass, letting the US do all the work, nobody is learning anything. Nobody builds up a pride or a sense of ownership over what is happening. Nobody gets it, really gets it, with respect to civic power.

Right now they are learning to cower in fear and hope that they aren’t delivered a death note. They are learning that the US can’t protect them. However, I’m not parroting a left or right viewpoint, so I obviously have nothing useful to say on the topic.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
100meters wrote:
Another reality check today:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.general/index.html

Dannatt said that Britain’s continued presence in Iraq had made the country less secure.

Aren’t you the hypocrite that says we need more boots on the ground?

Make up your mind man!

In order to win while staying the course in Iraq (to secure the status quo) you need more boots. Every commander behind the scenes, and all the recently retired ones confirm this. I would fully support sending in 3x the troops to do this.

One problem.
This will never happen.

  1. President doesn’t care/doesn’t have the balls.
  2. Rummy’s lean/mean fighting machine would be debunked—making him look like the misguided idiot he is.
  3. We don’t have the boots.
  4. Afghanistan will also be won via boots on the ground (still not enough boots)

In light of that unquestionable reality, a change needs to be made…hence redeployment(which can very likely be IN-country, at least partially)

But you just posted an article that indicates our presence there is causing trouble.

Which is it, more or less boots?

Did George Bush happen to pick the exact wrong number of people on the ground?
[/quote]

Pretty much. Too few troops to provide public security, prevent looting, and defeat the insurgency, and too many to remain unobtrusive and not arouse Iraqi nationalist ire. If you look at counter-insurgencies in history, the successful ones tend to be won on one of two models: either huge numbers of boots on the ground (Boer War) or very small numbers of highly-trained advisers (El Salvador). Due to politics and stupidity we chose neither course.

The SUN scores a big leak:

Baker’s Panel Rules Out Iraq Victory

WASHINGTON ? A commission formed to assess the Iraq war and recommend a new course has ruled out the prospect of victory for America, according to draft policy options shared with The New York Sun by commission officials.

Currently, the 10-member commission ? headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker ? is considering two option papers, “Stability First” and “Redeploy and Contain,” both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term.

More telling, however, is the ruling out of two options last month. One advocated minor fixes to the current war plan but kept intact the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections. The second proposed that coalition forces focus their attacks only on Al Qaeda and not the wider insurgency.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, “Stability First,” argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

They also shed light on what is at stake in the coming 2 1/2 months for the Iraqi government. The “Redeploy and Contain” option calls for the phased withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq, though the working groups have yet to say when and where those troops will go. The document, read over the telephone to the Sun, says America should “make clear to allies and others that U.S. redeployment does not reduce determination to attack terrorists wherever they are.” It also says America’s top priority should be minimizing American casualties in Iraq.

Both Mr. Baker and his Democratic co-commissioner, Lee Hamilton, have said for nearly a month that the coming weeks and months are crucial for the elected body in Baghdad. More recently, Mr. Baker has said he is leaning against counseling the president to withdraw from Iraq.

more

How bad is it getting? Perhaps bad enough for a coup:

"As the security situation in Baghdad has deteriorated over the past month, there has been growing talk among Iraqi politicians about a “government of national salvation” – a coup, in effect – that would impose martial law throughout the country. This coup talk is probably unrealistic, but it illustrates the rising desperation among Iraqis as the country slips deeper into civil war.

The coup rumors come from several directions. U.S. officials have received reports that a prominent Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlak, visited Arab capitals over the summer and promoted the idea of a national salvation government, suggesting, erroneously, that it would have American support. Meanwhile, top officials of the Iraqi intelligence service have discussed a plan in which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would step aside in favor of a five-man ruling commission that would suspend parliament, declare martial law and call back some officers of the old Iraqi army.

Frustration with Maliki’s Shiite-led government is strongest among Iraq’s Sunni minority, which dominated the old regime of Saddam Hussein. But as sectarian violence has increased, the disillusionment has spread to some prominent Shiite and Kurdish politicians as well. Some are said to support the juntalike commission, which would represent the country’s main factions and include former interim prime minister Ayad Allawi – still seen by some Iraqis as a potential “strongman” who could pull the country back from the brink."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101201669_pf.html