Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bush's Strategy for Iraq

Hey kids, guess what? George Bush (or, more accurately, the National Security Council) has articulated a strategy for victory in Iraq, and you can even download a .pdf of the document here. I've only taken a cursory look at it, but at least on the surface it makes a reasonable amount of good sense. So we can be thankful for that. But couldn't he actually give us more concrete, measurable goals? Everything's qualitative, not quantitative. Definitions could be fudged either way. I have a feeling that a year from now, the President's supporters will be able to point to the language in this document and say, "See, the strategy is working!" and his opponents will be able to use the same language and say, "See the strategy isn't working!" But hey, at least it's a strategy. And only two and a half years into the war. What the hell has he been doing since 2003, just winging it?

Fred Kaplan at Slate frames it this way:

To put this in perspective: From December 1941 to August 1945, the U.S. government mobilized an entire nation; manufactured a mighty arsenal; played a huge role in defeating the armies, air forces, and navies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; and emerged from battle poised to shape the destiny of half the globe. By comparison, from September 2001 to December 2005, the U.S. government has advanced to the point of describing a path to victory in a country the size of California.

Scroll down to the bottom of Page 17 in the strategy document and find this piece of advice on "Continued Challenges in the Political Sphere"

Nurturing a culture of reconciliation, human rights, and transparency in a society scarred by three decades of arbitrary violence and rampant corruption.

Maybe if they actually felt like implementing this they could, oh, I dunno, maybe ban torture or be a bit more judicious when they round up civilians and throw them in jail and stuff like that.


At Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 3:49:00 PM PST, Blogger Ryan said...

If you haven't done so, pick up this month's Atlantic Monthly. Lots of good stuff, with the toplined item James Fallows' carefully researched article on the botched training of the Iraqi army.

You can't come up with a plan if you're honest about the situation on the ground.

At Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 3:50:00 PM PST, Blogger Ryan said...

It should say if "you're not honest about the situation on the ground."

At Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 3:55:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah. Everything revolves around getting the Iraqi troops ready, but I've heard before that they're not very close on that. I let my subscription to the Atlantic Monthly lapse a while ago, but I should pick it up again.

At Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 5:09:00 PM PST, Anonymous clynne said...

You left out the part where after Bush's opponents use the ambiguous language to show how he hasn't achieved his goals, the Republican PR machine swings into gear with hundreds of talking heads saying "nuh-uh! Also, my Democratic opponent eats babies and hates America!"

...and everyone ends up believing them.



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