January 06, 2007
Bush is Following The American Enterprise Institute - hook, line and sinker
As I predicted in my post of January 1, 2007, it is becoming very clear that President Bush has dismissed the work of the Iraq Study Group and has embraced the work of The American Enterprise Group. No need to wait until next week, just go to the American Enterprise website and download the report titled "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq". Just about everything that the President will propose next week is sitting right there.
In the Executive Summary Portion, they outline the basics of the plan. Here they are (I summarize and those items in parens are my comments):
- Ground forces must accept longer tours of duty for several years. National Guard units will have to accept increased deployments during this period.
- Equipment shortages must be overcome by transferring equipment from non-deploying units. The military industry must be mobilized to provide replacement equipment sets urgently (Investment opportunities?? - My comment in the parens)
- The President must request a dramatic increase in reconstruction aid for Iraq (How about New Orleans first?)
- The President must request a substantial increase in ground forces end-strength. The President must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this generation (How about his daughters first?)
- The President and his Representatives in Iraq must forge unity of effort with the Iraqi government.
Deep in the proposal, they basically support what Thomas Ricks said in the book Fiasco. In this book, he showed how the US Military totally blew the identification of the insurgency then blew the actual fighting of the insurgency. These recommendations call for:
- Secure Baghdad first - The US Military will be playing "policeman" in the Country's capital.
- "Live Among the People" - This means "bye bye green zone". All the "warriors" who have been talking about the big war from the security of the Green zone and the internet cafes, gyms etc. are going to learn what real war is like. They are going to move to tents, foxholes and 24 hour vigilance because they will be out among the people.
- Huge amounts of money going to reconstruction. Imagine, we cannot reconstruct New Orleans but we are now going to fix Baghdad.
Overall, this is nothing more than an escalation plan. A surge implies a quick hit and run type thing but even in the AI study, they call for this to be many years long. That is an escalation not a surge.
- If you are an active reservist - see ya later. Good luck, you are going to Iraq for at least two years.
- If you are active duty - move your family home because you are gone for a long time.
- If you are IRR (Individual ready reservist) - Get your finances and family care in order. You are either going to Iraq or you are going to backfill current active troops on bases in the US and Germany.
- There will be a "surge" in US deaths and combat injuries.
- The only way a true escalation would work is to send in at least 100,000 troops. 10,000 to 20,000 are what we call "speed bumps"
No need to wait. Go read it now!!