Thursday, January 04, 2007

Why Escalation?

Supposedly, the rationale for escalation in Iraq is that it will permit us to bring security to Baghdad (then to the rest of Iraq one may presume.) But given how there is no credible explanation for how 20,000 or 30,000 more troops will do what 140,000 have so far been unable to, it's quite clear that the rationale for sending more troops has less to do with the Iraqis and more to do with the mind-set of the people who desire to send them over, our President included (via Dan Froomkin):
"...the 'surge' is a classic example of a loser's strategy, and it is about to be put in place by a bunch of losers. The 'surge' is about saving face rather than achieving an objective, and, let me say it right here, it's a guy thing. It's like 'going down fighting', except that those who are going to be going down aren't going to be those who want to save face."

No doubt President Bush and pundits like Fred Kagan sincerely hope and believe that thousands more troops will make a difference in Iraq. I hope the same thing. I just don't believe it. The reason they hope and believe so fervently is because they are afraid to admit to failure, afraid to admit that there is nothing else we can do in Iraq. Soldiers will die in numbers greater than those we saw at the end of the year, because our President is simply afraid to admit to losing a war we have already lost. And with this plan, he won't have to. This inaptly-named "surge", which entails slowly increasing our forces in Iraq over a period of months, and then-under Kagan's plan at least-keeping them there for eighteen months, means that President Bush will in all liklihood be able to escape from office without having to admit defeat, without having to coordinate the draw-down that is the only responsible action left to take. And so he will avoid the consequences of his actions, at least those that come with still being in charge (this history books will not be so kind), but our soldiers and their families will feel them quite directly.

As an aside, if you are a visitor to this website (either a fellow blogger, or simply a reader) who opposes this escalation, you have a duty to write President Bush and your members of Congress to tell them so. For bonus points, write your local paper and tell the members of your community why a "surge" is a bad idea.

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