Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Morale of the Troops

One of the canards that Iraq war apologists like to feed critics of the war in an (increasingly futile) effort to get them to shut up is that debating the merits of escalation will somehow demoralize the troops, who will find themselves only one-third or less as eager to fight the militias and the insurgents when they know that people back at home are seriously wondering about the future of the war. But as it turns out, many of our soldiers' support of the escalation appears to be undermined not so much by what people are saying at home, but by...well, the war itself (via Kevin Drum):

Soldiers interviewed across east Baghdad, home to more than half the city's 8 million people, said the violence is so out of control that while a surge of 21,500 more American troops may momentarily suppress it, the notion that U.S. forces can bring lasting security to Iraq is misguided.

....Almost every foot soldier interviewed during a week of patrols on the streets and alleys of east Baghdad said that Bush's plan would halt the bloodshed only temporarily. The soldiers cited a variety of reasons, including incompetence or corruption among Iraqi troops, the complexities of Iraq's sectarian violence and the lack of Iraqi public support, a cornerstone of counterinsurgency warfare.

Of course for those on the right to whom the soldiers are merely prop to be used against war critics, such reports will be met with deafening silence.

1 comment:

Vince Leibowitz said...

I sent you an email. Did you get a chance to read it yet?