Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Talk on Running Out on Iraq

Clinton is finally standing on Iraq, and is standing, as expected in the wrong place.
Newly returned from a fact-finding trip to Iraq and under growing pressure from antiwar Democrats as she weighs entering the 2008 presidential race, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called Wednesday for a cap on the number of U.S. troops stationed in the war zone.

The New York senator's proposal to freeze troop levels faces dubious prospects in a divided Congress and was quickly spurned by the White House. But the political urge to weigh in against President Bush's "surge" of military personnel to Iraq appeared irresistible.

Even as Clinton unveiled her plan, two of her possible rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination — Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut — announced their own troop cap proposals.

Accusing the Bush administration of a "failed strategy" in Iraq, Clinton said she wanted to freeze the number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq as of Jan. 1, before Bush announced a planned increase of 21,500 troops to help patrol strife-racked Baghdad and Al Anbar province.

"The president is sending mixed signals. We need to change course," Clinton said.
And since the LATimes can't complete the quote, she went on to state that there should be goals set that if not met will mean further withdrawal of troops. That's the way to provide security, remove those who are providing it. Brilliant. Would never have thought of that.

I love the thought of a cap. Nothing like handicapping the Generals who have to make action plans based on reality not on politics. But hey, I'll throw in a Vietnam comparison, since everyone else does. Didn't we learn that you don't let politicians decide how to fight? Especially in committees like the Congress always appears to want to do. Whether your cutting funding or legislating troop caps, your forcing a narrow course for those that actually have to do the job.

Hillary also thinks the troops should go to Afghanistan.
Senator Clinton, who was on her third trip to Iraq, said she was against increasing US troops there.

"I am opposed to this escalation," Mrs Clinton told CBS News.

"I am for putting more troops in Afghanistan," she said, describing Afghanistan as one of the "great missed opportunities".

US forces should be boosted there before an expected spring offensive by the Taleban, she said.
Clever, I'd not have thought of taking troops from a highly unstable area and mass them in a country that is fairly well stabilized by NATO. Not that the collapse of Iraq would cause an increase in the threats in the middle-east and elsewhere. But let's do this, since it's such a great strategy to decrease the threats from terrorism. No doubt the terrorists won't move into a fractured Iraq and use it as a further training space for their fight against us. Considering there won't be any troops there to ferret them out and destroy them, seems like a good way to ensure failure.

I also have to love this article with it's Albright analysis.
Meanwhile Madeleine Albright, US secretary of state under Democratic President Bill Clinton, described the Bush strategy as less a statement of policy than a prayer.

"It was not about reality. It was about hope. But hope is not a strategy. Iraqis will continue to act in their own best interests as they perceive them and we must act in ours," she told a hearing at the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Right. I always seek out a diplomat when looking for a solution to a security issue. Her analysis is so clueless that it's nearly fascinating. That statement is the pinnacle of not saying anything of substance while damning the strategy. One wonders if her analysis of the economic and political strategy are nearly as astute.

There also is the renewed yells for partitioning of Iraq. I love the call for an "orderly" partitioning. As if there would be any chance of that occurring. The Iranians are discussing this. Look at this article. I won't speak to the veracity of the source, but it is amusing.
The details of President Bush's plan to partition Iraq and reward Iran can be found at In brief, President Bush's plan would dissolve Baghdad's central government, aside from a residual administrative entity that would regulate Iraq's oil sector, most likely on a temporary basis. The Bush Plan would also permit the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, Shiastan, and Sunnistan in place of the Baghdad government. Each new state would have its own militia. The US would withdraw most of its troops in Iraq to Kurdistan to deter Turkey from intervention against Kurdish independence.

The consequences of President Bush's Iraq partition plan will all be negative. For this reason Bush's plan is strongly opposed by all of Iraq's neighbors, aside from Iran.
Anyone else hear of this plan? At least they are realistic about the results of such a plan. You can depend on huge amounts of sectarian and ethnic cleansing and an escalation in violence. The results may be more stable, but the payment for that stability will me monstrous.

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