Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Chapter in Iraq War

President Bush has announced an increase in troops as part of a new plan to finish the mission in Iraq. I'm no military expert, but I greatly respect the opinion of Victor Davis Hanson:
So the increase — no one knows whether the 20,000 number is adequate — could make things far worse by offering more targets and creating more Iraqi dependency if we don’t change our operations. But if the surge ups the ante by bringing a radical new approach on the battlefield as the president promises, then it is worth his gamble.

...But why believe that this latest gamble will work? One, things are by agreement coming to a head: this new strategy will work, or, given the current politics, nothing will. Two, the Iraqis in government know this time Sadr City and Baghdad are to be secured, or it is to be “see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,” and they will be on planes to Dearborn.
In another article, Hanson outlines 8 steps that will help bring success to the mission. Among them:
Emphasize offense. Our new forces are not going to “patrol” or “stabilize” things by their “presence” or “reassurance,” but rather are being sent to Iraq for one purpose: to hunt down and kill or capture terrorists to ensure public confidence that the Americans and the new Iraqi government are going to win. And fence-sitters should make the necessary adjustments.
Where do I stand on the Iraq War? I believe its mission is noble, necessary, and winnable. I've not forgotten the circumstances that led us into it--9/11, Saddam's support of terrorism and Middle East destablization, his refusal to abide by dozens of U.N. resolutions, and his quest for a nuclear bomb.

If Washington has the political will to finish the job, the world will be better for it.

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