Stay the course, indeed

Monday, June 05, 2006 at 06:18 PM

I had to post this; rarely have I heard a more succinct and damning description of what Bush has accomplished in Iraq.

From a summary of a discussion sponsored by the Straus Military Reform Project, part of the Center for Defense Information (emphasis added):

Col. Chet Richards is a retired Air Force intelligence and Middle East expert.  He has written extensively on the thinking of the American strategist John Boyd, especially in two monographs published by the Straus Military Reform Project and the Center for Defense Information (The Swift Elusive Sword and Neither Shall the Sword).  On May 25, 2006, Richards presented to the press his analysis of why the war in Iraq continues to go so poorly, and why the war is now lost, and - indeed - has been lost from the start.  In summary, Richards points out that President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have addressed every element of what constitutes "grand strategy," but, unfortunately, for each component, they got it exactly wrong: their actions have weakened, not built up, American morale and support for the war; they have helped enemies pump up their own morale and motivation; they have fractured the alliances of the United States with traditional partners while at the same time facilitating the enemies' cohesion, and they have failed to win over, if not actually alienate, many of those who were neutral to America's cause - while in some respects making all too many of the uncommitted sympathetic to elements of the enemies' cause.

The other speaker at this event was Col. Douglas Macgregor..."a decorated veteran of the first Gulf War in 1991 and the author of Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation Under Fire, which many in the Army have adopted as a guidebook for meaningful reform."  Macgregor argued that the American failures in Iraq have been at both the strategic and operational levels.

The summary author concludes:

Both of these unhappy, professional assessments observe - contrary to prevailing conventional wisdom among critics - which a larger American military presence in Iraq now or in 2003 would certainly not have avoided the problems the United States encountered, and both imply a continuation of all the undesirable trends - not a graceful exit - as long as the American occupation of Iraq continues.