Friday, October 20, 2006

Stay the course

You know, I was optimistic - despite my better judgement - that when the Americans announced a change in strategies in Baghdad, that a new committment to counter-insurgency would work in Iraq. Despite the fact that I don't believe this is - or was ever - a just war, that doesn't mean I want to see it go badly. So I was curious to see how Operation Forward Together (who named that turd?) would actually play out.

Answer: Not so much goodness, here.
BAGHDAD, Iraq | The U.S-led campaign to curb violence in Baghdad neighborhood by neighborhood has failed, and American officials are looking for a new strategy, a top U.S. military official said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that instead of quelling violence, the campaign, code-named Operation Forward Together, had contributed to a spike in U.S. military deaths.

The operation "has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence," Caldwell said. "We are working very closely with the government of Iraq to determine how best to refocus our efforts."
The clear-and-hold strategy was - or should be - the last hope for any kind of stability in Baghdad. And it's failed so badly that even the military won't lie about it anymore.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Iraq, the Mahdi army has taken over the town of Amara. There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the Brits are going to try and take it back from them, or let the Iraqi "government" do it. Even worse, it seems that this is just the latest indication of Sadr losing control of his own forces.

1 comment:

Adrian MacNair said...

I do not believe there remain any strategies that will work in Iraq now. Short of a complete genocide of Iraqis into compliance (which some believe is already happening by collateral proxy), I don't see the stay-the-course strategy doing anything but creating a bloodier and more appalling Iraq. I mean, this is a country that becomes more and more bloody every day, and each day that you think it's the worst it can get, the next day it becomes worse.