Thursday, January 04, 2007

Neocons trying for Little Big Horn

George Armstrong Custer
David Seaton's News Links
The Surge: At this point, Iraq having descended into total chaos, the neocons are advocating a classic, "boots on the ground - hearts and minds", counterinsurgency operation. With Iraqis now only in agreement on one thing, they hate Americans, having American soldiers intensively patrolling the streets of Iraq is an invitation to hundreds of tiny battles of the Little Big Horn. The "butcher's bill" (charming British army term) will be dreadful. "Force Protection" is the obsession of America's professional military. Any hint that US infantry is being used as cannon fodder would dry up recruiting totally. The neocons are famous as "chicken hawks", very generous with the lives of others... especially those of the young rednecks that make up the backbone of America's military caste and who provoke so much derision from Borat. The danger of American unity being openly split on ethnic, class, caste and tribal lines is real. DS
Neocon old guard back on Iraq policy - Los Angeles Times
Abstract: Ever since Iraq began spiraling toward chaos, the war's intellectual architects — the so-called neoconservatives — have found themselves under attack in Washington policy salons and, more important, within the Bush administration.(...) But now, a small but increasingly influential group of neocons are again helping steer Iraq policy. A key part of the new Iraq plan that President Bush is expected to announce next week — a surge in U.S. troops coupled with a more focused counterinsurgency effort — has been one of the chief recommendations of these neocons since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.(...) If Bush goes ahead with the surge idea, along with a shift to a more aggressive counterinsurgency, it would in many ways represent a wholesale repudiation of the outgoing Pentagon leadership. These leaders — particularly former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the departing Middle East commander — strongly resisted more U.S. troops and a larger push into troubled neighborhoods out of fear it would prevent Iraqis from taking over the job themselves and exacerbate the image of America as an occupying power.(...) The neoconservative group had been the driving force in Washington behind a move against Iraq, even before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They saw Hussein as a lingering threat to world security — a view bolstered within the administration following 9/11. And they argued that transforming Iraq into a democracy could serve as a model to remake the Middle East's political dynamics. The problems with the war gradually undermined the clout they had wielded. But perhaps the more important hurdle to their views being heeded — especially on military matters — was the White House's refusal to see its Iraq policy as a failure. READ IT ALL

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