February 20, 2006

Immediate Phased Redeployment: Republican Lite?

The Democrats have a sound-bite to counter Bush's "Stay the Course" bumper sticker on the Iraq war. They call it, "Immediate Phased Redeployment".

According to the Boston Globe, Senator Jack Reed, "an Army veteran and former paratrooper, has been charged with developing a strategy on the war for the Democrats. The plan exposes the "false dichotomy" suggested by President Bush: The only options in Iraq are "stay the course" or "cut and run." Globe Article

For some time now, military analysts have observed that the presence of US troops helps fuel the insurgency. Their analyses have included the option of moving forces from urban areas to bases in the countryside. Secretary of Defense William Perry addressed this issue broadly in 1996 [1]. Now Democratic Party leaders are considering this option in the form of a "strategic redeployment" plan, which would relocate US troops elsewhere in the region from where they could respond to emergencies in Iraq. Will this include redeplyoments within Iraq? Is this actually a new plan, or something that is already in the works for which Democrats are attempting to take credit?

Adopting this plan could be considered "progress"; however, it might also fit into the grand strategy for a permanent US presence in Iraq. Given the construction of permanent US bases in Iraq [2], it looks like the two major US political parties are preparing to maintain indefinite US control over Iraq and its natural resources. Once again, this Democratic proposal smells a bit like Republican Lite.


[1] Report to the President and the Congress, "The Protection of US Forces Deployed Abroad," September 15, 1996.

[2] "US military to build four giant new bases in Iraq", Michael Howard in Baghdad
Monday May 23, 2005 Gaurdian Article

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