May 3, 2007

How Long Can US Hang on in Iraq?

I've recently written, and debated on Mahablog, about my sense that the Democrats won't make a move to "own this war" until sometime after November 2008. The Democrats will stay in Iraq even if they take office in 2008, and won't get to choose when combat operations stop.

Then, I made a counter-argument to my position, debating the other side. On the April 23, 2007 Flashpoints radio program, Former CIA analyst McGovern said:

We may be able to have permanent military bases for a year or two, it's not going to be possible to keep them. It's just not possible in this day and age to invade an occupy a country the size of Iraq with 140,000, or if you put in 500,000 it still wouldn't work.

He cites 1.3 billion "ticked off" Muslims, porous boarders, and General Petraus's book on counter insurgency.

Today, we read that a rocket attack on the Green Zone "killed four Filipino contractors working for the U.S. government." We also learned that this "was the third straight day that the zone was hit by rockets or mortars, heightening concerns about security in the area." And we all remember, on April 12, DemocracyNow and others reported:

An explosion has been reported inside the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad. There are early reports at least two Iraqi parliament members were killed and others injured. The blast took place inside a cafeteria where Iraqi parliamentarians were eating lunch. The parliament building is located inside Baghdad’s heavily-guarded Green Zone.

Cafeteria Bombing in Green Zone

Car Bombing in Green Zone

Hmmm... Bush sends 20,000+ additional forces to secure Baghdad, and there are "heightening concerns" about security in the most secure part of Baghdad. I'll grant it makes sense to have more US casualties during this surge, but one would think there would be more security. If the US is counting on attrition to turn the corner, they might want to get more fingers to count on.

If the Democrats wait just a little longer, according to McGovern, the insurgency might do their job for them. I think they're going to wait until at least November 2008.


4 killed in Green Zone rocket attack, Associated Press, May 2, 2007, THOMAS WAGNER.

Photo Credit: This famous picture is the supposedly the property of Corbus-Bettman Archives. It was originally a UPI photograph that was taken by an Dutchman, Mr. Hugh Van Es.

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