Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Non-Option in Iraq


The political players and the media are now isolating 3 overly simplistic strategies for US policy in Iraq. 1) Go Big 2) Go Long 3) Go Home. Catchy, I guess, but these seem to just be a short-cut to thinking. Only “go long,” (continue the current policy) is even possible based on the way these options are framed. “Go big” would require increases in troop levels, but we don’t have the troops to send for this option. Unless there is a draft, or some drastic measure taken to increase troop levels, this option seems unlikely. “Go home” is possible, but even more unlikely and hardly proposed by anyone. Even the most anti-war democrats propose a redeployment of troops and a gradual withdrawal of major combat troops. “Go long” is of course opposed by a vast majority of the public and is also unlikely.

So…the 3 options being outlined in the mainstream media are all unrealistic and unsophisticated options. My fear is that the public will be frightened into a “go big” approach. Fearful of a never-ending quagmire, but equally scared of Iraq becoming a terrorist haven- some may opt for what seems like a faster solution. I also fear a repeat of Nixon strategy of bringing home troops while escalating bombing and major military operations. I could see this new commission coming up with this kind of a strategy. Get US troops out of the way so we can bomb the militias into submission. This would lead to massive collateral damage, as it did in Cambodia.

The reasonable proposals by Democrats of a Middle East conference and a strategic redeployment are unfortunately being overshadowed by these non-options.


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