Friday, January 12, 2007

Gunfighter's Exit Strategy (I)

A commenter on my recent post about GW Bush's "new" strategy for "victory" in Iraq asked me what my strategy for the extraction of our troops in Iraq would be.

I hope the following gives you a bit of insight into what I think on the issue.

I will resist the strong temptation to talk about the fact that we had no business in invading that country to begin with. Our soldiers are already there, so the focus will remain on how to get them out.

The first thing I would do would be to remove the Marines that are responsible for operations in Anbar province. This particular place is the deadliest area, outside of Baghdad, since the beginning of the war. I would bring those Marines to Baghdad, while plans for redeployment were made (it isn't easy returning hundreds of thousands of troops from a combat zone, believe me).

While these Marines are in Baghdad, they will provide a large and aggressive force to assist the Army and Iraqi security forces. This will bring additional troops to Baghdad without further stretching our already thin forces, thus giving the already doomed Maliki government some more breathing room.

Next, I would bring the U.S. Army troops that are in the Mosul area to Basra, and it's environs, to relieve our British friends, so that they could redeploy immediately. Those same American soldiers would continue to protect the Main Supply Route (MSR) that leads back to Kuwait. I would also bring the Polish division into Baghdad for the reasons listed above.

All American forces would collapse back towards Baghdad, leaving Iraqi forces in their places.

Once our forces were more centrally located near the Capitol, I would start getting the troops out via air and by convoy. Naturally, our presence would get smaller and smaller, most of the last troops leaving by air, leaving behind no small amount of weapons (and advisers) and support equipment for the Iraqi Army.

As for what would happen after we leave Iraq, there are no guarantees about how successful their current government will be. The skeptic in me believes that s soon as our troops leave, the real bloodletting Will begin between Sunni and Shia'... what we are seeing now is nothing to what is coming, I am afraid. What will also happen is that the Sunni units and the Shia units of the Iraqi army will spilt like amoebas to join whomever arises as their particular group's main warlord. The Maliki government will fall, and the likely new leader will be Moqtada Al-Sadr, who will immediately proclaim the Islamic Republic of Iraq.

There it is, friends. Iraq will be an Islamic Republic. Not because of a military failure, but because the only thing that was keeping Iraq secular in the first place, was Saddam Hussein, the bloody dictator that we (the U.S.) took out of the equation.

How's that for bitter irony?


Zanne said...

Ironic and sad. The idealist in me wants to think that even if we shouldn't have gone in to begin with, that somehow our being there could have had some impact for good. Very very sad.

JMK said...

And keep in mind that it was we, the U.S., who put Saddam in power to begin with. Now there's irony for you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so having originally told the Iraqis you would stick around and protect them you are going to hightail it out of there and let the "real bloodletting ... begin".


Grimm said...

Solid strategy my friend. Any chance a copy of this is making its way to your senator?

Personally, I am all for the guy that made the promise to stick around in Iraq.

Two birds - One stone.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Excellent strategy GUNFIGHTER.

I hate the idea of leaving Iraq in shambles because it makes those 3000+ US deaths seem almost meaningless. BUT, we are standing in between two factions, two groups of BROTHERS that are desperate and ready to fight to the death. WE are standing in the way... IN HARMS WAY.

These commenters that are talking about us sticking around just don't seem to realize that you CAN'T force democracy on people! It's like trying to pile gauze on a bullet wound

At some point you will HAVE to get in to the root of the problem and take care of it. The Sunni and Shi'a have problems that go all the way back to 632 when Mohammad died. We are talking about over 1400 years of spiritual differences. Cute little elections and brave [but inept] Iraqi police forces just aren't going to be able to get the job done.

I agree with you GUNFIGHTER when you say The TRUE bloodletting is yet to happen. It is gruesome and it is horrible, but it is the only way Iraq can move towards stabilization. They have to be able to fight the anger and bad blood out of their systems. This most likely won't end up the way BUSH wants things to go, but who he to force HIS will on the whole world. All of the blood from the deaths in this war are still on his uncaring hands.

Gunfighter said...

Mr or Ms Anonymous,

Didn't your parents ever tell you not to make promises that you either couldn't keep or had no intention of keeping?

Staying won't stop that killing. We are seeing that every day. 20,000 more troops can't protect that country.

You do the math, friend. Get back to me when you are done.