Thursday, December 14, 2006

The best laid plans...

The Pentagon

December 13, the Los Angeles Times:
WASHINGTON -- As President Bush weighs new policy options for Iraq, strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a plan to "double down" in the country with a substantial buildup in U.S. troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Moqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff will present their recommendations to Bush on Wednesday. Military officials have argued that an intensified effort might be the only way to get the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy right and provide a chance for victory.
December 14, the Washington Post:
The nation's top uniformed leaders are recommending that the United States change its main military mission in Iraq from combating insurgents to supporting Iraqi troops and hunting terrorists, said sources familiar with the White House's ongoing Iraq policy review.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney met with the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday at the Pentagon for more than an hour, and the president engaged his top military advisers on different options. The chiefs made no dramatic proposals but, at a time of intensifying national debate about how to solve the Iraq crisis, offered a pragmatic assessment of what can and cannot be done by the military, the sources said.

The chiefs do not favor adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq, said sources familiar with their thinking, but see strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to achieving some degree of stability. They also are pressing for a much greater U.S. effort on economic reconstruction and political reconciliation.
Mike notes that the JCS are worried about the ability to handle new problems with so many troops in Iraq. One pre-war reason to invade Iraq was the ability to position a garrison in a difficult region. Our positioning has lead to more trouble.

Lest we think that only American leaders are struggling through the Iraq mess...

Saudi Arabia

The Associated Press:
CAIRO, Egypt - Saudi Arabia's royal family and government leaders are deeply divided over how to handle the growing crisis in Iraq and other looming Mideast problems such as Iran, with some favoring strong aid to fellow Sunnis and others more cautious.

The split played a key role in this week's abrupt resignation of the Saudi ambassador to Washington. It also could hurt U.S. efforts to forge a new overall strategy to calm Iraq.

Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times:
The Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki faces domestic and international pressure to secure streets and provide services. Maliki blames his government's shortcomings in part on the ministers appointed under pressure from his coalition partners. Talks between Maliki, Cabinet officials and political party leaders were underway Wednesday to reshuffle the posts.

"We're trying to strengthen the position of the prime minister," said Diya Din Fayyad, a Shiite Muslim member of parliament. "There's an agreement to change the ministries."


Blogger Chuck said...

God only knows where the truth lies in the 2 newspaper articles. I hope it is with the LA Times rather than WaPo. Either way it goes, one thing is certain: Maliki needs to go.

Maliki's timidness and failure to confront Sadr is the primary reason for the escalation of the terrorism, call them insurgents if you wish, and the pending collapse of the Iraq government. He took a golden opportunity and threw it away. The meek shall not inherit Iraq, the biggest and baddest will.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the biggest and baddest will."

He's locked up in jail Chuck!

US beginning to learn just what problems Saddam had to confront all the time.

Now US is suffering from the law of unintended consequences. Rummy should have learned to play chess. It would have immeasurably improved his ability to think several moves ahead. Contrast with the Persians who invented the game and clearly winning, having had America dispose of neighbourhood enemies Iraq and the Taliban for them. They are possibly hoping that the US will also take care of Turkey, the Saudis,the Kurds and Israel.

7:44 PM  

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