Well, I have done a few posts here and there on the situation in Iraq and will give the flavor of them. So you will get much verbiage and some accreditation before I continue on with the main point. For those of you familiar with my outlook, a scroll down will be faster than reading.
First up at Texas Fred's site on the attitude of Condaleeza Rice on Iraq and where things are going, I posted this comment:
Probably repeating myself, but why not?
Even if Afghanistan and Iraq descend into absolute chaos and sectarian violence, and that spreads to Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey, that would not be so bad. Terrorists would just be another faction and without their state sponsors to supply them they would not have much leverage. Absolute chaos is a good thing.
If there can be just enough of a political establishment in both countries to turn it into large factional struggles politically or via low-level conflict, that would mean that outsiders would come to be viewed very harshly, indeed. Most factional struggles turn vicious on outsiders trying to take their precious fights from them. Again, terrorists would just be supporting one faction or be another faction and have no State leverage. That would be a Good Thing (patent pending).
The worst of all possible worlds is an Authoritarian state supplying terrorists. That is what we are breaking up in the Muddle East. If we can do that to another couple of states, and get them either into absolute chaos or internecine factionalism, that will eat up their time and they will have no time for external terrorism. That is a Very Good Thing (patent pending).
And when the Canadian Oil Sands are in full production, their neighbor to the South will buy up every last barrel and be a ready market, and we shall kiss the Muddle East good-bye if they have not given Us friendship and then watch their house of cards tumble as their oil production flattens and goes down and the money starts to dry up and the factions squabble over *that*.
That would be a Most Excellent Very Good Thing. If we can keep the hotheads from blowing it.
So pollyanna, isn't it? But lets face it, literally ANYTHING is better than directed Totalitarian states hooking up with Transnational Terrorists. Even complete chaos is better.
Then at Wretchard the Cat's site, he had an analysis of what the Ba'athists and sectarian militias were trying to do and I posted a comment to lighten up the doom and gloomery:
The US Forces have also implemented a training feedback cycle unlike anything I can think of. Daily and weekly material goes back to stateside training areas so that troops spinning up to deploy get to go through the scenarios, analyze them, look at different motives and conflict types, go through those, then feed that back to the in-theater troops. They use that, analyze it and see if anything makes sense, try it out, see what happens, feedback... etc. Plus all soldiers are getting basic language and cultural training and it becomes more intense the higher in rank.Just as the Germans learned at Stalingrad. By not teaching about military history people think that a battle means just one thing... while it is a complex array of things happening together and to look at a single aspect loses the entire context of the conflict.
As to Baghdad... I remember the predictions of 'Stalingrad', meaning to those doing the predicting it would eat up any armored force. My reply was, 'Yes, it will be a sniper's heaven to demoralize the enemy. And we have the best snipers around.' And what really happened was a synthesis of new warfare operations that broke down heavy armor units to support and be supported by infantry, snipers and CAS. As we refined our capability, got better at adjusting to the local environment and learned who to trust, information flowed in... and the various enemies started to unravel.
The overall goal of ensuring a Three Part Iraq is proving out to be a good one. No one in their right mind wants to have a two-sided civil war in a three section state. The less we hear of the Kurds, the more their influence shows. As two sides squabble the Kurds look on, simply smiling... if asked to bring peace they would and I do believe the New Iraqi Army would help. Luckily the Army doesn't need that so the Kurds can tend to their knitting becoming more of a trade and manufacturing area day by day. Building a civil society to meet their needs. By quiet demonstration they are showing the way to peace through armed security for a civil society. And waiting for the children in the south to settle down and join them. Unstated, but always there. 'If we backwards Kurds can do this, then why can't you?' And that is the wound that will finally bring down the sectarian militias.
Ensured civil security.
It took Poles to give the lie to Communism and the Worker's Paradise.
And it looks like it will take Kurds to show the Arabs on how to build peace.
A *lot* of steps between here and there, but that is looking to be the heart of the end-game to the factional violence. It could all go to pot, but all the trend lines point differently.
So let the combined units roam to bring peace, under the watchful eyes of snipers as the insurgents get *plinked* to death from silent fire day and night. Better a stand up fight than ignominious death from nowhere... day after day. For that will surely destroy the morale of the enemy...
Do note that I also synthesize my idea of why there will be no Iraqi Civil War into that. Truly the end-game is shaping up even as the middle act is still in play. And I espand a bit on that at Neo's site, with this post in which I add some commentary on the goings on in Iraq:
This latest round of violence... the post Golden Mosque one... you know the one the Iraqi Army quieted down without killing anyone, and that Sunni Imams donated a huge chunk of cash to the Golden Mosque to have it rebuilt because they revere it too... is Ba'athist. They have been using Saddam's billions to purchase uniforms via terrorist networks as seen in the recent riverine raids where hundreds of uniforms and ID making equipment were found.And so I synthesize many ideas together in that post. Needless to say I have been trying to keep abreast of things going on in Iraq, and so it was with pleasure that I visited Austin Bay's blog, in which he gives us a Strategypage look at the current goings on in Iraq.
The terrorists have been on the run from the Coalition, Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, and, now, Shia and Sunni militias who are trying to justify their existance after the Golden Mosque bombing (most likely instigated by terrorists).
We are at the Iraqi end-game for internal cleansing of: terrorists, Ba'athists, and sectarian militias. The Iraqi Army has stated over and over that it will take no sides and enforce peace on *everyone* so that civilian rule may prevail. And the southern Shia and Sunni sects are realizing their militias are now in the cross-hairs, as do the Ba'athists. And they also know that the THIRD side of Iraq wants peace and the military just might follow them if they can't get their act together in the south.
For if you really want to see a dispirited set of sects, think of what it would be like for them to have to honor the Kurds as peacemakers! And I do believe the Army would help heartily in that if the Kurds asked them to. Possibly relocate Parliament northwards so they can have civil sessions.
If you can only see two sides in Iraq, then you will have no idea what will happen. And as the Shia coalition breaks apart into smaller factions, a coalition government between break-away Shias, Sunni and Kurds will need to come together. And the Iraqi Army will continue to knock heads until they do.
Oh, and the reason the Ba'athists are staging now? Revenge killings are now the largest number of killings in Iraq on a monthly basis. These are personal pay-backs to Ba'athists that lorded it over the mere population for over 3 decades. Somehow I don't see them coming back into power any time soon... or any time at all for that matter. Not that fighting will help them one damn bit.
My guess is Baghdad and all of Iraq under control of the New Iraqi Army by years end. They are getting a hard training in logistics and supply right now, as well as combat smarts. They still need some aerial capability and logistical help, and leavening here and there, but large scale unit ops is now well within their capability and there are many ops that are now fully independent of the Coalition going on.
Just another decade of destabilizing Totalitarianism in the Muddle East. Give Canada time to get the Oil Sands into full production. And then see the bottom of the house of cards removed from the Muddle East.
Patience and shrewd work is the key to long-term victory now. Even absolute chaos is better than totalitarianism.
Yes, trend-line analysis has been looking good in Iraq for quite some time and continues to do so. As my Uncle Joe used to say, and which I apply to the MSM:
"Figures don't lie. But liars sure *can* figure!"Truer words were never spoken! So whenever people want to naysay Iraq, I just ask them to point to the trend lines showing gloom and doom... and either they give me something 2 or more years out of date or say: 'Well we have lost X many lives there!'
To which I reply: "Yes, and the death toll goes up in this country every day. And the world. Should we abandon both while we are still alive?"
I remember my history teacher asking when the turning point was in the European theater of World War II. Needless to say my hand shot up (as did a number of others)... that instructor had learned and called on a few other first and not getting the desired response, and knowing I was not going to give him the one he *wanted* but one that *did* answer the question, I responded: The tank battle at Kursk.
"Well," he said," that actually is true, but not the generally perceived turning point..."
And the whispers across the room started... 'What did he say?'... 'Which battle?'... 'You mean it wasn't...?'
Yes, it wasn't D-Day. That just confirmed that the end would be swift. Stalingrad stopped the momentum of the German Army, but Kursk reversed the tide on the counter-attack. And it was Kursk that confirmed the trend line... if you actually bothered to study the war... and not just listen to the documentaries.
In Iraq the trend-lines have been going solidly in our favor since the standing up of the New Iraqi Army, and there is not a single trend-line pointing to defeat. Failure by lack of political will is possible, but as the trends continue, it will be harder and harder to justify leaving Iraq to fall into chaos. And the naysayers should be warned, the Jacksonians just *left* the political scene after the betrayal of Vietnam... this will bring them back with fire in their eye as treachery will be seen.
And the trend lines in the US Population is demonstrating this as the MSM falls further and further downwards and both political parties hover in the Used Car Salesman area of trustworthiness. Like any supersaturated solution, it looks extremely stable until just one minor thing happens... and then there is a sudden change of state as a new form crystallizes nearly instantly.
THAT is where the electorate stands today.
Just one little thing.