Military needs until Novermber to evaluate Iraq surge effect

This Los Angeles Times articlecomes as no surprise.

The Operations Officer for Iraq stated that although a report will be made in September, the military really needs until November to make a good assessment of the surge.

It appears to me that Keith Olberman might have hit the nail on the head. The preparations are being made to blame the public, the Democrats and everyone but GW for failure in Iraq. If the additional time isn’t granted the administration can, and likely will, say, “The Generals said they needed more time and the Democrat congress stabbed them and our heroic soldiers in the back.”

This resembles a Ponzi scheme. After the scheme is exposed and the collapse comes many victims insist that if the scheme’s operator had been given just a little more time everything would have worked out.

Shit, David, people on this message board predicted that three years ago. You could tell a long time ago the seeds were already being planted to blame the liberals/Democrats for the entire fiasco. And there is no course of events that could possibly happen that will prevent them from blaming the failure of the Iraq War on the liberals/Democrats. (“Liberal,” in this context, means “anyone who disagrees with Dick Cheney on Iraq.”)

We just need a couple more Friedman units, guys, before we turn that final corner into freedomland. What, you didn’t think something that hasn’t worked for four years will all the sudden turn around in a couple weeks, did ya?

Also, another important facet of the final excuses will be the Iraqi people themselves. Actually, it’s already been put to use, in certain circles. You know how it goes: oh those pesky Arabs, we gave them democracy on a silver platter and they acted like petulant children! Why were they so angry? We just ruined their country a little bit over the past decade, no big deal…it’s just like Indiana, the car bombs always come out in the summer. Or maybe I’m thinking of cicadas.

Risght, but GW has been pounding away that the theme “I’ll let the Generals decide.” and now a General has said more time is needed.

Generals do not decide when a war has been satisfactorily won, politicians do. In WWII FDR and Winnie settled on “unconditional surrender” and that’s the criterion that “the Generals (and Admirals)” used.

Now GW is in a position to say that “the Generals” said we needed more time and it would have worked if that Democrat congress hadn’t pulled the plug just when things were about to turn.

:confused: November?! What happened to September?!

November? More like…summer. Of next year, that is.

General Odierno, or his staff, has since “clarified” his statement but what he said was clear.

In effect - September? Oh, we’ll gove you a report in September all right but it won’t be worth a damn. To get the straight dope you’ll have to wait until Novermber. Even the generals do not agree. Why do we wait for Patraeus. This is another stalling attempt.

Huh? The article you linked to mentions how a General in Northern Iraq thinks that his area of command should have troop reductions and a scaling back of presence there because the Iraqi government and Army are approaching a point where they can handle the security situation there.

This is good news, that’s the whole overarching goal for us in Iraq, to make it self-sufficient and the government and army capable of running the country. Iraq, as you may know, is divided into several different provinces, and different areas of religious/ethnic control. Not all areas are the same, pointing to a general who wants to withdraw troops from northern Iraq isn’t pointing out a conflict with generals who advocated more troops in Baghdad, it’s two different situations.

Am I the only one to whom the phrase “surge effect” is evocative of plot devices from DC comics in the 1970s? (The “Omega Effect” and all that . . .)

From the quoted article:

This of course, is a major problem with this war. There have never been any real planning – only hopes that things will take care of themselves.

Didn’t one of Charles Dickens characters bumble along hoping that “something will turn up”?

[Claude Rains] I’m shocked! Shocked, I say! [/CR] Every day, this administration gets more and more pathetic. They could shut down most of the debate about Iraq if they would just come up with a comprehensive plan!

Haven’t we seen this before? Oh, yeah …

Might as well call just it Kurdistan. Its overall internal security and stability, the result of its general ethnic homogeneity, haven’t been in serious doubt since it was the Northern No-Fly Zone.

If you see the completion of one phase, and the easiest and least bloody phase at that, of the partition of Iraq as a *success * now, well, that’s indeed the best we can hope for realistically. Except you’re still using the *singular * in referring to Iraq, aren’t you? Oh, dear.

For a long time I have read that the real threat for north Iraq is if they have a separate Kurd state on the border of Turkey it will be viewed as a serious problem. Turkey does not want a Kurd state. They have their Kurd problem under control. Sort of.

The only measure of success in Iraq worth arguing about is a measurement taken after all foreign powers are withdrawn. Anything short of that is meaningless in direct proportion to the number of remaining foreign troops.

Suppose the Surge completely eliminated all violence. What would that mean as long as occupying powers were present enforcing the peace? Nothing. It certainly wouldn’t mean that progress has been made to fix underlying problems. It would only mean that the presence of an occupying force could help to quell active violence. The last inference you could draw from that is that it is an indicator that the occupying force could be drawn down.

I cannot understand why anyone wants measurements of any kind while foreign troops are in Iraq. If it is indeed a militarily winnable “war” then the endpoint is a surrender or a truce followed by a period of consolidation and rebuilding. It would be beyond stupidity (but perhaps not beyond Mr Bush) to consider a lull in violence a marker of progress any more than the Germans should have found solace in the days prior to Normandy.

If it’s just a bunch of fanatics on all sides–including the foreign powers–then there is no measurement that makes any sense at a given point in time.

I am therefore disinclined to put any weight at all on indicators of any kind.

-Tossed in here because come September, or November, or the first of never, someone will start trumpeting about the ‘improved’ infrastructure in Iraq:
U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports

I expect that the minus four percent figure will stage a mysterious comeback in August, and Tony Snow will inform us that the electrons of freedom are now ‘flowing like water’ in Baghdad.

The BBC is reporting that the US isn’t getting the gear to the Iraqi military that it needs.

Expect to resubmit a variation on this post in November.