Despite the success of President George W Bush’s Surge strategy in Iraq, those of the “progressive” persuasion are still reluctant to recognize it and give due credit to the former President.
So what if the Surge had not happened? What if for example John Kerry had won in 2004 and decided to pull out of Iraq in 2006 or '07 once it got unpopular.
Most likely without the support of the US at that time Iraq would have fallen into civil war, ethnic cleansing, and chaos comparable to possibly Rwanda. Iraq would have split into three states-a Kurdish state in the north clashing with Turkey and Iran, some sort of a Sunni state in the the center (could be either extremnist or moderate), and an Iranian Shiite puppet in the south. In addition a defeat in Iraq would give us another Vietnam syndrome after the first one had been cured by Grenada and Desert Storm.
It’s perhaps worth noting here that I really don’t care what the Surge may or may not have accomplished, and whether Bush the Younger deserves credit for it.
The invasion of Iraq was ill-conceived, ill-planned, ill-executed, and ill-legal. Bush deserves all the blame for that. If you’re attempting to rehabilitate his reputation, at least have the good sense to wait until after he’s croaked. You’ll outlive most of us; you’ll have that chance.
I agree the Iraq War was probably a mistake based on faulty intelligence and miscalculation but not an intentional war out of evil reasons. However once it happened what are you supposed to do. We should clean up the mess,
Not likely anywhere close to Rwanda as the conditions were not similar or comparable.
In point of fact, the Surge did help stabilize the country. However, pretending that “it” did the job is nothing more than wishful thinking. Several other factors were at least as important, (and, in many cases, more so).
In the period running up to the Surge and continuing through it, the Allies were making a considered, (if rarely publicized), effort to “neutralize” the mid-level leaders of excessively violent factions. People like Muqta al Sadr were left alone rather than spurring major riots by capturing or killing him, but a number of lower level leaders were silenced, through incidents that led to their imprisonment or death. This activity was not carried out by more troops, but by units already engaged in those actions.
As to ethnic cleansing, it may have been the most important source of the current “stability,” since it was nearly completely successful. While there was far less of the sort of bulldozing of homes and murder or people that we have seen in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere, what happened, instead, was that in every neighborhood that was integrated between Sunni and Shi’a, whichever group was the minority in that place was threatened with death if they did not leave. The result was a major shift in population with people leaving their homes and moving to neighborhoods where they simply took over the abandoned homes of people from the opposite sect, resulting in a nearly completely segregated society. The violence died down when there was no point to attacking one’s neighbors because they all shared one’s own beliefs. In fact, much of the military action of the Surge was nothing more than overseeing these forced relocations to ensure that they took place peacefully. U.S. troops did not engage in threatening people or telling them to move, however, when a family finally decided they could take it no longer and left their homes, U.S. troops often guarded them to make sure that they were not harmed during the move.
If that is the criteria for declaring the Surge a success, I am not at all sure that we should be proud of it.