Monday, July 7, 2008

Iraq (what else?): why are we there?

Recent commentary - from cable news to the New Yorker's Talk of the Town suggest that the "success" of the surge has left Obama adrift. All cite the apparent "success" of the surge in reducing the daily violence, and the apparent emergence of more-or-less democratic Iraqi institutions as evidence that Obama's anti-war stance could prove a liability in November.

Well... maybe. But only if Obama accepts W's framing of the issue.

Me? I'm still waiting to hear just exactly what are our strategic objectives in Iraq. What is it we want to achieve? What is the end-state we envision?

If low-level domestic violence (only a couple of car-bombings/week) is what we want - great! We've achieved it!

If oil production is what we want... well, are we getting there? How 'bout simply say, "We want Iraq's oil." That at least guides policy. Forget Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra! Concentrate our forces in the oil-fields and along the major pipelines to ensure a steady supply!

I've said this frequently: with no strategic objectives it's impossible to either figure out our next steps or know when we've succeeded. Maintaining a military presence simply as policemen, to keep a lid on sectarian, civil violence, dooms us to an eternal presence. Is this what we want?

Stop the madness!

1 comment:

  1. The object of war is peace. -- Sun Tzu

    The only object of our invasion of Iraq was to start a fight, and it's not in the neocons' plans to have peace, they want eternal hostility, just like Big Brother in 1984.