John McCain has been out and about on the campaign trail extolling the Surge. It is well past time to look at the claim of how the Surge is a “success.”
First off what is the Surge and what are its goals? The military part was rather simple; the Surge is essentially a rebranded troop escalation. 21,000 more service members were added into
Tactically it worked- more physical presence did help with security. The extra boots on the ground were very helpful in hunting down foreign insurgents. However the big change on the ground was the attitude of the Sunni leaders. The Al Qaeda wanna-bes in
Thus was the back of “Al Qaeda in
The other thing that has brought about a respite in the civil conflict has been ethnic cleansing. Shia and Sunnis no longer live together. The surge has done nothing for either the two million internally displaced Iraqis or for the two million external refugees. It has been a brutal rearrangement of the map.
The only area still undetermined is around
Seeing as McCain still can not figure out the difference between Sunnis and Shia, it is not likely that he has any answer of how to handle the Kurds. Not to blame him too much for this; there was nary a peep out of any of our so called leaders about the Kurds. The administration has turned a blind eye to Turkish incursions into Kurdish territories.
Enough about the Gordian knot of the Kurds, back to the Surge. Let us remember why the surge was proposed in the first place. The Surge was supposed to help bring about political unity by providing a breathing space. Calm would be imposed and then political healing would begin. As we have seen calm came mainly by either purchasing it via the awakening councils or by ethnic cleansing. The underlying divides of
Much of the happy talk about
The Kurdish north is another possible “setback” to McCain. A massive invasion of the Iraqi north by the Turks is not beyond the realm of possibility. The Turkish people are at the breaking point with the PKK guerrillas. One more PKK strike may force the Turkish government to invade and occupy northern
Even if the Kurds find a way to play well with others there are still the awakened Sunnis. They are the enemies of our enemies, they are not our friends. When the insurgency first started they were fighting against the occupation. Just a few short months ago they were killing and maiming coalition servicemembers by any means available. They stopped because we offered them money, training and a way to eject the foreign Jhadies. They will not stand for a long-term foreign presence on their land. They tolerate us because we arm them, we train them, and we pay them. They can go back to fighting each other, the Shia or the
Never mind all that, McCain says the “surge is working” He has “seen the progress on the ground” The indications of progress are there for everyone to see. Its progress when McCain can no longer revisit the Shorja market even with his retinue of 100 servicemembers and five helicopters. Interesting measurement of progress that McCain wants to show to Barack Obama. “Yes Barack, things are going so great in