Bush's Iraq strategy 2007
Article added on January 12, 2007 (last update: 17.00 Swiss time)
President Bush's plan to send additional 21,500 troops
to Iraq has drawn criticism from the American public, from Democrats and
Republicans as well as from Iraqi politicians and "ordinary" citizens. Some
of the criticism is justified:
although the bulk of the new troops will help to control Baghdad, it is
difficult to believe that just 21,500 additional
soldiers will make a difference, especially considering that past increases
in troop levels had no impact.
The violence in Iraq and especially in its capital, Baghdad, has reached an
intolerable level. It is up to the occupier to restore order and security.
The Iraqis themselves have been unable to recruit enough policemen and
soldiers. More troops are needed. President Bush Jr. and the courageous
Senator John McCain are right on this.
However, 20,000 or 30,000 additional soldiers are unlikely to have a
dramatic impact. Considering that several United States generals initially estimated
that several hundred thousand troops were needed to occupy Iraq (some
300,000 to 400,000 soldiers), the U.S. would probably have to double its current
number of troops in Iraq (some 130,000 currently) to change the security
situation. Neither Bush nor a Senator as courageous in this matter as John McCain is prepared to do so, not to mention the American
taxpayer. The American military is already overstretched anyway. Are we
already in a no-win situation?
Bush's plan is to increase both the number of American and Iraqi troops and
to increase the U.S. financial aid to Iraq. This is probably the only way to cope with the situation.
However, aid from the global community is scarce and where it flows, it is
not efficiently allocated.
In the past,
the Iraqi government has been unable to increase the number of policemen
and soldiers to a level sufficient to control the country. Too many Iraqi
policemen and soldiers are informers of insurgents and/or
terrorists, or are even insurgents or terrorists themselves. Bush has put
pressure on the Iraqi government stressing that both the American and the
Iraqi public are running out of patience with the Iraqi government. The
message is clear: if the Iraqis cannot recruit enough people in order to
cope with the situation themselves, the U.S. troops may leave.
The Democratic World (not only the United States) cannot afford an Iraq in turmoil
and civil war. Additional financial help to quickly and dramatically
increase the economic and social situation of ordinary Iraqi citizens is
urgently needed. Only with the support of the vast majority of the Iraqi
people, can the terrorist attacks, the insurgency and the civil be
The Secretary of Defense, Gates, is asking for an increase of the Army forces
by 65,000 to 545,000 and of the Navy Infantry by 27,000 to 202,000 over the next five years in order to be able to cope
with a situation such as the present one in the future.
But this is not a simple matter of numbers:
as long as President George W. Bush does not publicly acknowledge
that it was illegal, inhuman and a terrible mistake to
order the humiliation and torture of captured terrorists, insurgents and
innocent people, the U.S. credibility in the region cannot be restored.
Even after the Senators John Warner and John McCain
brought down Bush's plan to legalize torture, the American President
continues to defend his torture plan, pretending that it is not about
torture and that it is legal. As long as a man unfit to govern and to lead
the Democratic World is in the White House, the situation in Iraq is unlikely to
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