As I’ve been writing for the last three years, the neocons and warbangers have no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t know military history, they don’t understand military strategy and they don’t comprehend the likely outcomes of the actions they’ve been advocating. Why so many conservatives continue to pay attention to them and echo their demonstrably incorrect blathering is a mystery to me:
We have been getting it wrong in Iraq, says new US commander
President George W Bush faced fierce new criticism over his policy in Iraq yesterday as both military strategists and his new commander in the Middle East delivered negative assessments of America’s prospects of quelling violence in the war-torn country.
In a blow to Mr Bush’s latest attempt to seize back the initiative in Iraq after almost four years of violence, Adml William Fallon, his nominee to be the new head of Central Command in the Middle East, said that the Bush administration needed to be “more realistic” about its objectives and admitted that he had no way of defining victory in Iraq. He told a Senate confirmation hearing: “I don’t know what winning is.”
…. In a damning assessment of America’s record to date, he said: “Securing the stability of the country has been more difficult than anticipated. Our ability to correctly assess the political, economic and security situation in Iraq has been lacking.
“It seems pretty obvious to me that what we have been doing has not been working,” he said, adding that the US could not hope to win “militarily”.
So, here’s the new commander in the Middle East repeating the same thing I’ve been saying about the past strategy… I’ll be interested to see if all the neocons and Three Monkeys in the convervatariat admit that they’re wrong or not, or if all of their fans will hold them accountable. Somehow, I rather doubt it.
When one of the guys responsible for winning comes out and says “I don’t know what winning is”, you can be assured that not only will you not win, but you’ll be lucky if you can manage to avoid getting your head handed to you.
Don’t you military ignoramuses understand that this “triumph of the will” stuff won’t work any better for the USA than it did for Germany in WWII or the Arabs during the Arab-Israeli wars? Winning wars depends primarily on technological advantage and logistics, and in the current situation, our technology is of little use and the logistics are against us.
If China or Russia or even Turkey chose to weigh in with their sometime ally Iran in the next year or so, the US forces in Iraq would risk elimination without the resort to nuclear weapons. At this point, I’m not concerned about winning, whatever Admiral Fallon may eventually determine it to be, I’m starting to worry about extricating the troops successfully.
Blithely assuming that everyone who isn’t in will stay out is an error that has been made by more than one defeated combatant.
Meanwhile, Bane links to a letter from a soldier in an Iraqi ops center:
Know this, our soldiers will not quit. We win every battle, we hold any piece of ground that we want to take. Do not listen to those in Washington who influence events by dishonesty, manipulation and greed. Listen to your hearts and know that America is a winner. We will not accept defeat. Don’t be fooled by the news media who so dishonorably portrays one side of the story for gain and sensationalism. We are not losing, we are not running, the enemy is reeling and is scared….
I tell you, we are kicking ass here. It’s good to be on the offensive.”
These two messages demonstrate the difference between STRATEGY and TACTICS. It is entirely possible to kick non-stop ass, win every battle and still lose the war. Success is quite often the father of failure, and it takes strong mental discipline to be able to discern the point at which hitherto successful tactics are nevertheless leading one towards a failed strategy.