Surge Accomplished both Goals the Defeat of Jihadists and the Reconciliation of Iraqis

The following was written on March 2008

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

The critic of President Bush turns the tail of  his “priority” into the head priority as only by doing this he can make his argument that the “surge failed in its primary task”( By early 2008), i.e., to achieve political reconciliation.  But the primary task of the Surge was not political reconciliation but the reduction of violence and the cooperation of Iraqis to fight and protect themselves from the suicidal jihadists of al-Qaeda. It’s on the pivot of the reduction and relative elimination of violence that political reconciliation will eventually rest.

The first paragraph of Bush’s announcement, which the critic quotes, ironically demolishes his own argument, as the promise of the Surge, in the words of the President himself, was that by “reducing the violence inBaghdadwill make reconciliation possible”.

And as I predicted in a paper of mine published on my blog Nemesis, on March 2007, under the title “Blueprint for Victory inIraq”, the Surge would succeed in defeating the insurgency and would open the door to reconciliation between Iraqis and to democracy.

Reply to American Pessimist about the Gains of the Surge in Iraq

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Andrew Lebovich continues pessimistically to ruminate on his doubts about the surge and on General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency plan. He states, “The strategic outcome of the surge cannot be determined now” as it depends on the establishment of a democratic Iraq “after our occupation…has ended.” And if the gains of the surge are so fragile and can be lost with a resurgence of al Qaeda how can one say that “Petraeus’s counterinsurgency plan is proven,” as is stated by McCain? He is also concerned about the “Sons of Iraq and other local militias’ being integrated “into the Iraqi security forces” and some of the corrupt practices of the Iraqi government.

Starting in reverse of his concerns, it’s decal like clear that he has not learned anything from the mistakes of the Bush administration when in toto disbanded the Iraq army instead of integrating it in the new army of the Interim government that would have forestalled the future insurgency. The Maliki government is integrating the Sons of Iraq and other militias and hence effectively disarming them instead of letting them hibernate until a possible next round of violence. Lebovich also is oblivious of the fact that corruption affects all governments that have not as yet found their point of stability and their members have a strong proclivity to get as much as they can from an assumed short term in office. However, with the stabilization of the government, as it seems to be happening now in Iraq, corruption can no longer be a stable staple feeding the mouths of corrupt officials.

As to the gains emanating from the surge, Lebovich apparently is unaware that one may have a perfect investment plan that will give one immense gains but if one “misinvests” or squanders these gains in boondoggle projects one is bound to lose them. This however does not impugn or diminish in any way the perfection of the original investment plan. And Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy falls in this category. The danger lies in squandering these gains, as McCain correctly says, before they reach their stated goal, i.e., a democratic Iraq.

Lastly, Lebovich does not perceive that even the most successful of counterinsurgency strategies can only be effective in a different geopolitical milieu if they make the necessary improvisations and modalities in the new context of their implementation. And this elementary principle applies in Afghanistan.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now… 

Obsessed Denial by Liberals of the Success of the Surge

By Con George-Kotzabasis

All the Sancho Panzas of The Washington Note riding on their donkeys and their Don Quixote, Clemons himself, riding his ‘dishevelled’ steed, are attacking windmills in their intellectually ungracious mean-spirited witless futile attempt to discredit the Surge and deny the great success it was in bringing a reversal of fortune in an almost lost war as a result of the initial strategic mistakes of American strategists, which I pointed out in a paper of mine back in August 2003.

The Surge being a strategic victory for the U.S. not only militarily and politically in Iraq, especially if democracy is consolidated in the country as it seems to be happening with the provincial elections just held, but by blazing its winning footprints on the soil of Iraq is showing the way, and heralding, how the rest of the jihadists, in this borderless war against them, can be defeated.

Bob Woodward in his book Bush At War depicts with a cascade of clear irrefutable evidence that the sharp instrument that cut the umbilical cord of the insurgents with some of the Iraqi populace was the deployment of Special Forces that ratcheted up “the heavy-handed counterinsurgency methods” by killing or capturing their higher echelons and spreading fear among the ranks of the insurgents. Coupled with these hard measures was the soft embedment and quartering of U.S. troops in the neighbourhoods of Baghdad and other towns where the insurgents were previously residing and dominating. It was these two tactics and the ‘revolt’ of both Sunnis and Shi’tes against al Qaeda and the Sadrist militias respectively that stopped the sectarian killings and ushered greater security in Iraq. To say, like Clemons does, that “bribery of local leaders” and a less “heavy-handed’” approach were more significant in subduing the insurgency indicates that he has not read Woodward’s book, or if he has, he deliberately refuses to acknowledge the factors that led to the defeat of the insurgency as an outcome of his ungracious and partisan lapse to give credit where credit is due, to Bush’s determination to implement the Surge.

And all the other cackling of the excited and ‘emotional’ geese “how many of my descendants you’ve killed”, to quote Dan Kervick in his wrath against the ‘warmongers’- a disciple of the two philosophers mentioned below– will not save the Rome of their intellectual infantilism and political dilettantism, even under the great names of Bertrand Russel and David Hume.