Stalingrad on the Tigris?

Stalingrada Below you will find a Power Point (what else?) presentation on the recent AEI analytic meeting run by one of the Kagans.  The cast of contributers at the end reads very much like one of the great neocon "papers" done up before their return to power under Bush 41′.  I have in mind the "Clean Break" paper which contained so much of "future history.  The military men listed among the supposed authors are a mystery to me.  I know who some of them are but I question how much they really understood what was going to be said in their names.

The paper urges a "surge" of many thousands more US troops into Baghdad beginning in March, 2007 for one more grand roll of the iron dice.  The concept seems to be based on the notion that Shia militias exist because of Sunni violence against them rather than as expressions of a Shia drive to political dominance in Iraq.  Based on that belief the authors seem to believe that if the additional US and Iraqi forces to be employed in the Capital area defeat (destroy?) the Sunni insurgent groups, then the Shia militia armies will "wither away" from a lack of need.  I do not think that belief is justified.

The authors assert that contrary to General Schoomaker’s appraisal below in"State of the Army," such a surge will not "break the Army."

They also assert that with an increase in recruiting the brigades that would be missing from the present rotation queue because of this "surge" could be replaced with the one year or so period of the ‘surge.’  I doubt that this is a realistic appraisal of how long such a process of unit creation would take.

One of the "implied" tasks to be accomplished by the "surged" force would be to disarm the Mahdi’s Army and the other Shia militias.  The authors seem unclear as to whether or not the militias will fight to avoid being disarmed.  In my judgment it will be impossible to conduct an enlarged anti-insurgent campaign in Baghdad without engaging the Mahdi militia.  They think that they "own" the place and will not be quiescent.

This concept is a recipe for a grandand climactic battle of attrition between US and Iraqi forces on one side and the some combination of Sunni and Shia forces on the other.  The Sunnis and Shia would not necessarily "ally" themselves to each other, but a general co-belligerence against our people would be bad enough.

President Bush may well accept the essence of this concept.  He wants to redeem his "freedom agenda," restore momentum to his plans and in his mind this might "clear up" Iraq so that he could move on to Iran.

The carnage implicit in this concept would be appalling.  The authors have much to say about the consequences of defeat in Iraq, but, I wonder if they have contemplated what it would be like to fail in their climactic battle and still be required by ’43 to stay in Iraq.  pl

Download 200612141_choosingvictory6.pdf

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72 Responses to Stalingrad on the Tigris?

  1. Peter says:

    What do you think the chances of the Neoconservatives getting the victory they are aiming for are?
    How much is that related to the chances of a draft?

  2. jonst says:

    A nascent move, on the part of those with the most to lose, to strike back perhaps?
    Things are getting more and more interesting. And deadly. And surrealistic. By the minute

  3. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I think these people are insane.
    This reads very much like the preparation for a buildup to an air attack and / or invasion of Iran as well.
    All of this sounds very much like the dying gasps of a failing empire.
    It took Rome many, many years to disintegrate, but the “decider” seems to be anxious to rush our fate along.

  4. confusedponderer says:

    The US assault would be like the French Assault on the casbah in the Battle of Algiers. The French won the fight, but lost the war.
    I have confidence that US troops will, as usual, inflict terrific damage on the enemy, which will be about everyone. But I have my serious doubts that the Iraqis, after the US leveling larger swaths of Baghdad in their pacification effort, show palpable sympathy to their saviors.
    There will be a period of calm afterwards, while the enemy re-organises. The Bushies will try sell that as success. When violence flares up again that will be because ‘Syria and Iran colluded to thwart Great Leaders Glorious Victory’.

  5. Frank Durkee says:

    Col. The question I have is even with more troops in Baghdad what are the probabilities of establishing sufficient security to allow for the city to return to relatively normal functioning on a relatively permanent basis? If we can’t have a siginificant probability of it working why are playing this charade? For whom and to whom is it directed?

  6. Grumpy says:

    Col., I read “Choosing Victory”, the whole thing. I’m a grumpy disabled vet. As I read it, it sounds great on paper. BUT, in my humble opinion, there is a HUGE leap from paper or theory to “in country” or application. All through the national debate, we hear we need to win the war “over there”, so we don’t need to fight it here. Again, in my humble opinion, we can not win the war over ther until we win it here. They make the assertion, “We are a Nation at War”, I say prove it! If we take our military families and put them on the shelf, what is the rest of the citizenry sacrificing in their personal lives for this war? This question on individual citizenry sacrifice, without violation of the U.S. Constitution is the bottom line to the issue.
    THANK YOU, for keeping this blog and have a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!

  7. pbrownlee says:

    Who gets to be von Paulus? And to protect supply lines? Or will all that be undertaken by air — again?
    The likelihood of a draft is approximately equal to that of a member of the Bush or Cheney family enlisting.

  8. arbogast says:

    Once again, Colonel Lang writes a post that cannot be added to, subtracted from, improved upon, or, God forbid, ignored. Readers of his blog are privileged indeed.
    To me, the irreality of the people promoting these ideas centers around their flat-out, stand-up, center-square DENIAL of what just happened in South Lebanon.
    Is there a Shiite in the entire world who has not been turned into a human fighting machine by the exploits of Hezbollah?
    Is Iran, right now, not preparing the Shiites in Lebanon for whatever the United States Army can throw at them?
    If this continues, there will be no choice but to impeach Bush and Cheney. It sounds far-fetched, but Colonel Lang has laid out for us in precise and detailed terms how equally far-fetched the fantasies of Bush and Cheney are.
    And in the background, purring along, the implosion of the United States economy We will have a soft-landing in the economy comparable to the soft-landing in Iraq.

  9. Stan Henning says:

    What we are seeing here is a desperate leap into the abyss by Neocons trying, at the ninth hour, to make up for the most disastrous action ever taken in US history. No, Iraq is NOT really similar to Bosnia and Kosovo (just as Iraq is NOT another Vietnam – another mistake yes) and yes, the single biggest fallacy is the assumption that the militias will go away in the face of our increased, “righteous” presence. Sadly, were we really informed in the first place, we would have understood that nothing less than a complete US occupation, with martial law, total disarmament, etc., was required and that prospect should have caused us to hesitate from going in there in the first place. The ironic contradiction is that you cannot talk about Democracy among tribals without treating them all in an equal, albeit undemocratic, manner to begin with – nothing less than total control and total commitment was required from the get-go. If we go the way of “Choosing Victory” and it doesn’t seriously take all this into account it will merely end up “magnifying misery”.

  10. John Shreffler says:

    Er, yes Stalingrad. And the flanks? And the rear? William Lind thinks that there is a high order of probability that we’re going to hit Iran (which I also believe–Walrus you ain’t alone) and that this could cost us our Iraq garrison.
    And we want to reinforce? Ah, strategerery!

  11. VietnamVet says:

    The surge lands my old brigade in Northern Baghdad after tours in Mosul and Southern Afghanistan.
    PowerPoint leaves out a few details: the Shiite militia will join Sunni insurgents fighting the occupation; Baghdad will be flattened in front of Al Jazeera’s cameras, and the fighting will cause millions of Iraqi casualties and refuges.
    The basic premise of embedding Americans in Iraqi units is that they want to be little Americans just like their trainers. No way. Not when every family has casualties caused by the Americans and their religion, Islam, is the one true religion.
    In Ramadi, grunts can only move into FOBs at night. The Sunnis have taken the day away from US troops.
    When the surge troops attack the Madhi militia, all of Iraq will be fighting the Americans. Embedding will be pointless; day and night will belong to the Iraqis.

  12. bth says:

    Bush may want to surge in 07, draw down in 08 and let it all collapse (the army, equipment, the Iraq endeavor) in 09 on the next president’s watch.
    That AEI hasn’t been run out of the country is a betrayal of public trust.
    Democrats should consider a tax increase for rich individuals and corporations plus a draft if the president proposes a surge. The 98% of this country that got a free ride the last five years needs to have some skin in the game for this nonesense to end. Does congress have the nerve? Until then, its pete and repeat.

  13. Grimgrin says:

    Wow… the first page and all four bullet points are completely misleading.
    Using Bosnia as a model for example. The war in Bosnia was fought between three nations and paramilitary groups that were not just supported by, but took orders from their respective governments. When a peace treaty was signed, the fighting more or less stopped. Is there anyone in Iraq who could end the war by signing a deal on behalf of the Sunni’s or the Shi’ites?
    Even we grant that NATO involvement in Bosnia is a valid model for U.S. involvement in Iraq, The comparison is still bullshit. Bosnia has less than 5 million people, and required a commitment of 60,000 NATO troops. that suggests that at least 300,000 troops would be needed. Wait… where did I hear that number quoted before?
    This power point studiously ignores history. The the short term history of the American involvement in Iraq, the Middle term of how Saddam’s government ruled Iraq and what that meant, and the long term roots of conflict between the Sunni’s and the Shi’ites each have implications for the conflict in Iraq, and this presentation seems to go out of it’s way not to mention anything about them.
    There also seems to be a total failure of pessimistic imagination when the authors were imagining the worst case scenarios in each phase of the operation. In many cases their “Most Dangerous” insurgent response seems to be what’s actually happening right now.
    Their proposed ‘counters’ all seem to come in one of two flavors. “Do what we’ve been doing all along, only this time it’ll work” and “We should plan to do what we’ve previously failed to do”.
    So how many people will this plan kill if the U.S. attempts to implement it?

  14. p.lukasiak says:

    Okay, let me get this straight. For four years, we have been fighting an insurgency compost of Sunni Baathists and Sunni fundamentalists. And while that “war” is probably a stalemate, Iraq is now descending into chaos.
    But, we’re gonna send another 31,500 combat troops (or about an extra 100,000 troop all told, based on current ratios of combat to non-combat troops) to Iraq by next June. And we’re going to wipe out both of the Sunni insurgencies by that September. And pacify the Shiites in January ’08, after we’ve established peace and order to all of Iraq (with, of course, the ever-so-reliable iraqi army at our side!)
    I’m sure the author of this study is a whiz at the game “RISK”, but I really don’t think he should be taken seriously…

  15. Nand Jagnath says:

    I suppose every nation with considerable armed forces can easily make the mistake of assuming that armed might is a substitute for political solutions. The India Army was sent into Sri Lanka to put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a guerilla force, in its place. Instead, it was the Army that took a pasting and the LTTE had its revenge by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi who was the Prime Minister that order the Indian forces into Sri Lanka.
    Despite what has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the neocons appear to be clinging to their belief that American military might will prevail and it is only a question of how to apply that might properly. Political solutions that require compromise go against the neocon creed that America must be able to reorder the world as it sees fit, using force if need be.
    If America and/or Israel attacks Iran, the mess in the Middle East will be unbelievable. We’ll have a belt of violent instability that extends from Afghanistan right across to Iraq and Lebanon.
    I too strongly believe that an attack on Iran is highly likely during this Administration’s watch. My guess, which I stated in an earlier post, is that the attack is probably slated for 2008, the year of Presidential elections. Given Israel’s vigorous support for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, I simply don’t see the U.S. media or the Democrats opposing such an attack.

  16. jang says:

    Maybe the deciderer fell asleep before learning Time’s Person of the Yr 2006. His New Yr’s resolution should be to read Sic Semper Tyrannis 2007. Congratulations and thank you, Col. Lang for taking the time to write SST which not only provides a forum for those with military experience to share viewpoints, but is also a tutorial for those of us who are militarily-illiterate. Makes one ill to read about Stalingrad in the context of Baghdad. God love the soldiers in the middle of it all.

  17. walrus says:

    Mt comments cannot be printed in this blog. Save to say the author of this powerpoint presentation is engaged in lethal fantasy.

  18. walrus says:

    Sadly, it would also appear that Col. Lang has drunk the Kool Aid.

  19. zanzibar says:

    What struck me about Kagan’s PowerPoint was right in the beginning on slide 3 titled Victory is Vital. His first bullet is an assertion that the “US must prevail in Iraq to secure our vital national interests”. There was nothing there that defined what US national interests in Iraq are. But on the other hand six bullets to bolster the argument about costs of failure.
    This in my mind has been the fundamental flaw of the Decider and his acolytes strategy. What US national interests were served by invading Iraq in the first place on the basis of false pretenses? Now that the Pandora’s Box has been opened what national interest is served by continuing a failed policy and strategy by adding marginally to the troop strength?
    What continues to puzzle me is that the chickenhawks never seem to articulate what exactly is the national interest other than making the assertion that there is some mythical national interest that requires tremendous expenditure of resources and blood.

  20. arbogast says:

    I try to proof-read my comments. I meant to say that Iran was preparing the Shiites in Iraq for whatever the US throws at them.
    Is there a nation on earth, on earth, that wants Americans with guns wandering around loose on their soil?
    Are we going to station troops in Saudi Arabia to prop up George Bush’s good friend the…King.
    What is particularly troubling is that the comments to this blog are all reading from the same page…and all coming from different points of view.
    Impeach Bush and Cheney. Impeach them now.

  21. blowback says:

    According to Uri Avnery, it now appears that the Israelis didn’t have a plan when they went to war against Hezbollah.
    Uri provides a 101 in running a war:
    WHEN A STATE starts a war, the sequence is – in simplistic terms – as follows:
    1- The government adopts a clear political aim.
    2- The government deliberates whether this aim can be achieved by war – after it comes to the conclusion that it cannot be achieved by other means.
    From this point on, the emphasis moves from the political to the military leadership. Its duty is:
    3- To draw up a strategic plan for attaining the aim decided upon by the government.
    4- To translate the strategic plan into a tactical plan. Among others: to decide what forces are needed, which forces will be employed, what is the target of each force and within which time it must achieve it, as well as to foresee possible moves by the other side.
    5- To prepare the forces for their tasks, in accordance with their training and equipment.
    A wise government will also think about the situation it would like to have after the war, and will instruct the military to take this into consideration while planning their operations.

    Perhaps the Israeli government passed on their way of going to war to the neo-cons.

  22. walrus says:

    This document is an Israeli Likudnik response to the Baker report. How long must America put up with these thinly disguised Israeli manipulations of our nation?
    It is full of half truths and wishful thinking.
    “Victory is possible” – no it isn’t and the size of the U.S. vis a vis Iraq is irrelevent unless we have a draft and a wartime economy, complete with austerity.
    “Success requires effort and will, but we need not choose to lose” – We have not chosen to lose. we are in the process of being defeated by superior tactics and we do not have the logistical or numerical numbers to defeat the insurgents.
    “Victory is vital” – vital to who? Not America, but definitely Israel. Why not give the whole mess to Israel to sort out? They got us into it in the first place.
    “Iraq is at a critical point” by this the author means that success is still an option. I don’t think so.
    “Security First” – yes what a belated realisation! Securing the population is the first requirement for a successful counterinsurgency campaign, only point the author doesn’t realise, or is not willing to say, is that the reason security is vital is because it opens the possibility that the locals will give themselves permission to trust you and your programs. Of course no Iraqi will ever trust America again after the violence, stupidity and downright lies and deceit practiced on the Iraqis – we blew “security and trust” when we reopened Al Ghraib.
    “Create Security in Baghdad by Fall ’07” sure! Exactly how do you propose to do that?
    “We must make every effort to secure the population of Baghdad rapidly
    •Baghdad is now the center of gravity of this conflict
    •We must act at once to improve security there
    •Strategy must change from training Iraqis to restoring security-a vital American interest
    •Political solutions must accompany this effort, but security is the essential precondition for any forward progress in Iraq”
    Exactly how do you propose to do this?
    •The proposal for establishing security that follows is an example, not an operational plan.
    •The proposal is based on open-source information about the current situation in Iraq.
    •The purpose is to show that establishing security is possible with available resources.
    •Military commanders will adjust it to changing circumstances on the ground.
    •Numbers of troops and timelines are approximate.
    As of Dec 13, 2006 10”
    Translation: I don’t know what I’m talking about – this product contains nuts.
    “Phase I: Deploy (by March)
    •Phase II: Prepare (by June)
    •Phase III: Clear critical terrain (by Sept.)
    •Phase IV: Hold cleared areas and transition to Iraqi control”
    Exactly how do you propose to clear critical terrain? If I were a militia member, I would simply bury my weapons and wait till you have gone away.
    Alternatively, if the soldiers involved are as inept as Mr. Kagan, I would kill quite a few, and then bury my weapon and wait for the rest of the Americans to go away.
    I like this trite phrase:
    “Rapid, thorough clearing operations and strong leave-behind presence in each cleared district combats enemy surge attacks. Increase protection of high value targets.”
    Easier said than done. If I were an insurgent leader, I would honeycomb whole regions of Baghdad with IED’s and wait for your “rapid” clearing operation.
    However I suspect that Kagans phrase really means destroy Baghdad.
    “Continue to develop local intelligence to root out any cells that have gone to ground within cleared districts.”
    No local intelligence because of zero trust.
    “Reconstruction is an incentive for future cooperation”
    Translation: You mean you have destroyed Iraq and you are not going to put it back together? I think there is a cell waiting for you in the Hague, Mr. Kagan.
    “Every clearing operation should be accompanied by a set, fully funded reconstruction package
    •Restore essential services immediately: sewer, water, electricity, and trash removal services
    •Commanders should be granted authority and money to distribute funds and oversee the execution of reconstruction efforts, aided by appropriate US Government agencies”
    You wish…..what are you smoking?
    “We Are At War
    •Success requires a national commitment
    •Some military units will be deployed for longer tours
    •Some National Guard units may deploy again sooner than planned
    •Equipment must be borrowed from non-deploying active, reserve, and Guard units
    •Military industry must be mobilized to make up equipment shortages”
    May you rot in hell Mr. Kagan. There does not need to be a war. I do like your last point – a sop to your backers perhaps?
    Here is the list of traitors and dupes who participated in this orgy:
    •Frederick W. Kagan, AEI
    •Jack Keane, General, U.S. Army, Retired
    •David Barno, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army Retired
    •Danielle Pletka, AEI
    •Rend al-Rahim, Iraq Foundation
    •Joel Armstrong, Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
    •Daniel Dwyer, Major, U.S. Army, Retired
    •Larry Crandall
    •Larry Sampler, IDA
    •Michael Eisenstadt, Washington Institute
    •Kimberly Kagan, Georgetown•Michael Rubin, AEI
    •Reuel Gerecht, AEI
    •Thomas Donnelly, AEI
    •Gary Schmitt, AEI
    •Mauro de Lorenzo, AEI
    •Vance Serchuk, AEI
    •Molly McKew, AEI
    •Laura Conniff, AEI
    •Jonathan Bronitsky, AEI
    •Adrian Myers, AEI”
    Twenty One Idiots, Twelve AEI members and about half of them Jewish. How long before we realise we are being led by the nose to our doom?

  23. W. Patrick Lang says:

    “Koolaid?” What are you talking about? pl

  24. anna missed says:

    I’m always puzzled by all this talk of “our vital interests”, when these “intrests” are reasoned and repeated ad-infintium without ever, any definition. “It” takes us to Iraq, “It” remains the reason behind all we do in Iraq, “It” is the reason we must stay in Iraq.
    Looking back on the last 4 years of, the death, the treasure spent, and reputation sullied, what in hell could “our interests” possibly be, to justify even more of the same?

  25. walrus says:

    Sorry PL, I’m just more stupid than usual.

  26. I have reformatted the PDF to HTML here. It’s much faster and more user friendly.

  27. dan says:

    Wow. Endless repetition of failed strategies; these guys are either nuts or some of the most cynical political operators breathing today.
    Didn’t the US military already surge troops to Baghdad in Operation Together Forward these last few months in an effort to deliver security and quell the violence? Doesn’t seem to have worked too well.
    Back in 2004, the centre of gravity of the Sunni insurgency was, arguably, Fallujah – the USMC essentially destroyed the city and the centre of gravity dispersed. It strikes me that going after Sadr’s militia will accomplish the same thing – with a further dispersal of violence elsewhere, and a further stretching of US and coalition resources.
    Surging troops to Baghdad under this flawed strategy is doomed to fail unless there are simultaneous surges to Basra, Nasiriya, Diwaniya, Kut and other cities in the South where the Sadrists are strong; even if the US military could find the troops to do this, which I doubt, the strategy would likely fail anyway, as the odds are that it would result in a sustained Shia insurgency to complement the Sunni one.
    There’s little chance of the MoD finding more troops to rush into Basra, especially as there is a need for more troops and equipment for Afghanistan in time for the fighting season that will begin next spring; and UK public opinion won’t stand for anything less than a significant reduction in forces from Iraq next year anyway. I don’t see a call for thousands of extra US troops to bolster the MoD and the Danes there, or the Australians who are in Nasiriya, or the Poles who are around Karbala.
    Given the ability of the Sadrists to disrupt US supply lines during the “short” insurgency of April to August 2004, I’d be surprised if they couldn’t do the same thing 21/2 years later, with better tactics ( ie use of IED’s along the supply chain, which is not a significant problem on the stretch between Basra and Najaf at present ), larger numbers of better-armed and better-trained fighters, with significant intelligence advantages due to their penetration of police, army and political structures.

  28. John Howley says:

    Another Stalingrad parallel?
    The German High Command was misled by failing to recognize how understrength the units listed on their battlefield maps had become. A common problem in later stages of many wars.
    Is that a factor here? Given equipment shortages, inadequate training and “pickup team” redeployments, by how much have our units declined in effectiveness?

  29. John says:

    Anna missed: while PL may disagree, the neocons’ and their oil baron apologists’ “vital national interests” in Iraq are oil and ideology-a marriage of convenience. Oil: this interest is developed in Lutz Kleveman’s, “The New Great Game” and in one third of Kevin Phillip’s mis-titled, “American Theocracy”, and that Iraq holds the world’s second largest oil reserves, was a key point in the Baker-led ISG study – it could be argued the oil interest was larger than ideology. PL and other post contributors address ideology. Regarding the oil interest; it’s a new chapter on the old game of subsidizing commercial enterprises on the backs of the taxpayer and soldiers – (it’s worthwhile to review the Banana Wars).

  30. W. Patrick Lang says:

    You are right I disagree. pl

  31. W. Patrick Lang says:

    John Howley
    I share your concern about how capable these units still are. There has been a lot of “hollowing out” in the Regular Army over equipment losses, lack of training funds, etc.
    In the reserve components the 24 month rule has created a lot of deployed NG and USAR units that are very much “pick up” teams. Not good.
    Arbogast, I did send it to the Post. pl

  32. Got A Watch says:

    The AEI should embrace “truth-in-advertising” and change their name to American Egregious Idiots. This so called “think tank” (more like a pie plate, no depth there) has been responsible, in whole or in part, for many of the worst decisions made by America in the last 5 years.
    As a comedian recently quipped, to paraphrase, “When you call yourself a think-tank but your predictions turn out to be all wrong, it’s time to just shut up.” Clearly, there is no thinking going on at this think-tank, just a direct line to Likud Party Headquarters to receive their talking points.
    The real tragedy is the thousands on all sides who will die to prove these morons totally wrong.

  33. John Hammer says:

    Just heard Gen. Odem invoke Stalingrad on the Mcloughlan group.

  34. Stan Henning says:

    I think Walrus hit it square on the head, although I prefer to call these individuals “pro-Zionists”, because I would like to think that they do not represent the American Jewish community as a whole.

  35. Got A Watch says:

    “A think tank is like an Abrams tank, except that it never runs out of gas, its only weapons are incendiaries, and its armor protection consists of several thousand miles of ocean. It is altogether the safest kind of tank in which to fight a war.”
    Had to post this gem, originally posted by Shiborg on DailyKOS
    “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.” – attributed to Otto von Bismarck

  36. Dan says:

    Well, it aint going to happen. There was some nice wording in there about adding 32000 or so “combat troops.” I presume he means actual grunts. Which implies some multiple of that number of actual new troops in country. Like, someone help me out with the math here, a minimum of 80,000 total on top of what we’ve got there now. Looks from my overseas perch to be political suicide in the US context.
    Surely Kagan et al know this. I believe this is just part of the ongoing media strategy: Iraq didn’t go bad because you listened to us in 2002, 03, 04 and 04; it’s because you stopped listening to us in 06. We were on the verge of truimph when the lilly livered press and the fickle american people pulled the rug out.

  37. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Nah! You underestimate the “decider.” Actually I think the existing “base” in Iraq is so elaborate that it can support a lot mor troops than are present now.
    Media campaign. Nah! They really are this nuts. pl

  38. Iraq “Wishful Thinking” in Washington or “we’re not in Kansas anymore?”

    By now everyone has likely read the the PowerPoint presentation out of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). There is a link to it in the Morning Reading type-list on the left. It is in pdf format. To get a feel

  39. confusedponderer says:

    “Security First” – yes what a belated realisation! Securing the population is the first requirement for a successful counterinsurgency campaign, only point the author doesn’t realise, or is not willing to say, is that the reason security is vital is because it opens the possibility that the locals will give themselves permission to trust you and your programs. Of course no Iraqi will ever trust America again after the violence, stupidity and downright lies and deceit practiced on the Iraqis – we blew “security and trust” when we reopened Al Ghraib.
    “Continue to develop local intelligence to root out any cells that have gone to ground within cleared districts.”
    No local intelligence because of zero trust.
    they already gave the solution for that. Because there is no trust, you got to use force, and lots of it, to gather local intelligence. Torture people for confessions, like the French did in Algeria. Grab fifty arbitrary suspect insurgents, torture them. There is a good chance that one of them knows something, be it only a name. Squeeze them out, make an organigram. Then got for the names, kill or capture everyone on your list, torture, interrogate, repeat. That is justified, because as they lined out: There is no surrogate for victory.
    It’s is very simple and logical. Only people with moral clarity can conceive such a brilliant proposal. For the neo-conservatives the problem has always been that the US have been to squeamish and insufficiently bold for their brand of foreign policy.
    Just consult Victor Davis Hanson’s indispensable op-eds: ‘Humph … the casualties in Iraq are a joke compared to Gettysburgh! Humph, a joke! That was when our Great Nation still had balls. Getting 60.000 men killed in a day means you got balls. The islamo-fascist hordes have to understand America got balls. Today it is 1939 and we’re in Munich. I read that on Herodot. Or so. Alexander the Great-est … bla-bla-bla’
    On then to a glass of cognac in the comfy chair. Three cheers for morality.

  40. CSTAR says:

    This seems to be a “Battle of the Bulge” type offensive. Basically, this is an effort to scrape out of an overextended and depleted military, by use of accounting sleight-of-hand, more materiel and combat time. The stated belief that this will be enough to push the US over the top and onto victory
    “Equipment must be borrrowed, from non-deploying active reserve and guard units.”
    “The President must call on young americans to volunteer to defend the nation in a time of crisis.”
    However, I think the goal will be to push this problem along until the next administration is forced to slog it out by more expenditure of money and troops i.e. a draft and war tax. Democrats beware.

  41. raincat100 says:

    Pat, Could you please say more about why you disagree with John’s comment with regard to “national interests” (oil and ideology)?

  42. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I think human behavior both in individuals and masses is too complicated to be explained on the basis of perceived economic interest. I reached the conclusion long ago that what I see in the world is not explicable on the basis of economic determinism. pl

  43. Green Zone Cafe says:

    The whole thing makes me sick.
    I hope we get the Iraqis who bought into our bullshit and worked with us out before the end.
    Of course, most of the same people cheerleading for war will be against letting those brave Arabs into the USA.

  44. walrus says:

    With the greatest of respect, I’ve mulled over Kagan’s “plan” for twelve hours and reached a few tentative conclusions.
    1. This plan reminds me of the sort of “strategery” I used to play at as a management consultant, I often encountered corporate recovery situations where the cause of the entire mess was sitting in the room with you and paying your bill.
    I used to therefore have to studiously work around the obvious conclusion that the fathead should leave and take his dumb ideas with him, and instead focus on what might be done by fiddling about the edges of the business plan, while avoiding the critical flaw in the entire plan – usually an inadequate, or missing vision of where the company should be in three, five and ten years.
    The best that might be said of Kagan’s plan is that it is just such an exercise. The clue being his opening mantras about how “vital” Iraq is, how winning is possible, and all the other standard NeoCon rubbish. This is a standard tactic to appeal to Bush and his acolytes. “Your right guys! There is just a little twist or two and the problems will dissappear!”
    Most of the rest of the presentation is simple blather, except for the dark heart of the presentation which resides in the following bullet point:
    “Rapid, thorough clearing operations and strong leave-behind presence in each cleared district combats enemy surge attacks. Increase protection of high value targets.”
    The key word is “Rapid”. there is no such thing as a “Rapid Thorough clearing operation”. Clearing is slow, methodical and thorough. This phrase is nothing less than code for the destruction of the entire Shia neighbourhoods and the killing of every male of military age. There is no other way of conducting a “rapid thorough clearing” operation. You do it with artillery, tanks and bulldozers. Kagan and his masters know that. The poor grunts who would do it also know it.
    The United States Army would conduct a massacre, perhaps starting with artillery bombardement with cluster munitions.
    This is the “security” Kagan is selling – the security of the grave.
    My guess is that Kagan and his handlers wish to provoke Iran into overt action, as a widespread Shia massacre, conveniently televised by Al Jazeera, might well do.

  45. still working it out says:

    The reasoning in this plan is so crap that almost anyone who reads it can see it is almost meaningless. Its almost like it was written by children. If high school kids wrote this you could justifiably give them an F.
    What does it say about Washington that a document like this is given any credence at all? You can’t run an Ice Cream stand with thinking this woolly. The political system in Washington is broken. Iraq is just one manisfestation of that failure. Unless there is drastic change there will be others.

  46. ikonoklast says:

    Reading this document is like being held in a chair at gunpoint at the conference table facing The Big Board in “Dr. Strangelove.”
    “There is no substitute for Victory!”
    We lack only the Will to grasp it, apparently. Cut-rate Nietzsche, delusions virulently contagious to those with a predeliction for grandiosity and self-righteousness. Better to deny reality than to admit failure.
    If the AEI and their dumba**ed Powerpoint slides had any efficacy in the real world, President Chalabi would have finished conquering Iran last year.
    Confused: Did Hanson really say that?
    Ok, all you neocons and chickenhawks – if we are truly a great nation, we can kill all the Shia, Sunni, and Kurds, resettle Iraq with Americans, make it the 51st state, and thus bring genuine no-imitation American style democracy to the Middle East once and for all.
    Ahhh … if we only have the Will to do it.
    I’ll get the slideshow ready, you guys can figure out the rest.

  47. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I am impressed with the deep immorality of what is contemplated. Ray McGovern and I are going to address it together. pl

  48. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I remember as you do the many people who have been abandoned by the US after believing in us. Pray that this will not happen again. Pat

  49. Dave Schuler says:

    This comment is addressed to those in this thread who scoff at the notion of American interests in Iraq or in the Middle East.
    We have a wide range of interests in the region and will continue to do so regardless whether we withdraw our forces from Iraq or not, win or lose.
    Sure, oil is an interest. It will be for the foreseeable future. Even if we were to achieve oil independence (producing as much oil as we consume) we would still have vital interests in the Gulf. There is a world market for oil. As low cost producers the Gulf states affect prices worldwide. Their fate has consequences beyond just a few rich oil executives: it influences how much it costs you to get to work, where you can afford to buy a house, and where you send your kids to school.
    Some in this thread have mentioned Israel. Israel is a significant domestic political issue—there are plenty of voters here whose votes are influenced by our policy towards Israel. Both of our major political parties have pledged support for Israel so I don’t see this going away, either.
    Every state in the Gulf region and in all likelihood significantly beyond will feel the effects of a failed state in Iraq. As noted above there will be millions of casualties and refugees.
    Is it possible for Al-Qaeda or other “terrorists of international reach” to use a failed state in Iraq as a base of operations as they did in Afghanistan and as it looks like they may in Somalia?
    We have a humanitarian interest in the Gulf.
    What happens in Iraq will have repercussions on our military that will last a generation or more.
    Same with our foreign policy.
    Look, I didn’t support our invasion of Iraq and I don’t think I have much in the way of illusions about achieving the sort of victory that GWB apparently envisions but I think we need to do some quick hard thinking about securing our interests in the region. It looks to me like a lot of things are going to get a heckuva lot harder.

  50. DeWitt Grey says:

    “The political process alone has failed to stem insurgency and violence.”
    I think it might come as a surprise to our line infantry and marines that we had been relying on the political process “alone”, or indeed even to many of armchair strategists snug and warm with their loved ones at Christmas.
    If this is at all indicative of what has been passed up the food chain (and the leaked Hadley and Rumsfeld memos suggest it is), we’re in even worse trouble than I feared. You have to go back to Braxton Bragg and Jefferson Davis to find incompetence this pervasive in American leadership in time of war.
    Sadly, however, the most recent leaks do suggest that this is the direction we’re headed — if so, we must all tremble for our country, and indeed our souls.

  51. anna missed says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the “vital U.S. interests” that we are suppose to be fighting for in Iraq i.e. modernity, enlightenment, democracy (as a cloak for) enduring military bases, super embassy, IMF leveraged economic controls, and lucrative Production Sharing Agreements in the oil sector, etc, are not themselves transcended by a more wanting impetus.
    That in fact, the military industrial complex itself may be the many headed hydra — that empowers the civilian government with the option of neo-colonialism in the first place. That the option of projecting American military might throughout the world translates directly into an irreastable American economic/corporate soft power dominance and hegemony.
    Or, it may so seem to be that this is actually the case, that all the treasure expended on this projection — or could it be that all the treasure expended itself be the prime reason and motivation behind the projection.
    So, what I’m suggesting is that the military industrial complex itself, is the animated incarnate power behind the options possible, rewarded, sustained, and addicted to its own growth hormone, that is handed to the civilian leadership on a big fat silver platter.
    And themselves being so starved for the full course buffet layed out before them by the revolving door complex, they eagerly devour the whole enchalada. And so we become sick and bloated as a result, and unable to carefully integrate with the necessary subtlety of, our “interests” with the “interests” of others. Instead we become hamfisted and groping, mixing happy talk with an iron fist, one contradicting the other into a scenario bound to fail.
    Yet we keep doing it. It seems there is something more fundamentally wrong than tactics or the wrongfully imagined “vital interests” or how to get them, that keeps sucking us into this vicious cycle.

  52. Grimgrin says:

    ikonoklast: Hanson didn’t say it as simply as confused ponderer, but that really seems to be all he says.
    “Finish the war” from 2002
    These “Are Historic Times” from 2003
    “The Great Stampede” from 2006
    In case you made it through all of those, here’s what Gary Brecher aka The War Nerd had to say about Victor Davis Hanson. He’s a much more entertaining writer at least.
    “Portrait of an American Traitor” and “This Ain’t 1864, Bush Ain’t Lincoln, We Ain’t Winnin'”

  53. John Shreffler says:

    I just “read” the Neo-con Powerpoint from front to back. Painfully Stupid Stuff– simplistic and ignoring the obvious worst case of a general uprising across our LOC back to Kuwait if we try to squash Sadr. I haven’t read anything that disconnected to military reality in all the years since I last read Warlimont’s book on the OKW. It would fit in one his closing chapters if I remember correctly. Are we THAT short of real options?

  54. WhirledView says:

    Easy Rider

    by CKR I’m reading the second volume of John Fowles’s diaries. From the entry for the period 3-11 October 1969, after seeing the film Easy Rider:I think this is the trap the younger generation today are falling into: they have

  55. Kurt says:

    The key word is “Rapid”. there is no such thing as a “Rapid Thorough clearing operation”. Clearing is slow, methodical and thorough. This phrase is nothing less than code for the destruction of the entire Shia neighbourhoods and the killing of every male of military age. There is no other way of conducting a “rapid thorough clearing” operation. You do it with artillery, tanks and bulldozers. Kagan and his masters know that. The poor grunts who would do it also know it.
    The United States Army would conduct a massacre, perhaps starting with artillery bombardement with cluster munitions.
    This is the “security” Kagan is selling – the security of the grave.
    My guess is that Kagan and his handlers wish to provoke Iran into overt action, as a widespread Shia massacre, conveniently televised by Al Jazeera, might well do.
    Posted by: walrus
    About an hour ago my wife directed me to your Website and I am very impressed with the quality of the posts, especially, the statement above by walrus. In my judgment, it stands as the core of the neo-cons/Zionists final plan. The previous plans so far have failed to accomplish what the Zionists wanted, namely bringing down the regimes in Iran and Syria. They are succeeding in Iraq, to the extent that Iraq no longer is and never will be a threat to Israel. Its infrastructure is destroyed along with its educational system which was the best in ME and the educated, intelligent middle class has already left the Country. Moreover, the likelihood of splintering the Country, along the sectarian lines, is inevitable.
    However, at this stage there is one major unintended consequence. Because of the Shiite majority and their natural alliance with Iran, made Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy, the major power broker in ME. Granted there can never be a military power that can challenge Israel without committing MAD, Israel is confined to a very small geographical area and that is their Achilles heel, whereas Iran occupies such a land mass (I.e. Using Rumsfeld’s language, with few attractive targets). In addition, and I do not know to what extent it is true, but it has been reported that there are more Israelis leaving Israel today than new immigrants moving in. Especially, the departing Israelis are the well educated and well to do type. Walrus’ analysis is critical, in the sense that that is the last opportunity left to the neo-cons. This type of destruction taking place in Sadr City will provide enough provocation for Iran to semi-openly interfere and this certainly would have the potential for starting a major War between US and Iran, especially if we are pretty bloodied as a result.
    Since the 67 war, this is Israel’s biggest undertaking which effectively started before 2001.
    If all else fails Israel will be left to do it alone and I doubt that they will be able to undertake it. I don’t beleive they are suicidal.

  56. CSTAR says:

    Reading these slides again (and the comments) reminds me of Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear’s character in Little Miss Sunshine) with his ludicrous nine-point program for becoming a winner.
    The US has turned from a nation that rewards creative scientific thinking to one that rewards aggressive salesmanship. It’s the power in powerpoint.

  57. ked says:

    ya’ know, if they’d just get this Choosing Victory ppt down to a quad chart, I think it’d work…

  58. confusedponderer says:

    I was being somewhat generous to him. I read a few of his thunderous flatulations recently, and that was about what kept stuck. But for you I’ll descent to Mordor, to be precise, the dungeons that are the archives of National Review Online.
    The ghoulish part of Hanson is my reading of him. Conjuring up the casualties figures of historical battles where the campaigns were won in the end, and then making the comparison to Iraq and the casualties there, while preaching about America’s blesseth virtue as a nation, suggests to me nothing but. This post is going to be long, because Hanson writes at _length_.
    Hanson was propelled from obscurity to popularity through his book: ‘Carnage and Culture’ in the wake of 9/11.
    * Hanson recruiting Thucydides for the war on terror, and Iraq:
    “Question: And do you think that human unpredictability which you describe also explains the fickleness here at home, when critics, Left and Right, damned our initial bombing efforts — and yet now are eager to praise our sudden victories?
    Thucydides: One must support the national resolve even in the case of reverse, or to forfeit all credit for their wisdom in the event of success. For sometimes the course of things is as arbitrary as the plans of men; this is why we usually blame chance for whatever does not happen as we expected. [1.140]
    Question: So we are going to be in a real war?
    Thucydides: It must be thoroughly understood that war is a necessity, and that the more readily we accept it, the less will be the ardor of our opponents. [1.144] (sic)
    Question: So do we go on to Iraq as well?
    Thucydides: Those who are tempted by pride of strength to attack their neighbors usually march confidently against those who keep still and only defend themselves in their own country. But they think twice before they grapple with those who meet them outside the frontier and strike the first blow if opportunity offers. [4.92]”
    * Hanson on the US Civil War, and Iraq
    “By the dog days of August, Grant was no longer the hero of Forts Henry and Donelson or Vicksburg, but had become the “butcher” whose purported obstinacy and brutality had nearly ruined the Army of the Potomac — going through men and capital at an unsustainable rate. “We had not bargained for this” was the general feeling among the ranks as the daily fatalities mounted.
    We are fighting with tremendous skill, at a minimum loss of lives — and in the middle of an economic slump and a raucous campaign. But the paradox remains that the very rapidity of our victories abroad and the absence of another 9/11 at home have lulled far too many into thinking that Islamic fascism and Middle East totalitarianism can be eradicated in a few months, or that a complex society like postbellum Iraq should resemble a New England township five months after a war.
    Ponder instead that in a summer long ago a similarly beleaguered Abraham Lincoln did not remove Grant. Nor did he lecture Sherman about the niceties of taking Atlanta or later veto his bold ideas about cutting loose through Georgia. He did not broker a deal with Mr. Frémont on his right nor did he listen to gabby George McClellan — or consider the Copperheads anything other than defeatists whose enticing policy of appeasement would only postpone but not end the killing. And he most certainly did not ask Canada or England to broker an honest peace, or to send peacekeepers along the Mason-Dixon line.
    Instead, with a treasury that was almost broke, and an electorate that was exhausted, he pushed on through the gloom of summer and found his reward in autumn.”
    * Hanson celebrating the US victory in Iraq with gravitas so heavy, it seems made of uranium:
    “So we are witnessing right now the war’s critical turning point in these the most historic of times. What has been amazing about the war so far is not that we have been winning, but that we have been doing so — quite unlike our increasingly exhausted enemies — without the full mobilization of our vast economic, political, material, and human resources.”
    * With still plenty of gravitas and an escape to the ‘greater picture’ over inconvenient details, Hanson on the Second Word War, and Iraq:
    “About this time 60 years ago, six weeks after the Normandy beach landings, Americans were dying in droves in France. We think of the 76-day Normandy campaign of summer and autumn 1944 as an astounding American success — and indeed it was, as Anglo-American forces cleared much of France of its Nazi occupiers in less than three months. But the outcome was not at all preordained, and more often was the stuff of great tragedy. Blunders were daily occurrences — resulting in 2,500 Allied casualties a day. In any average three-day period, more were killed, wounded, or missing than there have been in over a year in Iraq.
    (…) Everything went wrong (…) Similar blunders ensured that Americans had (…) Eisenhower and Bradley probably miscalculated (…) a result of a colossal American intelligence failure (…) The catastrophes did not end after the Normandy campaign. More Americans were killed between December 1944 and January 1945 (…) In the short period between June and August 1944, military historians can adduce hundreds of examples of American amateurism, failed intelligence, incompetent logistics, and strategic blundering — but not enough of such errors to nullify the central truth of the Normandy invasion. A free people and its amazing citizen army liberated France and went on in less than a year to destroy veteran Nazi forces in the West, and to occupy Germany to end the war. Good historians (sic), then, keep such larger issues in mind, even as they second-guess and quibble with the tactical and strategic pulse of the battlefield.
    We should do the same. Errors were committed in the Iraqi campaign as they always are in war and its aftermath (…) We should probably have shot the looters who wrecked Iraq and smashed thugs like those in Fallujah last spring, when they were still in their vulnerable chrysalis stages.
    It becomes clear that our lapses could have been much greater if one studies the blunders of Eisenhower, Bradley, and Montgomery in 1944, not to mention the hare-brained ideas of great men like Churchill and Roosevelt — from being surprised at Pearl Harbor, Singapore, and the Philippines, to losing 50,000 casualties at Okinawa 90 days before the Japanese surrender, to allowing all of Eastern Europe to fall to the Communists. Yalta’s terrible miscalculations make the present administration’s foreign-policy slips seem minor in comparison.
    But if in our war we look at the larger picture, we likewise come away with a different verdict from the one those details might lead us to. For all our Normandy-like mistakes, we are left with one truth that won’t go away: A fascist, terrorist government is gone and something better is in its place, with a chance that it just might help alter the landscape of the region (sic).”
    To keep my part short, Hanson is a sophist.
    * Finally, a comment on Hanson by Werther, who sais it so much better than I ever could:
    “His academic niche is to drag the Peloponnesian War into every contemporary foreign policy controversy and thereby justify whatever course of action our magistrates have taken. One suspects that if the neo-cons at the American Enterprise Institute were suddenly seized by the notion to invade Patagonia, Mr. Hanson would be quoting Pericles in support.”

  59. Kurt says:

    “But the paradox remains that the very rapidity of our victories abroad and the absence of another 9/11 at home have lulled far too many into thinking that Islamic fascism and Middle East totalitarianism can be eradicated in a few months, or that a complex society like postbellum Iraq should resemble a New England township five months after a war.”
    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”
    PNAC Report: Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.
    We are living through one of the most dangerous periods in our history.

  60. Directions on Iraq: Day 3

    Shivaji Sondhi and Michael Cook, Co-Directors of the Project on Oil, Energy and the Middle East at Princeton University, have posted some additional thoughts on Iraq fueled by the discussion in the colloquium thus far.
    John Burgess has com…

  61. walrus says:

    First, putting aside all the nice langauge and pretty diagrams, Kagans plan is for the destruction and demolition of the suburbs where Shia reside, and the killing of every male of military age they can find, armed or not.
    That is what the phrases “Rapid Clearing operations” and “Disarm the militias” means. It means genocide and war crimes.
    It will start with encirclement or a given suburb to prevent escape and then commence with artillery firing cluster munitions, followed by tanks, bulldozers and mounted troops whose mission is to kill anything that moves.
    Those that survive will be a few women and children, and Kagans plan is that they will only be assisted to reconstruct their existence if they promise to be good.
    Why do I say this? Because there is simply no other way to “rapidly clear” these areas and “disarm” the militia in the three month time frame posited by Kagan.
    So my first comment is that I picture Kagan receiving the same fate as Dante gave the war loving Bertrand de Born – wandering the Ninth Bolgia of hell carrying his severed head in front of him as a lantern. Kagan and his handlers are simply wicked.
    I also have to ask the following: The Iraqi militias are not stupid men and they are internet aware, I guess they might even have a copy of powerpoint.
    Does anyone think they will wait passively while we conduct elaborate preparations for their doom? What if the militias decide to “surge” first?

  62. Peter Principle says:

    Stalingrad is the wrong metaphor. This is Bush’s Ardennes offensive — a.k.a. Operation Watch on the Rhine. Except it’s probably going to make Hitler’s last throw of the dice look like a smashing success by comparison.

  63. jang says:

    “Victory is Possible”, “Victory is Vital”…blah, blah…”Success is Possible”, “Other Approaches Will Fail”…. The pace and format appear to be similar to a deciderer speech consisting of delivering comfortable one line comments, followed by staring at the audience while flipping the page. Does it not make sense, however, that the abbreviated format and positive persuasive language (while derided here) was consciously chosen and cleverly designed to persuade the mind of an audience of one: ie the commander in chief? How devious is that?

  64. The Only useful thing from the American Enterprise Institute

    Col. Patrick Lang has done an admirable job of beating the ever living intellectual shit out of Frederick Kagan’s ‘plan for victory in Iraq’ over at his place. The basic problems are simple — Exhausted US forces, lack of a

  65. johnf says:

    It is very weird, this obsession with Thucydides among neo-con “historians” – Hanson and Donald Kagan.
    They draw the parallels and draw the parallels – but the whole focus and climax of Thucydides – which they both seem to ignore – and which fits almost perfectly as a refutation of the lunatic theories of neo-connery – is of course the Sicilian Expedition – where an Imperial Demicracy, Athens, went effectively mad, listened to demagogues and rogues and people with corporate interests – declared war on a place which was so far off nobody really knew where or what it was – and sent their whole army and navy off to be destroyed in a doomed and under-researched project – thus allowing Athens real and age-old enemies – the Spartans – to raze Athens to the ground.
    Thucydides’ whole work is about explaining and understanding this catastrophe.
    By the way, in case anyone is a fan of Riverbend, the BBC are currently serializing a dramatic adaptation of her blog, which can be accessed on:

  66. BadTux says:

    The first rule of thumb, if you’re stuck in a hole, is “Stop digging!”. The AEI, apparently, has a different idea: “If you’re stuck in a hole, keep digging, and you’ll eventually come out in China and escape the hole!”
    Of course, it doesn’t really work that way, but hey, it sounds good on a PowerPoint, I suppose…
    As for oil, I wish Iraq was about oil. Then it’d make sense. But I quit believing it was about oil when we leveled Fallujah. There ain’t no oil in Fallujah. Frankly, nobody’s ever given me any notion why we’re in Iraq, beyond some vague “national interest” that they never seem willing to explain to me…

  67. ikonoklast says:

    Grimgrin, Confused, Kurt –
    Thanks (I think) for the Hanson overview. Frankly, a quick perusal of Kristol, Barnes and Co. at the Weakly Standard is usually all the tripe that I can stomach. Hanson is living proof that history will make fools of us all – and he’s way ahead of the curve.
    The bizarre analogies and interpretations mark him as another Straussian, no?

  68. confusedponderer says:

    I compared this plan to Algiers. I was wrong. It will be more like Fallujah II, or Grozny II.

  69. lester says:

    it’s the great depression 2 actually. a bunch of speculators who everyone thinks are geniuses turn out to be morons with nothing but ideology and fantasy to back up their bad ideas.

  70. The Kagan-Keane Plan: Surging to Lose

    Bush non-fan Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute looks more correct by the day when he notes that: “The controversy over what to do about Iraq has congealed into two camps: supporters of the President…

  71. confusedponderer says:

    I read that on No Quarter:
    “It was at Camp David last June that Kagan, a military historian and fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, outlined his plans for pouring more troops into Iraq to Bush and his war cabinet.
    Donald Rumsfeld, the then defence secretary, was unimpressed, but Kagan’s views got another hearing when Bush was searching for ways to ditch the seemingly defeatist recommendations of James Baker’s Iraq Study Group. “Wow, you mean we can still win this war?” a grateful Bush reportedly said.”

  72. William says:

    Jan 10, 08
    Seeking information about a “Stan Henning”, retired Sgt USMC.
    He was a Drill Instructor at Paris Island in June, 1957.
    I was a recruit in that period platoon.
    Bill Kirkland; retired CPA
    Spring Hill, Florida

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