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