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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Get The Hell Out Of Dodge

A clusterfuck primer:

And now Bill Lind's exit strategy:

Everyone in Washington except those in the Bushbunker knows we need an exit strategy; few have offered one. While I have had a bit more time to consider my proposal than did the Senator in the story (which was current during my early days on Senate staff), I am sure my proposal will have holes in it. Nonetheless, it may help move the discussion along, from whether to get out of Iraq to how to get out.

Please note that I am not talking about how to win the Iraq war. The war was lost from before the first bomb fell, because the strategic objectives were never attainable no matter what we did. Further blunders, from de-Baathification and sending the Iraqi Army home through mistreating the civilian population, have moved us from mere failure to incipient disaster. The question, rather, is how we might get out without our defeat being so obvious as to be undeniable.

So here is my proposal:

First, announce that we will leave Iraq soon, and completely. Not one American base or soldier will remain on Iraqi soil. The spin should be, “We came only to remove Saddam from power, and we have accomplished that mission. Iraq now has a constitution and an elected government; we have no reason to remain.”

Second, open negotiations to set a date by which we will be gone. The formal negotiations will be with the Iraqi government. Behind the scenes, we will have to set a deadline for achieving an agreement, failing which we will announce a withdrawal unilaterally.
...
Third, while we will cease our useless “sweeps” and other clearly offensive actions, we will also quietly institute the “ink-blot strategy” in some mixed Sunni-Shiite-Kurdish areas. While the ink-blot strategy (like the CAP program in Vietnam) represents a strategic offensive, which allows us to keep pressure on the Sunnis to make a deal, it requires de-escalation on the tactical level, so as not to alienate the local population. That should help reduce both Sunni and American casualties while negotiations proceed.
...
“Staying the course” in a lost war is not a strategy at all; it is merely a recipe for disaster.

Indeed.

ntodd

November 6, 2005 | Permalink

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