Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

One Friedman away from fragging and mutiny

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2007

Tisdall, Gruadnia:

An elite team of officers advising the US commander, General David Petraeus, in Baghdad has concluded that they have six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat…

The main obstacles confronting Gen Petraeus’s team are:

  • Insufficient troops on the ground
  • A “disintegrating” international coalition
  • An anticipated increase in violence in the south as the British leave
  • Morale problems as casualties rise
  • A failure of political will in Washington and/or Baghdad.

The team is an unusual mix of combat experience and academic achievement. It includes Colonel Peter Mansoor, a former armoured division commander with a PhD in the history of infantry; Colonel HR McMaster, author of a well-known critique of Vietnam and a seasoned counter-insurgency operations chief; Lt-Col David Kilcullen, a seconded Australian officer and expert on Islamism; and Colonel Michael Meese, son of the former US attorney-general Edwin Meese, who was a member of the ill-fated Iraq Study Group…

“Additional troops are essential if we are to win,” said Lt-Col John Nagel, co-author of the [counterinsurgency] manual, in an address at the US Naval Institute in San Diego last month. One soldier for every 50 civilians in the most intense conflict areas [corresponding to about 300,000-500,000 combat troops] was key to successful counter-insurgency work.

Not to worry. No matter that Iraq has gone on longer than WW II without a single discernible victory, no matter that the rest of the world long ago walked away from the mess, the Publicans will blame us, same as for everything else.

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9 Responses to “One Friedman away from fragging and mutiny”

  1. Steve Gilliard over at News Blog has been taking lots of guff from people accusing him of blowing smoke when he says that our forces in Iraq are about to give up en masse. This just shows that’s he’s right.

  2. Charles said

    Vietnam syndrome doesn’t work quite that way, PW. It’s more like the people who do the fighting gradually start to resent the people who send them in.

    For example, as you may know, one of the members of our family is in the military. The families had a fund to run parties and provide bits of help here and there. All the money came from them. Suddenly, the base commander seized the fund, claiming it wasn’t being administered properly. I don’t know whether his allegations of mismanagement were true or not, but I know that seizure was widely viewed as an act of contempt for all the families.

    It’s out of very small events like this that entire families decide that their sacrifices aren’t appreciated and withdraw their support. The number of vets affected by substandard conditions at Walter Reed was probably a few thousand out of many hundreds of thousands. But at every stage, there have been smaller indignities. Charges for weapons lost on the battlefield. Pay that vanishes. Stolen medical records and the fears of identity theft.

    It’s not like guys are going to walk away from their posts. But there is a slow, steady advance of mutinous feeling. And with the leadership we’ve got, all it takes is some missing strawberries…

  3. njr said

    addiyional to Charles
    “the people who do the fighting gradually start to resent the people who send them in.”

    overheard in checkout line:
    The package had been opened and all he got were the socks.
    She then went on to her friend about still having the customs slip, and talking on the phone to her son to list the missing items…

    I don’t recall ever hearing about theft from care packages during Nam…

  4. Interesting point, njr. I don’t recall hearing about that either. If that’s now happening from military mail handling facilities, that represents a serious breakdown.

  5. Yeah.

    Vietnam II, you are now cleared for takeoff.

  6. Carla said

    I wonder if the mail problems are the result of contractor misconduct. Although I do recall my Marine niece complaining on her first tour of what she regarded as the extremely poor attitude of the mail company at her base. She would describe them kvetching endlessly about how hard their jobs were, what with all the packages they had to sort and deliver, and roll her eyes and say “like they were the only ones in Iraq with a tough job.” She was in Mortuary Affairs and found herself unmoved by their complaints.

  7. Charles said

    You make an excellent point, Carla. It may not be members of the military responsible for what Njr heard about.

    With the way Bushco has privatized everything, care package ripoff could be going straight to the Halliburton bottom line.

  8. freepatriot said

    did somebody mention some missing strawberries ???

    let me get my bearings straight here, and we can solve the mystery of the missing strawberries

    Queeg wouldn’t survive a minute in Iraq right now, btw

  9. Jake said

    Dude the the man in the white house is every where once your loged on the internet hes wachin you. This whole iraq thing is just a cover up to show we dont take no crap, now that its going down hill the man whants out, what dose that tell you

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