Friday, May 04, 2007

Cordesman: Administration has surge without a plan

In a couple of reports Anthony Cordesman, a military expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, states that the administration has yet to develop a credible plan for Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran but the Democrats aren't much better. He has proposed plans but foresees no stable Iraq until at least 2013. On the other hand, withdrawing completely from Iraq now will not likely lead to Iraq becoming a launching pad for new terrorist attacks. McClatchy Newspapers:
The administration has overstated progress in Iraq and hyped the risks of setting a time line for withdrawal, Cordesman wrote. He said a rushed U.S. withdrawal would lead to violent power struggles, but not genocide. He said that the administration's argument that Iraq would become a sanctuary for al-Qaida ignores key points: strong and growing resistance to al-Qaida by Iraqi Sunnis, and opposition to al-Qaida from Iraq's other main groups, the Shiites and Kurds.

In addition, withdrawal would pose no major increase in the threat al-Qaida poses to America, Cordesman wrote, noting that al-Qaida already operates from several countries.

Cordesman also gave the Democratic-led Congress low marks. Its benchmarks and timelines are unrealistic, given Iraq's many problems, he said. Iraq has no strong central government or rule of law, so Iraqi factions will need time to work out compromises.
His analysis of the situation and his long involvement recommendations - pdf file. His analysis of the civil war plus taking place in Iraq now.

While I cannot fault his analysis I question that the American people would have supported, and would still support, an Iraqi war that involves no danger to America and would require massive military action for many more years. Would you have supported this war if you were told it was a trillion dollar war and would costs hundreds of American casualties a year for ten years? Do you support staying there now fighting for five more years?

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