Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Surge to Nowhere

The goal of the architects of the surge was to extend the life-sucking occupation in Iraq beyond the Presidency of George W. Bush. In an op-ed called "The Surge to Nowhere", International Relations Professor Andrew Bacevich takes apart the rhetoric of the surge.

From The Washington Post:
As the fifth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom nears, the fabulists are again trying to weave their own version of the war. The latest myth is that the "surge" is working.

In President Bush's pithy formulation, the United States is now "kicking ass" in Iraq. The gallant Gen. David Petraeus, having been given the right tools, has performed miracles, redeeming a situation that once appeared hopeless. Sen. John McCain has gone so far as to declare that "we are winning in Iraq." While few others express themselves quite so categorically, McCain's remark captures the essence of the emerging story line: Events have (yet again) reached a turning point. There, at the far end of the tunnel, light flickers. Despite the hand-wringing of the defeatists and naysayers, victory beckons.


In only one respect has the surge achieved undeniable success: It has ensured that U.S. troops won't be coming home anytime soon. This was one of the main points of the exercise in the first place. As AEI military analyst Thomas Donnelly has acknowledged with admirable candor, "part of the purpose of the surge was to redefine the Washington narrative," thereby deflecting calls for a complete withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.

In May of last year Bacevich's son, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army also named Andrew, was killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Iraq. He was 27, and one of 3,921 members of the U.S. military killed since the invasion.

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