Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Surge Needs Serious Help

There are basically two aspects to the Iraq "surge", the military campaign and the political situation that the military was supposed to "buy time" to fix. Unfortunately, the Iraqi politicians haven't been playing ball.

Whether the military part of the surge is working is difficult to gauge. General Petraeus has talked about a "mini Tet" perhaps to be waged by AQ-types, like the real Tet Offensive, that will probably create bad headlines in Western media but fail to make any real change on the ground. We may be seeing some of this now, though cheerleaders of the war claim that the surge shows early signs of progress. And we're now about a month into the full-strength surge, which is hardly enough time to judge a military tactic of this magnitude.

However, whether Petraeus is doing a good job or not, it has always been accepted that the surge was supposed to buy time for political progress. This is not happening. The WashTimes reports (link above) that the Iraqi government "has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform". None. Zip. Zilch.

Not a good sign. I'd say the Iraqi government has about a month (give or take) to make serious progress before US political support totally crumbles. If I were benevolent dictator I would be willing to wait until Petraeus' September report before making major decisions, but the "Washington clock" isn't likely to make it that far.


Anonymous said...

If memory serves, the Washington Times is actually the conservative-leaning paper in DC. If *they're* saying that the surge hasn't accomplished the intended goals, then that's a serious blemish to the administration.


Sockless Joe said...

Indeed, The Washington Times is noticeably more conservative than the Post.