The Surge is a Fraud: Copy and Paste Comment
A lot of times I'll post a comment somewhere else, maybe even post the same idea multiple times, but neglect to blog it here.
Violence is down in Iraq. The number of people fleeing Iraq has dropped to a "trickle" of maybe 10,000/month (source: Iraq Index pdf). But the surge had nothing to do with it. .
Much more important are:
- We are paying off the Sunni tribalists who used to kill us. It is simply a fact that some of the people we are paying favor killing American troops. This is called the "Sunni Awakening" but is nothing more than paying double what your assassin was getting for bumping you off.
- Until earlier this month, Sadr's militias were operating under a ceasefireo, although it is clear from the violence in Basra last month that Sadr's isn't in full control, perhaps these new "special groups" are a way for him to save face when violence by his militias does occur. Regardless, he has stated the ceasefire is definitely over.
Petraeus is more intelligent and humane than Casey before him
One thing to look back at is the Crimean War. There hadn't been a major English, French or Russian war in over thirty years. Most all of the Generals sucked badly. None of any of the modern General's Vietnam experiences (even if they had them) could possibly have been at any serious level of command.
- The surge? Remember, the peak of the surge brought total US troops to 171,000, and it was back down to the low 160s inside one month. There were 160,000+ troops back in November and December of 2005, and over 150,000 in three months in early 2005. Now, factor in that in 2005 the British and Australians were still in Iraq with the Americans, and you can see, without any doubt, the surge was not signifcant.