Sunday, July 19, 2015

Barack's toothpaste tube approach to Iraq

This is from C.I.'s Saturday Iraq snapshot:


Scott Neuman (NPR) notes the Diyala Province bombing has left "at least 11 people" dead and that "Susannah George, reporting for NPR from Iraq, says amateur video shows dazed civilians wandering through destroyed streets and buildings."  Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) points out that this is "one of the deadliest single attacks in the country in the past decade."

What's going on?

All that happened when the assault began on Anbar is the violence spread elsewhere.  Consider Falluja the middle of a tube of tooth paste.  Nouri putting the thumb in the middle of the tube did not make the toothpaste disappear, it only made it increase in opposite ends.

You probably think I wrote that today or this week when the (latest) assault on Anbar began.


That's from February 21, 2014.

When is anyone going to wake the hell up?

I am not the smartest person in the room and never will be.

This week the so-called Center for American Progress offered more useless garbage about Iraq and trying to defend Barack.

There's no defense.

There is experience and there is knowledge.

We have explained the toothpaste metaphor over.  I believe the most recent time was April 25th.  Equally true, Gen Martin Dempsey picked it up and used it when testifying before Congress this month.

When he did, I thought about including it here.  But then I thought, "Am I patting myself on the back?"  So we avoided it here.

We can't avoid it anymore.

The United States needs to start paying attention and stop whoring.

Whoring for Bully Boy Bush didn't help Iraq.

Whoring for Barack Obama doesn't help Iraq.

Take your mouth off the cock of which ever of the two men you're in love with and worship and stop your whoring.

(Although some, like Andrew Sullivan, managed to worship and whore for both men.)

If you want a military approach to Iraq -- I do not -- you need to grasp that Barack and Haider al-Abadi's strategy or 'strategy' or plan or 'plan' is doomed.

It does not work.

Even by military standards it will not work.

If you want a military approach to Iraq's political crises, then what you want is not 'degrade and destroy' -- which are two bulls**t terms used to trick the American people -- many of whom want to be tricked, let's be honest.

The two terms are "clear and hold."

That's the military strategy that needs to be carried out in Iraq.

You do not defeat (militarily) an 'enemy' in an area by jumping here (Tikrit) and then there (Ramadi) and then many miles over there and then many miles over here.

If you're trying to defeat an enemy in the borders of country, a state, a province, whatever, you are doing clear and hold.

You are starting from point X and you are methodically working to the next point.

So if we're in California, for example, we don't clear Los Angeles and then jump tons of miles over to Monterey.

If you made Los Angeles your starting point, you would immediately send  troops into Ventura and Kern and Orange and San Bernadino because each of those counties border Los Angeles (while keeping forces in Los Angels county to ensure that it is 'held').

You would take Los Angeles county and then grab the immediate surroundings ones -- this is clear and hold.

Once you had secured those counties, you would continue to work outwards.

When you instead, grab Los Angeles county and then jump miles and miles and miles to the north to grab San Francisco, you accomplish nothing.  Between the two you have San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Merced, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, etc., etc.

So if you retake Los Angeles and then jump to San Francisco, all those areas between the two?  That's where the 'enemy' will flood to.

That's the point of the toothpaste analogy.  You're just pressing on one point of the tube and the toothpaste is just spreading elsewhere in the tube.

(To be successful, you would need to work from the closed end of the toothpaste tube all the way across -- squeezing all the toothpaste out as you do -- to the nozzle.)

This is not working militarily -- the current approach in Iraq -- and it will never work.  You can't do Tikrit in northern Iraq and then jump down to Ramadi.

Clear and hold.

That's basically door to door.

And once you clear one area, you need to hold it.

And you send additional forces into the bordering area and clear and hold that.  And you do that over and over, working through the country.

That's the only way the approach works from a military stand point.

From a military stand point, the current effort (whatever you want to call it -- plan, strategy, whatever) is a failure and will continue to be a failure.

I don't support a military approach to the problems.  Maybe other Americans will.  That's fine, it's a democracy.  If they do support it, I'll still be a voice opposed to it (that's also democracy).

But if you're going to do a military approach, you need to do one that could accomplish something and not one -- the one Barack and Haider al-Abadi are ordering -- that will never accomplish anything.

Jumping from Tikrit to Ramadi just means the Islamic State moves all over in all directions.

You're not 'herding' them by doing a clear and hold.

You're allowing them to set up multiple bases wherever they want.

The current approach is not methodical and it's insane from a military stand point.

(And, yes, the Pentagon knows that.  That's why they don't like the approach.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }