The United States is not Rome, and strengths and weakness are no longer measured alone by a nation's number of combatants. Yet President George W Bush's "new" Iraq strategy will call for thousands more troops, when withdrawal is the only viable option
By Ramzy Baroud
"....Disgruntled Democrats are not alone in objecting to Bush's imprudent proposal; the military leadership also finds it reckless and futile. Therefore, top army brass Generals George Casey and John Abizaid, who are deeply skeptical regarding increasing troop numbers in Iraq, are on their way to be replaced by war supporters.....
Moreover, the president reportedly intends to endorse William Fallon to head US Central Command. The choice of Fallon, according to Tim Reid, The Times of London's reporter in Washington, as the top military commander in the Middle East - to replace Abizaid - came as a big surprise to the Pentagon, for the former is a naval officer with little experience in that region.
But things will fall neatly in place when one considers that Bush's choice has more to do with Iran than repairing the damage done in Iraq: "Any mission against Tehran would rely heavily on carrier-based aircraft and missiles from the Persian Gulf," according to The Times, and the expertise of Fallon is most needed in that type of military scenario....
Most of the new troops will be positioned in Sunni areas in Baghdad and al-Anbar province, seen as the heart of the resistance. Only a naive person would argue that such a stratagem would lead to anything other than greater bloodshed and further enlivening and validating the so-called insurgents.
Although the "Sunni insurgency" remains the prime target of the US military in Iraq, there is a growing realization among US officials and war generals that the unruly Shi'ite militias and their death squads are a greater cause of instability and violence.
Ironically, the rise of the Shi'ite militias was an early US strategy that put the many Shi'ite factions on a crash course with the Sunni resistance: thus dividing and weakening the Iraqis and lowering the risk of American casualties.
Now that the Iraqi army and police are composed mostly from those same militant thugs, many Iraqis find themselves victimized by their supposed national army and police force. Those who are expecting Iraqis to "take responsibility for their future" seem oblivious to the fact that the future of Iraq is most bleak under the current US-devised sectarianism where Sunnis are murdered with impunity and Shi'ites are blown up in their markets.
The humiliating execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein at the hands of masked Shi'ite guards purporting to be an executive arm of a legitimate government was indeed the last attestation that will forever categorize the ongoing strife in Iraq as one between Shi'ite and Sunni, the former allied to invading foreigners and the latter fighting for mere survival...."