Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It’s NOT the surge

Just about everyone claiming "the surge" worked, crediting the surge for the reduced violence in Iraq. However, the surge has been only a minor factor in the calming of Iraq.

Violence in Iraq has lessened primarily due to the number of mercenaries being paid by the US Government, the implementation of Carter policy of paying combatants not to fight, and the near completion of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad.

The surge is an increase of 30,000 American troops, bringing the total to 160,000 troops in Iraq. The surge troops are only twenty percent of the American force in the country. Such a small increase couldn’t possibly have had the effect some claim.

Meanwhile there are 180,000 contractors, many of them mercenaries, like Blackwater. Non-mercenaries contractors, work for the military, doing jobs soldiers would have performed in past wars.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, General Erik Shinseki said we would need over 300,000 troops to stabilize the country. His military career was ended when the White House decided to do the job on the cheap. Now the troops are there, even if over half are simply on the payroll. Apparently Shinseki was right.

More important to the decrease in violence is the Awakening movement. The Sunni Awakening movement started several months before the surge. Peace was already breaking out before the surge began.

The Awakening is an implementation of the Carter policy, developed for the Camp David Peace Accord in 1979. The US Government has poured foreign aid into Egypt since 1979, in exchange for peace between Egypt and Israel.

Now, the United States has implemented a policy of paying Sunni leaders to not fight, at a cost of $500,000 per day. The Sunni leaders tired of fighting and foreign insurgents; they eagerly took the payments in exchange for peace.

In Baghdad, the neighborhoods have been largely cleansed. Sunnis have been removed from Shia neighborhoods and Shia have been cleansed from Sunni neighborhoods. Mixed neighborhoods are now fairly abandoned or undesirable. Shia and Sunni have calmed down in Baghdad mainly because there’s nothing left to fight over.

Yes, the American military is doing everything it can, but it is disingenuous or ignorant to assert that the surge “has worked.”

Calling the surge a success is like giving Barry Bonds credit for winning lopsided baseball game by hitting a home run in the ninth inning.

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