Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sooner Rather Then Later

While Cindy can't see the forest for the trees, there is talk on the Right of placing withdrawal on the table by year's end:
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said this morning on CBS' Face the Nation that "unless something extraordinary happens," most members of Congress believe that troop withdrawal should be on the table in September.

"We have to be realistic," he said. "We have to know that we can't achieve everything we'd like to achieve. We have a limited number of men and women we can send to Iraq, and we can't overburden them."
The idea of the surge, was to not just make one final seep through Iraqi trouble spots, but to take advantage of the trained indigenous security force to hold the areas post sweep. There are signs that this is working, even before the full troops strength numbers are reached.
What tactics are working? "We got down at the people level and are staying," he said flatly. "Once the people know we are going to be around, then all kinds of things start to happen."

More intelligence, for example. Where once tactical units were "scraping" for intelligence information, they now have "information overload," the general said. "After our guys are in the neighborhood for four or five days, the people realize they're not going to just leave them like we did in the past. Then they begin to come in with so much information on the enemy that we can't process it fast enough."

In intelligence work - the key to fighting irregular wars - commanders love excess.

And the tribal leaders in Sunni al Anbar Province, the general reports, "have had enough." Not only are the al Qaeda fighters causing civil disruption by fomenting sectarian violence and killing civilians, but on a more prosaic but practical side, al Qaeda is bad for business. "All of the sheiks up there are businessmen," Petraeus said. "They are entrepreneurial and involved in scores of different businesses. The presence of the foreign fighters is hitting them hard in the pocketbook and they are tired of it."
There is an election next year, and although public sentiment is not behind this administration's war policy, there is reluctance by the mindful middle to blindly turn over the reigns of national security to the Democratic Party. If the Right can finally show some common sense, their dismal prospects of success at the 2008 ballot boxes may be recovering.


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