Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Did the Iraq Surge Really Work?

Consider this headline from today's New York Times:

Coordinated Bombings Kill at Least 101 in Baghdad
Does that sound like a country that has achieved peace and understanding?  And we still have over 100,000 troops there.   Not to mention that since the Iraq surge, violence has escalated in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Once we leave (if we leave), civil war seems almost inevitable.  This does not mean we should stay; that just delays the inevitable, and at a large, ongoing cost.  But we should not kid ourselves about what will happen once we are gone.

16 comments:

Matt Purvis said...

Yes, we have 100,000 troops there, but what are they doing? Packing up and pulling out. No more combat operations. They are basically on vacation now. That's why the casualties are down to zero.

Rob Ross said...

There was a very interesting TED talk about this subject suggesting that terrorists conduct larger operations when the risk of capture or failure is higher, and smaller more numerous ones when the reverse is true. Check it out - it addresses your question in an interesting way.

Moose said...

This question seems to revolve around what your idea of "work" is. If it means no more bombings or violence, then no, I suppose you could say it didn't.

Do you believe this is the correct measurement? It seems to me that you believe our failure is predetermined by this "future" civil war. However, this means nearly anything can be used as evidence that the surge didn't work, since, well - the whole thing will eventually be a failure, right?

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jeff in indy said...

at times it's as if the US acts like a sea snake. it feign's injury and let's its prey take little bites from it, then it strikes. but our venom from recent strikes over the past couple of decades has been more like kool-aid. in the end, we'll still have enemies, both foreign and domestic. it's clear we all just "can't get along," but short of nuking and paving, i see neither a clear nor remotely permanent answer.

where's the middle ground between the current protectionist screamers and imperialista accusers?

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