Thursday, March 16, 2006

Premptive Swarming

Today, U.S. and Iraqi forces launched what some are calling the largest Iraq air assault since 2003.

At today's White House press conference, Scott McClellan said the Operation Swarmer was initiated by commanders in the theater of war, and not by anyone in the administration. Mister Bush apparently knew about it, but he didn't order it.

At the same press conference, McClellan also said, "We have a clear strategy for winning in Iraq," but neither he nor anyone else in the administration have clearly explained what that strategy is, or what exactly "winning" consists of.


The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll says 61 percent of Americans disapprove of Mister Bush's handling of the war, 51 percent say the overthrow of Hussein hasn't been worth it, and 57 percent are "less confident" that the war will end successfully. It's not clear whom those 57 percent are less confident than, but it's a good bet they're less confident that the likes of Scott McClellan seem to be.

I'll be interested to see who the 57 percent are less confident that if this Operation Swarmer turns out to be another bust.


On MSNBC, Congressman Jim Saxton (R-New Jersey) says Operation Swarmer was launched on a "mature level of intelligence." I'm never sure what "mature intelligence" means. More often than not, as we've seen in the countless air strikes "just missed" getting the bad guys they targeted, "mature intelligence" seems to mean "old intelligence."

But whatever Congressman Saxton meant in using the term, one has to wonder if the intelligence that prompted Operation Swarmer was any more or less mature than the intelligence that launch Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The new National Security Strategy is on the streets. It isn't posted at the White House web site yet, but word on the street is that the administration is insisting on sticking with its policy of preemptive deterrence. Preemptive deterrence involves striking an enemy before he has an opportunity to act against us. To do that requires knowledge of the enemy's intentions and capabilities, which requires intelligence.

But as the march to the Iraq invasion illustrated, the intelligence behind preemptive deterrence doesn't have to be accurate. It just has to be "darn good enough" to support actions that we couldn't otherwise justify.

There's no telling just yet how darn good the intelligence behind Operation Swarm was. But if it turns out to have been bad, it won't be Mister Bush's fault, because he didn't order the operation, he just knew about it.

When do you think they told him? When he was working out with Condi?

It sounds like even Mister Bush is getting tired of this pesky old war.


  1. "Mature intelligence" could mean "old" but most likely means someone read the latest poll, with its 33% approval rating. A mature person, i.e. a grownup, would react by immediately doing something positive, to show we're in this war for the long haul, and we plan to win. (Come to think of it, a child would do the same.) Maybe the difference is career-fear vs petulance.

    And perhaps a key tactic in the new, streamlined National Security Strategy preemtive deterrence is killing pre-insugents before they get old enough, and pissed off enough to get their gun and get their war on? The new AC-130H would come in handy for that, because it can devastate entire city blocks in one minute.

    The operation was initiated by commanders in the field, without Mr Bush's prompting because by now they've been well-trained on how to react to bad news.

  2. Lurch:

    I suspect everything you've said is true. However, on some level I'm glad to see them actually doing something. If we're going to be there and fight the war, lets fight it. If not, let's leave. But I don't like leaving our guys just sitting around over there waiting for the next IED to explode.

  3. Scott, if they were just "sitting around" they'd be safe from IEDs. In fact, if the chaos worshippers among the neocons, and their enablers in the Bush govenment had actually planned properly, they'd have secured all the weapons dumps, such as al Qaqaa, as a matter of course. Any vaguely ept (opposite of inept) military planner would have secured the sites immediately.

    The problem is that they're scootering around the landscape attempting to project the force majeure of any other occupier and that's the second reason why they're being slaughtered.

    The similarity to fish/cut bait, row/bail, and pot/shit comes to mind.

  4. Lurch:

    Yes, you have a good point there. But in that case, we need to do what Murtha suggests and simply get to the perimeter. It doesn't make sense to just sit in the middle of it unless you're actually going to fight and try to put a stop to the insurgency, something I don't think we're doing a whole lot of.

  5. Barndog4:25 AM

    There is no 'simple method' to get our forces outside to the perimeter, in a war-zone ran by guerillas at their choosing - against a force paralyzed by it's wheeled, mechanized mobility stump of legs.

    And, that's taking into consideration them doing it without the ineptitude of the fuckwad senior Officers (no offense Cmdr) thinking they run this dog & pony show over there from their blowjob, scotch & hotel suites, of course - funded with your tax money.

    All the while, female soldiers are being raped in the field (sometimes killed) at night while going to shower, by their own counterparts even... because of the lack of command and control they have over their own troops.

    Just a fucking lovely mess, George.

    I certainly hope you enjoy your time in hell, George.

    Semper Fidelis

  6. Oh, and will we have a body count by the evening news tonight? I'm sure Vegas has odds on the over/under...

  7. We used to call them FSO's Barndog. :-)


    I'll be interested to see if they put that out or not. PAO has been back and forth on giving out those numbers.

    And as the likes of Sowell know, the media can only report enemy casualty figures if the military gives them the figures.

  8. On the topic of casualties, I well remember from Nam that dead men were "NVA fighters," and dead women and children, "VC."

    The media in general can only report what they're told by CENTCOM since it's entirely too unsafe to actually go out into Injun country with the troops, and despite what the CENTCOM happy bloggers tell you, the troops don't really want am empty set of cammies out there with them. Just another body to watch out for, that can't watch out for them in return.

    Sowell, being a fascist neocon (and by training more of an economist than a journalist,) hasn't developed the bullshit gland enough to discriminate between fertilizer and truth. By virtue of his ideological leanings, he's looking for the happy news. Why isn't he over there in the sandbox reporting on repainted schools?

    Barndog's right, BTW, disengagement to a "perimeter" begs the question of which perimeter. Big Oil will not stand for the troops being withdrawn to Kuwait, so the only perimeter available is the "enduring bases." Can you spell Dien Bien Phu? Just a thought - with our troops bottled up in the enduring bases to limit Americans casualties we have effectively ceded the arena to the civil war combatants, thereby rendering ourselves neutered politically and militarily. And say - we haven't seen any SAMs being used over there, have we? Allegedly there were thousands of MANPADS stored away in those bunkers. Just another thought - maybe they're saving them to fire at the US planes when the time comes to invite us to leave the country quickly.

  9. Barndog5:21 AM

    Lurch... when you say 'bullshit gland'.. in context with Sowell I know you meant the line that runs from the feeding barn, out to the shit pond. If you've ever been to a massive milk farm, that's just how they do it.

    Cow's come into the milk barn - into a massive milk stall, where their hosed off, sterilized, then milked, then outside to a feeding area, where they eat out of nice augered troughs, shit and piss in nice augered troughs - where it is taken way outside somewhere to a large 'holding pond' - to be utilized elsewhere if not sold for commercial use.

    I'm saying every single one in Amerikkka probally runs direct to the WaPo, and/or NYT.