Thursday, January 11, 2007

George W. Bush: Decider, Divider, Escalator

Also at Kos.

We're about to send two of our least effective instruments of power to the Middle East: Patriot Missile batteries and Condi Rice.

And oh, yeah, 21,500 more troops.

No one seems to seriously think Mr. Bush's escalation strategy will work, including, one gets the distinct impression, Mr. Bush himself.

The Works

That depends, of course, on what your definition of "works" is. If you mean something along the lines of "restore order to Iraq, disband the militias, unify the government and rebuild the country," no, that's not going to work.

If you mean: "escalate and expand the war throughout the region," yeah, that will work. It's working already.

The "surge" is underway. ABC reports that elements of the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday.

U.S. forces have raided the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi city of Erbil and arrested five members of its staff. It looks like that's as close as we're going to come to conducting direct diplomacy with Iran.

Mr. Bush has ordered an additional carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf region.

We've conducted air raids in Somalia, ostensibly in an effort to kill senior al-Qaeda members suspected of being responsible for the 1998 bombing U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. CBS reports that none of the intended targets were killed. U.S. Navy ships are intercepting maritime traffic of the Somali coast, searching for al-Qaeda members attempting to flee the country.

We've begun to deploy F-117 stealth bombers to South Korea. An Air Force spokesman says the deployment is "part of ongoing measures to maintain a credible deterrent and presence in the West Pacific.’’


The House and Senate are holding hearings today on the Iraq policy that Mr. Bush announced last night. I'm more than a little concerned that Congress seems so fixated by Iraq right now that they're not paying any attention whatsoever to the escalation that's already taking place.

Military pundit Ralph Peters of the New York Post finally figured out that the assignment of Admiral William Fallon to take charge of Central Command was all about getting tough with Iran. You know something is obvious to everyone if Peters gets it.

Here's what gets me. Bush backers warn us that withdrawal from Iraq will cause the violence there to spread into a regional war, yet everything Bush is doing seems purposely designed to ensure that a regional war--one that spans the Horn of Africa to the Korean Peninsula--is precisely what happens.

And nobody in Congress or the mainstream media seems to be on to that yet.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. Jeff, agree - per usual. The Patriot carrier battle group deployments are the scariest part to me.
    In addition to the F-117s you mention, Langley's sending F-22s to Kadena for "a few months..."
    Don't even wanna comment right now on the current president's performance last night. Managed to watch the whole thing, but felt dirty afterward.
    739 days to go.

  2. I took a long shower afterwards.

  3. bob g2:29 PM

    It would appear that Bush is going back to his original Plan A. Do you remember way back in 2001, just after 9/11, when it was suggested that the US attack the world and rid it of terrorists (or people we subjectively labeled terrorists.) That plan had us attacking multiple sites in Africa, the Middle East, and North Korea.

    Now rational minds may not take this thought seriously, but is it possible that he is planning his last hurrah, a Capt. Queeg moment? He refuses to be reined in by his military advisors or his Daddy's friends, so who is he listening to? Is it a voice in his head? A sign from God? Or just people who make him feel good about himself?

    Although I'm not ready, yet, to label Mr. Bush crazy, it appears that the only military planning this bunch has done involves beer and the board game Risk.

  4. I'd say this is more Colonel Kurz than Captain Queeg.

  5. The horror. Heart of Darkness is the perfect book for these times. Shit, they seem to be willing to go Defcon-5, or whatever it is these days. Exterminate the brutes. ...Strangelove-scenario... I like that term.

  6. Funny you should mention Heart of Darkness. I'm working on a piece for tomorrow tenatively titled Apocalypse in Somalia Now.


  7. J Rosen5:21 PM

    I'm taking this chance to ask a pro whether I'm on target here: I think that the idea of attacking Iraq is one of the great strategic (and grand strategic) blunders of all time. Certainly the greatest in our history, it ranks right up there with Hitler's invasion of the USSR (when he was getting all the raw materials he needed by trading), the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the declaration of war on the US on DEcember 11, 1941 (which was not required by Germany's treaty with Japan).

    Come to think of it, although the scale is different, is it too strained an analogy to see a parallel between the so-called "surge" and the German last-throw attack which resulted in the Battle of the Bulge and broke the German Army in the West, making the actual invasion of Germany in the spring of 1945 relatively easy?

    J Rosen

  8. Martin K5:35 PM

    jrosen: With danger of sounding alarmist: It is more like the no-surrender order of the winter of 42. Stalingrad/Baghdad is a VERY queer resonance. Its really all or nothing.

  9. Having grown up with two Navy officers for parents in Norfolk, I just wanted to thank you for existing.

    BTW, I've syndicated this on LiveJournal.

  10. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Just wanted to throw in that the US is expanding its camp in Djibouti, Africa (just north of Somalia) by over 400% and numerous reservist like myself are being re-activated for 1-2 years and sent to Djibouti...

    PO2 USNR

  11. I've heard as well that things in the HOA are heating up.

  12. JR and MK,

    Actually, I think you both make good points. I'm of the school that says all wars are the same and they're all different. So speaking of the 42 no surrender order and the Battle of the Bulge, they both kind of remind me of the situation with Lee's northern campaign that led to Gettysburg.

    Interesting too that WWII and the US Civli War were both "unconditional surrender" wars.


    Thanks for the plug at LiveJournal.

    ANON and JPR,

    Appreciate the tips on the Djibouti situation.



  13. You busted me up with the missile-condi comparison.

    Unlike the ME, I don't think ROK or Japan will let the crazies start a War. Even w/out Nukes NK has the capability to cause millions of casualties just by their use of conventional systems armed with BC.

    Quite interesting on Dijbouti. Who wants to bet on what percentage of American adults know where that is? Much less it's strategic importance? I'd say less than 5% on the 1st and 1% on the last.


  14. Oh, and troop movements from Japan to Guam. And it looks as if Al Quaida (or someone) is fighting back, bombing the Greek embassy.
    Bush is jumping the shark.

  15. The greek action was made by the communist terror-cell wich used to assasinate heads of CIA in Athens on a regular basis, nothing to do with Quaida. the news of the troop-movements are deeply unsettling.