March 5th, 2007 12:04 EST
Smoke and Mirrors Argument against Bush's new plan
Something must be done in order to curb the violence in Iraq, and President Bush has stepped forward with a plan that he hopes will do just that. However, even though he has said that a plan that does not function on both military and political goals will not succeed; his new plan will fail to do just that. It is important to understand that without security in Iraq, there is no possibility of political reconciliation. And that is why the outcome depends on the military and security aspect of the new plan. Bush and the administration have suggested that the military embed American troops in Iraqi divisions in order to teach and cooperate.
To think that the Iraqis welcome this idea with open arms is naÃ¯ve. The United States Armed Forces crushed their military in a war only a few years ago, and now they are expected to hold our soldiers` hands in a unified effort to quell a civil war that many of the Iraqi soldiers feel was caused by Americans in the first place? The world doesn`t work like that, and anyone who thinks it does is in need of a mental health check-up.
But getting the Iraqi troops to work with American soldiers side by side is an issue that cannot be addressed until another is resolved: getting U.S. troops of different branches of the military to work together without any reservations. There is tension between airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines. Oh, and the coast guard, which most branches of the military forget they exist. If people on the same team who don`t want to work with one another, then what do people expect them to do when they are presented with the prospect of working with people who; probably don`t speak English, they defeated in war and are of a different religion? It is obvious that these are petty differences that should be pushed aside in order to reach the common goal. But the goal is not common; it is undefined.
Another major failing of this embedded troops idea is the concept of having commanders work side by side in a military operation. This isn`t Costco. There is no time for discussion when it comes to life and death situations that are happening. It is easy to sit in an office and argue with a manager of equal power over the price of toilet tissue, but stepping into the Iraqi sand is stepping into a different world. In that world, there is no room for multiple commanders in a chain of command. If the President thinks that his commanders would ever listen to the orders of an Iraqi over an American, he is delusional. However, it is disturbingly obvious he isn`t that stupid. But what must be understood is that the Iraqis aren`t that stupid either.
Something must be done in order to provide a safe place for political reconciliation to begin. With this plan to embed American troops within the armies of the Iraqi government will slow, not begin a withdrawal process. That is not what needs to be done. The U.S. cannot simply pack up our gear and come home although many people would love it to be that simple. As of now, it seems that our only viable option is to keep Baghdad as safe as possible and get the Iraqis to come up with a diplomatic solution, while ensuring our soldiers are as safe as possible.
Our military defeated Iraq when it was a unified nation, and now it is left to pick up the pieces. Now we must keep them safe and get them home alive. In a war like this one, there`s not much more one can ask for.
Embedded troops within divisions of foreign armies will not only add to the confusion, it will create new complications. This will do nothing more than make it more difficult to withdraw soon. That is no solution; that is staying the course.