Thursday, April 26, 2007
Win Lose or Draw
Can we win the war in Iraq? Certainly we can. We can win by pursuing the strategy General Sheridan did for the Shenandoah valley--devastate the country so thoroughly that crows flying over will have to carry their own rations. We can turn the country into glass. We could if we wanted so flood the place with troops and keep every square inch of the country under constant watch that the various insurgenices, militias and terrorist groups would find it very difficult to move about.
This is not the question, though. The question is which of our objectives can we achieve given our self-imposed limitations in terms of the amounts of blood and treasure we are willing to commit. And if we can't, then there are only two directions--change the limitations or stop the enterprise.
To defeat the insurgency you need to kill 20% of the population (excepting the 5 million Kurds). That is 4 million people. Unless you use nuclear weapons I do not see how you can kill that many people with the resources that you have.