With the insurgency becoming both stronger and bolder, and the chances of conducting a legitimate election growing grimmer by the day, a genuine sense of alarm can actually be detected in the reality-resistant hierarchy of the Bush administration.
Brig. Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday of an ominous new development in Iraq. "We've noticed in the recent couple of weeks," he said, "that the I.E.D.'s [improvised explosive devices] are all being built more powerfully, with more explosive effort in a smaller number of I.E.D.'s."
I can't find a link to the post[Here, here, here, here, and here. - The F-man.], but we predicted the missing 300+ tons of high explosives would be turning up, and that our soldiers would die. Sounds like we were right. Sometimes I hate being right. [Looks like we were right a lot, partner - the F-man]
Mr. Bush's so-called pre-emptive war, which has already cost so many lives, is being enveloped by the foul and unmistakable odor of failure. That's why the Pentagon is dispatching a retired four-star general, Gary Luck, to Iraq to assess the entire wretched operation. The hope in Washington is that he will pull a rabbit out of a hat. His mission is to review the military's entire Iraq policy, and do it quickly.
I hope, as he is touring the regions in which the U.S. is still using conventional tactics against a guerrilla foe, that he keeps in mind how difficult it is to defeat local insurgencies, and other indigenous forces, as exemplified by such widely varying historical examples as the French experiences in Indochina and Algeria, the American experience in Vietnam, the Israeli experience in Lebanon, and so on.
With the war draining the military of the troops needed for commitments worldwide, the Pentagon is being forced to take extraordinary steps to maintain adequate troop strength. A temporary increase of 30,000 soldiers for the Army, already approved by Congress, will most likely be made permanent. The Pentagon is also considering plans to further change the rules about mobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserve. Right now they cannot be called up for more than 24 months of active service. That limit would be scrapped, which would permit the Army to call them up as frequently as required.
That's not a back-door draft. It's a brutal, in-your-face draft that's unfairly limited to a small segment of the population. It would make a mockery of the idea of an all-volunteer Army.
Something's got to give. The nation's locked in a war that's going badly. The military is strained to the breaking point. And it's looking more and more like the amateur hour in the places that are supposed to provide leadership in perilous times - the Pentagon and the White House.
And our so-called "leader" doesn't want to hear about it.