OK, so the US government has formed a highly secret Iran-Syria Operations Group, staffed entirely by private contractors from BearingPoint, Inc. What could possibly go wrong?Read More Rudie can’t fail
Chatter builds that the US govt is considering moving another carrier to the Gulf to put pressure on Iran. Meh. Fleet availablity is still low. Eisenhower is on station, Enterprise back from deployment and due to go in dockyard hands. Nimitz is doing her COMPTUEX off Southern California. Reagan is still in the CARQUALs phase…Read More There is still going to be no attack on Iran
Via Pat Lang’s, the American Enterprise Institute’s plan for yet another atttempt to secure Baghdad. You won’t be very surprised to learn that neither Lang, nor I, think very much of it. Peter Kagan’s strategy – a PowerPoint presentation, natch – is risible. The first and most basic fault is the frantic insistence on victory,…Read More The generals bow to the government: they’re tired of the truth
That leaked Rumsfeld memo. What strikes me is that it’s incredibly poor in quality. Rumsfeld was clearly…well…labouring under delusions of adequacy when he wrote this. Consider the “options”. “Significantly increase the number of US trainers and transfer more equipment to Iraqi security forces,” “Reduce quickly the number of US bases, currently 55, to five by…Read More Even More Iraq!
J.D> Henderson chez Intel Dump writes that General Abizaid should be relieved of his command. But first, he says, he respects Abizaid for the courage he showed in his past career. Fair enough. But there is some historical evidence that extremely brave generals are a bad idea. Consider the British experience – we brought several…Read More Bravery doesn’t exclude stupidity
In this post, we analysed the options open to the Iraq Study Group. Supposedly, the original brief foresaw 8. Number 8 was one last push, and it seems that this is exactly what we’re going to get. Note that it is sourced to the President and “Pentagon officials”, rather than the Group itself. In that…Read More Option 8
Right, I’ve already given reasons why it’s urgently necessary to start staff talks with Iran about how we can get out of Iraq. Someone asked what incentive the Iranians had to participate. I suggested, essentially, that they would rather not have us shoot our way out with AC-130s down Highway 8. Well, here’s a better…Read More Talking to Iran, part 3
The chatter is building up that a serious change in policy in Iraq is afoot. Supposedly, there is talk of an ultimatum to the Iraqi government to do various defined things or face undefined sanctions (this is an old John Paul Vann idea from South Vietnam), but there are also reasons to imagine that the…Read More Talking to Iran, part 2
Maps are nice, aren’t they? So let’s have a look at a few maps of Iraq. This one shows Iraq’s administrative divisions, its roads and its rivers. Note especially that there are essentially two major roads between Baghdad and Basra. One runs along the Tigris valley parallel to the Iranian border. The other runs just…Read More Talk to Iran. Now.
This Martin Kettle op ed from the Grauniad regarding General Dannatt’s act of random reason and senseless honesty really annoys me. First up, this quote from Samuel “Clash of Civilisations” Huntington, and Kettle’s approving comments: In the end, although the generals might propose, it was the political leaders who disposed, even in the heat of…Read More Dannatt, elite consensus and Samuel Huntington