Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cobban Critique of Cole

"Cobban mischaracterizes my plan insofar as what I propose is giving the new Iraqi army close air support of a sort that would allow it to face down conventional military attacks by armed guerrillas marching on the Green Zone. There are now about 3000 Iraqi army troops that could and would fight in such a battle, and US air support would ensure decisive victories. The point of the US air forces and special ops is simply to support the Iraqi army; the special ops would have to be there to rescue any US crews that were shot down. The air bases could be in Kuwait in the south and in Kurdistan in the north. They would not be permanent. There are no such things as permanent bases. All of the bases I grew up on are gone. Bases are a political artefact, and depend on political agreements. If the Iraqis want them they will be there, if they don't, they won't. Look at the Philippines."
But is this not where we are going anyway?
"My plan does indeed suggest an abandonment of much of the country for the time being to local forces. The Anglo-American forces aren't able to stop local forces from taking over, anyway, though they can destroy the cities taken over, which is unlikely to make the people there pro-American or happy with the government in Baghdad, to say the least. The Shiite religious parties that control the central government also control much of the Shiite south, which is not therefore problematic."
Yea right, the central government is so in control of the south.. I mean why would he even leave that in there..
My plan assumes that the unconventional guerrilla violence, with bombings and assassinations, will go on for some time and that there is nothing anyone can do about it. Withdrawal of Coalition ground troops might put the Shiites and the Kurds in more of a mood to compromise with the neo-Baathists, Salafis and tribal forces now waging the guerrilla war, which could help.Juan Cole
If you include strict US control of the border ..I like it better than the "fly paper" we've been doing till now.


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