Sunday, January 14, 2007

Evaluating Bush's Strategy

A recent posting prior to Bush's recent announcement laid out the five tests for determining how successful the strategy would be. Let's see how they stack up:

1. Will the rules of engagement change to enable US soldiers' to go on the offense rather than just defend themselves?

The answer is probably. Time will tell, but the positives are that the US soldiers will embed with the Iraqis and look to have a more permanent role in the clear, hold and build strategy.

2. Will Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki reluctantly accept it with rhetoric pushback and the Shi'ite thug Moqtada al-Sadr oppose it?

It was first announced that Maliki was part of putting the plan together, which would not be a positive. However, it now appears as though Maliki looked into the abyss that is the future, and realised he two choices: get off the Shi'ite fence and act, or a fall of the Iraqi government through US withdrawal of support. Provided Maliki feels pressured to act for the benefit of Iraq and not just the Shi'ites and Iran, the signs are good.

While Moqtada al-Sadr will not be happy, it remains to be seen if he will actually be confronted. Arguably the biggest short-term test.

3. Will it be widened to such an extent that Iran and Syria feel directly threatened by it?

In words, yes. But deeds matter more, so again, the jury is out. A positive sign is the warning action in Irbil where Iranian 'diplomats' were captured. This is a test of will. If the US does not blink, there is an outside chance the tide can be turned.

4. Will it cause the US public to now accept their country is now in the midst of a long regional war, perhaps indeed a global war?

Too early to tell. A good bellweather will be the response of the US Democrat Party, and any independent-thinking elements within the Republican Party. If they remain muted in a 'wait and see' posture, then the public will have given Bush a grace period.

5. Will there be criticism of it by the UN, Russia, China and western Europe?

Haven't heard much yet, so this could go either way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Opening Salvos of a greater Middle East War -

A war involving the US, Israel, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda…..