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Claims made by the Republicans, especially John McCain, that the surge has worked.  These claims are misleading.

- Surge has worked to temporarily quell violence, but has not empowered the Iraqi military

- Surge has sent 5 more brigades to Iraq, but stretched military too thin

- Surge hasn't delivered what it was supposed to - Iraqi government has not figured out political solution

- Surge has cost American taxpayers too much money

- Surge still has not set terms of success or timetable for ending occupation

- Surge has not made America safer

- Surge has caused us to take eye off the ball of Afghanistan and Pakistan

- Surge was not responsible for Anbar Awakening.  Anbar Awakening is what's made a difference

- Bob Woodward's exhaustive research concludes that it's counterinsurgency tactics, not surge itself, that has changed the situation on ground in Iraq

- Surge has emboldened Iran

This is a work in progress.  I'm going to use this as a Wiki - please share links and comments below and I'll update throughout the next 24 hours.

temporarily quelled violence

Slow gains by Iraqi military

Originally posted to Benintn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Problem is Obama "said it did" on O'Liely (4+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:03:35 AM PDT

    •  Wrong. Said military succeeded (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dood Abides, WilliamTell

      He said that the military performed well in quelling violence.  But we still have not achieved political solution, and Iraqis still are not standing on their own.  Measures of success are the key.  And Obama also said that Anbar Awakening is largely responsible for quelling violence.

    •  I think... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dood Abides, planetclaire4

      My own take is that Obama said that to call McCain's bluff.

      McCain's entire national security campaign is based on the surge, and a critical component of that is to continue harping about the surge and decreased violence, while Obama objects.

      So, Obama stopped objecting.  And now McCain has nothing to run on.  

      Remember, McCain wants to stay in Iraq.  If Obama admits that the surge worked, than the next logical question is, "Why are we staying?"  McCain has no answer to that.

  •  Insofar as you can keep angry cats in a thread (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, gdwtch52

    bare bag for a certain amount of time, you can say that the threadbare bag has "worked" for containing the angry cats.

    The surge, combined with a change in military strategy by Petraeus, but mostly combined with the Anbar Awakening, and combined with the Sadr unilateral cease-fire, has indeed worked, but it is hardly stable, and the progress necessary to make the situation permanently stable (i.e. calming the cats) has not occurred.

    But to say that all of these things, combined with the surge, haven't "worked" is dumb, which is why Obama didn't say it. Violence is down significantly.

    But how long the bag will hold is another question.

  •  The glass is half empty, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4

    the glass is half poisonous toxic air.

    Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them - T Paine

    by breezeview on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:09:57 AM PDT

  •  Yes it has. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    breezeview, plumbobb

    Beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

  •  Tell it to Obama. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4
  •  Obama was right to take this off the table (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4, plumbobb

    He would have looked petty and partisan to ignore the gains on the ground, and it would have looked like a slap in the face to our own military.

    The larger point that we should all stress is this:  McCain wants to stay in Iraq permanently, Obama wants to be out of Iraq by 2011.

    That's the only difference that matters right now.

    The surge was temporary, it's over, it quelled violence a lot, and now we should move on to leaving Iraq.

    If we fight about the surge, that's all McCain will talk about.

  •  Just to keep the record clear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, planetclaire4

    Just to be fair here and keep the record clear.

    The initial consideration for the surge

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    The Surge is not working

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    In his own words.. Is it a success or is it not?

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Again, I just want to show in his own words.

    "The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing." Benjamin Franklin  {8^)

    •  True, true, and I concede that, on O'Reilly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      planetclaire4

      I wish that Obama had said "*sectarian violence* (rather than "the surge") is down beyond our wildest dreams", and then had followed up by saying "but in no way is that situation over there stable"

      •  But he didn't (0+ / 0-)

        Senator Obama did not say what you feel he should / could have said.

        In his own words..

        It takes a Great Leader to admit a mistake.

        We must demand the current Administration to admit the costly mistakes and seek leadership to make right what was made so terribly wrong.

        I was looking for Senator Obama to at least be real.

        Just as we all(the American People) should demand our President and congress to admit their wrongs and mistakes to move the nation forward.

        Not going to happen..

  •  Media coverage . . . abysmal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook, planetclaire4

    You are right about the success of the surge being overstated.  It's a post hoc ergo propter hoc (afterwards, therefore because) fallacy.  The media, which promised to do better after conceding their uncritical coverage of the lead up to the war was abysmal, is dropping the ball again.  Nearly every commentator and pundit just "assumes" the surge worked.    

    Even worse than the misleading statements about the surge is the "victory is at hand" meme spouted ad nauseum by McCain and his supporters.  This is nonsense.  There are 5 million displaced Iraqis, a growing refugee crisis, critical shortages of electricity, medicine, water, and job opportunities. Moreover, the post-surge casualty numbers are high, unless we can take comfort in the fact that "only" 300 to 700 Iraqis experience violent deaths each month.    To say victory is at hand reflects a profound ignorance about the "situation on the ground."    

  •  Looking at this diary (0+ / 0-)

    This is what is not being said:

    Surge has worked to temporarily quell violence, but has not empowered the Iraqi military

    The Iraqi Military now controls over half of the US control districts as well as anbar provience.

    - Surge has sent 5 more brigades to Iraq, but stretched military too thin

    Not so correct, US Reserve Guard units are stretched thin, Active US Military forces around the world are at standing numbers, This is to maintain active combat forces in ready mode to respond to North Korean responses and other AtlanticPacific theater forces located in Hawaii, Diego Garcia, Japan,and Europe.

    - Surge hasn't delivered what it was supposed to - Iraqi government has not figured out political solution

    15 of the 18 bench marks have been a satisfactory to near completion. Most of the political benchmarks have been made except one.

    - Surge has cost American taxpayers too much money

    No Disagreement on the cost of the War, but if you can figure out how to conduct war on a discount, please let our congress know.  They can use the help... I know, don't go to war.. Ok I can agree with that point..

    - Surge still has not set terms of success or timetable for ending occupation

    Agreements for final withdraw of US forces is 2011, it depends on what the security situation on the ground.

    - Surge has not made America safer

    Define America safer?  Have we been attacked since 911, have we stopped illegal entry into our boarders, no. Have we use legal intelligence colections to spy and find terrorist? Not sure/maybe,it depends on keeping intel a secret enough to find these terrorist. The price we pay for a free press???

    - Surge has caused us to take eye off the ball of Afghanistan and Pakistan

    No, we are still engaged in Afghanistan, but no eye on the prize.

    - Surge was not responsible for Anbar Awakening.  Anbar Awakening is what's made a difference

    Somewhat, let me explain, little do many here know, US forces were in discussion with Tribal leaders in Anbar before the surge, the tribal leaders were tired of AQ killing their people, this shifted their discussions with US forces to establish with of course finacial tributes and support to the Anbar tibes.  Thus the Anbar Awakening was born.  The surge gave the intial security for parts of Iraq, but was not the initial starter of the change.

    Still open for debate, but the Anbar awakening model was tested and established in other hot points around Iraq, some had successes, some had to be modified to meet local and tribal leaders request.

    - Bob Woodward's exhaustive research concludes that it's counterinsurgency tactics, not surge itself, that has changed the situation on ground in Iraq

    Mr. Woodward's book recognized the counerinsurgency tactics was the key componet to the Surge success, but little do anyone knows that counterinsurgency tactics are the work of General Petreus plan, he wrote the book about insugency.

    You can not win the war with insurgents, without the help or hearts of the people.

    Respectfull to tribal traditions, a financial tribute is an honorable way to sway respect and cooperation.  Not Western thinking, but it works.

    - Surge has emboldened Iran

    As for embolding Iran, well excuse my word, Fuck them.  Let them attack us or our allies.. Their government is just a wannabe nuke power with Neo-fascist Islamic. In other words, a tyrant government which will fall from within or by their stupidity to attack the free world with nukes.

    In end, I agree this war was wrong, but we are there now and we must stop the killings, clean up the mess, leave correctly, safely, and in peace.

    Peace

    "To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions." Benjamin Franklin

  •  The War is Over (0+ / 0-)

    The war is for all practical purposes and we won. Perhaps it's time to move on to some issues that actually matter.

  •  Joe Biden Hit A Home Run (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Biden just on Meet The Press and demolished the argument that the surge worked--- in fact he hit Tom Brokaw on everything related to the war and any other question he asked.  First time I ever saw TB look speechless. Biden is brilliant, he hits hard, and hits with the facts.

  •  Clear, Hold, Build (0+ / 0-)

    A major aspect of why the "surge" succeeded in a military sense (not political, which was its goal) was a change in strategy which had nothing to do with troop increases.

    A strategy of "clear, hold, build" was first tried in Tal Afar under Col. McMaster. This meant leaving American troops in a city once it was taken. They would live there rather than return to base.

    http://tinyurl.com/...

    http://tinyurl.com/...

    The strategy was a great success in Tal Afar. However, Rumsfeld would not implement it elsewhere. The Dept. of State (Rice) was convinced this was the way to go. This was not resolved until the White House intervened around the time Rumsfeld left.

    It was not the relatively small increase in troops - when compared to total Iraqi and coalition forces - that was the major driver of success in Baghdad but rather the change in tactics - to clear, hold, build.

    Also, to the best of my knowledge, almost all of the troop increase went around the Baghdad area and thus could not be responsible for success elsewhere.

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