Thursday, April 05, 2007

Andrew Bacevich on surge

In Commonweal:

The hue and cry provoked by the so-called “surge” has obscured this downsizing of strategic intent. Critics have misread the surge as evidence that the president remains hell-bent on “staying the course.” In fact, the very puniness of this ostensibly major initiative (it qualifies at best as a demi-escalation) speaks to the Bush administration’s reduced strategic appetite. No longer promising to spread freedom across the Islamic world, it is instead searching desperately for ways to prevent Iraq from disintegrating.

The surge amounts to a last-ditch effort to forestall this prospect. Rather than a plan to achieve victory, it is a salvage operation. Administration officials who once spoke glowingly of Iraqi democracy flowering under American tutelage will now be grateful if they manage to ease the mayhem occurring daily in the streets of Baghdad. An administration that once disdained stability now yearns to restore it.

Bacevich's bio here---West Point grad, Ph.D, Int'l Relations prof.

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