Monday, February 26, 2007

The Surge

Sometimes reading doesn’t pay off, at least not in a positive way. I was just reading the latest edition of the NYRB (3-15-2007); the first article is “The Surge” by Peter W. Gailbraith about Bush’s Iraq policy (in case you had some other surge in mind). He relates the following about General Petraeus (hopefully this quote doesn't piss the copyright gods off):

“Petraeus, on whom so much now rests, served two previous tours in Iraq. As the American commander in Mosul in 2003 and 2004, he earned adulatory press coverage — including a Newsweek cover story captioned “Can This Man Save Iraq?” — for taming the Sunni-majority city. Petraeus ignored warnings from America’s Kurdish allies that he was appointing the wrong people to key positions in Mosul’s local government and police. A few months after he left the city, the Petraeus-appointed local police commander defected to the insurgency while the Sunni Arab police handed their weapons and uniforms over en masse to the insurgents. Neither this episode nor the evident failure of the training programs for the Iraqi army and police which he ran in his next assignment seemed to have damaged the general’s reputation.”

Not that I actually thought the surge strategy would be successful but, without a doubt, Bush picked someone to lead it who is pretty much guaranteed to make sure it’s a failure. Of course, the Democrats are holding lots of hearings about Petraeus mismanagement of his previous Iraqi assignments – or not. Definitely not.

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