How Will Things Play Out In Iraq?

How Will Things Play Out In Iraq?


Global Guerillas offers what I think is a likely scenario

Here’s a likely scenario for how this will play out: deeper entrenchment within US bases (to limit casualties) and pledges of neutrality (Rumsfeld) will prove hollow. Ongoing ethnic slaughter will force US intervention to curtail the militias. Inevitably, this will increase tensions with the militias and quickly spin out of control. Military and police units sent to confront the militias will melt down (again), due to conflicting loyalties. Several large battles with militias will drive up US casualties sharply. Supply lines to US bases from Kuwait will be cut. Protesters will march on US bases to demand a withdrawal. Oil production via the south will be cut (again), bringing Iraqi oil exports to a halt. Meanwhile, the government will continue its ineffectual debate within the green zone, as irrelevant to the reality on the ground in the country as ever. Unable to function in the mounting chaos and facing a collapse in public support for the war, the US military will be forced to withdraw in haste. It will be ugly.

And then, this Update…

After I wrote this, there was news that the US intervened by attacking a gathering point for Shiite militias in Baghdad. An Imam was killed along with 16 others. There was also a raid on an Interior Ministry prison (Badr). The scenario begins…

Yeah, you can call me pessimist all you want, but one of the reasons were in this situation in the first place is because our leadership was so optimistic and didn’t plan for the worst. Paying attention to scenarios like the one above and putting measures in place to prevent these things from happening could make a difference.

But the administration has to be willing to listen, and that’s not something they’re particularly good at.

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  • Lonely Federalist

    Well, at least let us know when you have the stones to officially declare defeat.

  • Justin Gardner

    Did you read the whole thing? If we consider that this scenario might happen, if we draw up contingency plans for something like this, we’ll be able to better respond to it. Therefore, our chances of success could be greater in the long run. But yes, given where Iraq is right now…this scenario is likely.

    And doesn’t take stones to throw words like “defeat” at me. But I think it does takes stones to admit that this could very well happen, and plan accordingly.

    What would you do?

  • Meredith

    At least Justin wants to stay and clean up the mess – I say f’ it. It’s time to go. We planned badly, and we have caused problems. I would love to say that we should stay and fix what we’ve done, but I just don’t think that is realistic – at least not for the remainder of Bush’s term. And, to be fair, I don’t think it’s just Bush who can’t fix this. I am doubtful that our country can fix this at all, no matter who’s in charge, because we don’t fully understand and appreciate the situation. There may be things we can do to help, but for now we need to leave, or at least pull to the borders and keep an eye on things.

  • GN

    Jeez, when are we going to consider the only question that is appropriate? Either get out … or escalate for total domination, set a bar for surrender or death to militants, then reconstruct and turnkey when they can handle it. This isn’t part of the war on terror … it is Newark, NJ in the 1960’s. A singed earth policy will never work, period.

    It is a corporate war, so either reorg or claim bankruptcy. I just wish they would stop screwing around and do something else.

    Ok, that is my rant for the evening. Now, I can’t cite this because I can’t recall where I saw it, but here it is anyway. Dick cheney doesn’t understand why they need a warrant for anything they do … because everything they have done thus far was unwarranted. ‘night all!

  • BrianOfAtlanta

    OK, Justin, you’re a pessimist, though not an unreasonable one.

    John Robb had me until he got to the point where the window slamed shut. I’m sorry, but I see no window, nor does Robb point one out. He just makes the statement that it’s too late now, and things are going downhill forthwith. Ignore the fact that it was the Iraqis themselves who restored order in Iraq after the mosque bombing. US troops stayed home and the Iraqi security forces delivered. I’m optimistic that they’ll deliver against Al-Sadr as well. At least it seems more likely that they’ll prevail vs. fall apart for no apparent reason.

    I was also puzzled by the “deeper entrenchment within US bases (to limit casualties)” statement. I’m not sure what John means by this. We aren’t entrenched within our bases, though the bases themselves have fortifications, for obvious reasons. We’re still patrolling just like we have been all along. Reduced casualties haven’t come from reduced patrolling, they’ve come from better IED countermeasures and the elimination of some of the top bomb builders in the insurgency. Sure, we could start to entrench within our bases, but Vietnam demonstrated how that’s a losing strategy against an insurgency. I doubt we’ll adopt it when patrolling is working out just fine.