These are apparently the strategies recommended by the Pentagon…
Go Big = Add a lot more troops in and stay put until things are stable.
Go Long = Pull out most troops, but have a longer presence.
Go Home = Get the hell out of there as soon as possible.
However, in true corporate fashion, it appears as if they’re going to go with a mixture of Go Big and Go Long.
The group has devised a hybrid plan that combines part of the first option with the second one — “Go Long” — and calls for cutting the U.S. combat presence in favor of a long-term expansion of the training and advisory efforts. Under this mixture of options, which is gaining favor inside the military, the U.S. presence in Iraq, currently about 140,000 troops, would be boosted by 20,000 to 30,000 for a short period, the officials said.
The purpose of the temporary but notable increase, they said, would be twofold: To do as much as possible to curtail sectarian violence, and also to signal to the Iraqi government and public that the shift to a “Go Long” option that aims to eventually cut the U.S. presence is not a disguised form of withdrawal.
This hybrid approach, this “Go Sort-Of Big And Then Slowly Go Home” will not work because…drum roll please…this has been our strategy all along. We stand down as they stand up. And 30,000 more troops will not make a difference. The only option that would work to actually win this thing is “Go Big”, but we’re not going to do that. We need 5 times that number and everybody knows it.
Here’s the thing. I’m becoming convinced that we can not win. That’s why we need to go home as soon as possible and let the Iraqis sort it out for themselves.