“How to Win in Iraq”
Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.
From Foreign Affairs, September/October 2005
Much is being made of this article in Foreign Affairs. Allegedly, it is being poured over by the Bush administration as a roadmap toward victory. The article supports the war and describes this Vietnam redux as motivated by â€œworthy goals.â€ A war waged on misrepresentation of fact and deliberate agit-prop to trick and fool the American people is not â€œworthyâ€ but unseemly and disgraceful.
The writer is apparently nonchalant about more casualties. He advocates â€œembeddingâ€, that term was used to describe reporters who were integrated into units and in the case of the â€œmartyrâ€, now improperly incarcerated New York Times reporter Judith Miller, became an enamoured conduit for the lies out of the Pentagon: In her case gushing over the finding of alleged W.M.D. She should have been fired for such misrepresentation and falsification of indiscriminate, biased disinformation!
Mr Krepinevich wants to embed American soldiers with Iraqi forces and end the separate Iraqi and U.S. force structures. This is how we got involved in the Vietnam war with President Kennedy sending 16,300 advisers that were “embedded” with the ARVN. That failed and then the military established separate units with the 1965 full-scale Da Nang invasion. He states this would have positive consequences: â€œU.S. personnel are likely to suffer more casualties than they would in all-U.S. units. But the payoff would be high as well.â€ What payoff? The extension of a ruthless hyperpower into a region where it is loathed and seen as a crusader? What payoff? Ending an insurgency against a ruthless nation that sent its mighty army across the sea to invade and slaughter a people that was NO threat to the U.S?
Does the West Point graduate now academician have no scruples about war crimes being committed by HIS military or is he only consumed with victory? Does he not know the word “torture” or “disgrace?” Is that what we want our students and others to be consumed with? Victory! How about ethics, morality, justice and PEACE!! Does the author have no opinion about the casualties, the innocent civilians, the families of Iraqi and American soldiers killed? There is nothing in this article but tactics; no sense of humanity; no concern about harm and death that we caused to that country. I don’t want victory. This is now no longer about victory or U.S. vital interests. It is about being a responsible global power and to stop this killing, this endless killing in the name of America. You stop the war and stop talking about victory for goodness sake!
The author in an effort to establish himself as a Kennan-like pioneer in developing American military strategy (containment with Kennan) uses the unbelievable term “oil-spot strategy.” The U.S. should not search and destroy the “enemy” but secure a civilian area and gradually expand it to insure peace and harmony for its residents. This “oil spot” would gradually ooze and spread as American and Iraqi military forces would secure the population in insurgent provinces such as Anbar or Nineveh. Since the U.S. in part went to war to steal Iraqi oil and insure greater profits for Dick Cheney’s, Halliburton et al., I would think a strategic analyst would want to use a term that would not even remotely suggest a resource that drove the geostrategic realism of the neo-conservative crusaders.
Mr Krepinevich uses unseemly language against the nations of Syria and Iran. His hatred of these peoples, typical of a military (ret) elite figure who despises countries who donâ€™t fawn at the wishes of this terrorist democracy. The author uses the term â€œpredatorsâ€ to describe collectively these nations. They did not invade Iraq. They did not butcher Palestinians. They did not kill two to three million people in a war of pure genocide in Vietnam! They did not invent and deploy TWICE in acts of genocide–the purposeful effort to destroy a people or nation due to racial characteristics etc.–an atomic bomb on CITIES in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They have not yet developed nuclear weapons or tonnes of nerve gas such as VX. The only â€œpredatorâ€ is the United States. I suppose the author had to prove his prowar bona fides to publish in Foreign Affairs. The journal of the empire.
Mr Krepinevich’s article is just a prescription for more war, more agony and more death. Let history judge whether his call for victory or my call for immediate and complete withdrawal of American forces is best for America and the region. I was right about Vietnam and I am right about this war.