Strategy for disaster
Re “Don’t just surge, strategize,” Opinion, Feb. 7
So Max Boot realizes that there are major differences between a war and counterinsurgency; he implies that the British won the Boer War because they knew the difference. The British eventually won by herding the Boers into concentration camps. Will we herd the Iraqis into concentration camps, all 26 million of them?
The window of opportunity for a successful counterinsurgency in Iraq was squandered more than three years ago. We’ve been throwing men and money into a black hole ever since in a colonial pipe dream to get our hands on the oil. It’s far too late to stick the broken pieces of china together again -- surge or no surge, strategy or no strategy.
To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Boot is a military analyst and naturally looks for a military solution in Iraq. But he ignores the bigger truth, which is that no one in Iraq -- not the U.S. military, not the Shiite militias, not the Sunni insurgents, not the Kurdish separatists and certainly not the Iraqi government -- has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence in that nation.
Until there is a political entity accepted by all parties in Iraq as the rightful government, the stalemate and the violence will continue. The U.S. cannot solve this problem with any number of troops. It is time to pull back.