The surge is a strategy, its political, its military, its troops, its hold. It's really clear and hold as opposed to the strategy we were employing before.
Pentagon chiefs think that there is no purely military solution for Iraq and that, without major progress on the political and economic fronts, the U.S. intervention is simply buying time, the sources said.
TPJ: And yet John McCain is trying to tell us all that the surge was a success because we reduced the violence, (which is of course a good thing) with the help of Sunni militants turning on al-Qaeda but it is only one of the three major goals that were established as needed in the surge strategy. The political front hasn't changed much nor on the economic and reconstruction front so that time we bought has been squandered. But back to the security front while violence is down, less than 10 percent of Iraqi security forces "were at the highest readiness level."
The other point that I want to address is McCain talking about clearing and holding. This is a known military strategy but the word "hold" doesn't exactly give much hope for leaving Iraq which plays right into his "100 years in Iraq" comment. McCain keeps telling us that troops are coming home with the "success" of the surge yet we still have more troops there then before the surge. His "hold" comments also indicate a desire for permanent bases, an idea that the Iraqi government does not like one bit.
The following news snippets indicate the level progress of political success during the surge in Iraq:
8.31.07: BAGHDAD, IRAQ -- The Iraqi federal government has been under increasing fire for appearing unable to work together on key issues, or to make progress in securing and governing its own country. Called “non-functional” by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) the Shi’a led administration has been hamstrung by its own attempts at unilateral policymaking, as well as by a minority party which has refused to accept its new, post-Saddam status. Below: December 2007:
- The rationale for the surge was to provide an opportunity for political agreements to be negotiated among Iraqis, but political progress has been stalled and has not matched the security improvements.
- A political settlement is essential for sustaining the security gains and for longer-term stability. Despite the declaration of a national reconciliation plan by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in June 2006, by the fall of 2007 only limited progress had been made toward reconciling the differences between the political groups and forging a national agenda.
July 24, 2008 BAGHDAD — Iraq’s president vetoed legislation on provincial elections on Wednesday, sending it back to lawmakers for revisions as political leaders continued to try to strike a deal that would allow the vote to be held this year as planned. Provincial elections are seen as central to political progress in Iraq, but their timing was thrown into doubt on Tuesday when Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the parliamentary vote on the legislation, insisting that it be rewritten. Iraqi Kurds have opposed the legislation because it contains an article on the multiethnic northern city of Kirkuk that they do not accept.July 24, 2008: The announcement was a setback for both the Bush administration and the government of Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister, which hailed a preliminary election law passed earlier this year as evidence of political progress in Iraq. Disagreements over the polling have instead highlighted the sectarian fissures dividing the nation.
As for the economic arena, crude oil production is below U.S. goals, even though it has "improved for short periods," the GAO report said. Goals for water service are "close to being reached," but the daily electricity supply "met only slightly more than half of demand in early July 2008."
It also noted that Iraq "spent only 24 percent of the $27 billion it budgeted for its reconstruction efforts between 2005 and 2007."
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