More chewy writing on policy in Iraq, ahead of the President’s anticipated strategy speech.
- UPDATE: Amir Taheri in the London Times: “Those familiar with Iraq know that the real war for its future is waged in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Britain. … So, what should Mr Bush do? The last thing to do is to seek a bipartisan policy.” (via Austin Bay)
- UPDATE AND BUMP: A comprehensive review of the varied nature of jihadism, by Peter Wehner at Real Clear Politics. “[I]t is worth reviewing in some detail the nature of our enemy – including disaggregating who they are (Shia and Sunni extremists), what they believe and why they believe it, and the implications of that for America and the West.” (via Hugh Hewitt). But Dean Barnett says Mr. Wehner is minimizing the problem.
- The Wall Street Journal: “The administration is considering proposals by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and field commanders to pair a troop increase with a funding surge for new Iraq jobs programs. But this only makes sense if there are vast changes in how the new programs are managed by the U.S. and Iraqi bureaucracies.”
- Josh Manchester (a two-part series at Tech Central Station): “What is the future of the relationship between states and such stateless warfighting organizations as [the Mahdi Army, al Qaeda, and Blackwater]?”
- Grim at Blackfive: “It has become common to say that there is no overarching strategy for the Long War. In the post below, I’d like to propose one.”
- American Enterprise Institute’s Choosing Victory: A Plan for Victory in Iraq: “Victory is still an option in Iraq. … Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. … Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort.” Wrechard has commentary. UPDATE: Joe Katzman has doubts: “Failure in the surge will not return us to the status quo, even if the situation on the ground is marginally better at the end of this effort.”
- The Belmont Club: The Blogosphere at War – “an attempt to describe how the blogosphere works; to situate it vis-a-vis the mainstream media and to indicate some of the ways it can be used as a weapon of information warfare.” Also, a long post on the Islamic insurgency in the Philipines. More here.
- Phil Carter in Slate (a belated entry from October 2006): “The inability of Iraqi police and army units to retake Balad on their own demonstrates the continuing problem with the U.S. exit strategy of ‘standing up’ Iraqi security forces so we can ‘stand down.’ Without a radical change of strategy, the mission in Iraq will fail.”
- From October 2005, Tigerhawk has a report on a speech by Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new MFN-I commander in Iraq.
- John Keegan: “The arguments against the surge are that it might exacerbate the violence without deterring the perpetrators from persisting in their attacks and that it might result in a sharp increase in American casualties with no observable gain. The arguments for trying a surge are that it is defeatist to concentrate on withdrawal from Iraq without attempting a final effort to make military force work.” (via Belmont Club)
- Glenn Reynolds ran a blog symposium on Iraq in early December.
- Neo Neo-Con has two posts on the potential role of Congress in shaping Iraq strategy: Vietnam on the Mind and Could Congress Pull Off a 1974-1975 Redux, After All?
- Retired Marine Major Michael McBride: “[I]t is time to change the playbook when it comes to Insurgency Information Warfare. … By-pass strongholds of enemy opposition. The MSM is a ‘dead’ outlet for the military.” (also at My Sandmen; via Belmont Club commenter Wu Wei)
- J.B. Smith at Townhall.com (via Dean Barnett): “I would gladly return, for as long as the war took– if I knew my country and its leadership had a commitment to the cause matching my own.”
- And, if I may be so bold, Zeal and Activity’s own In Defense of Democratization.
What did I miss? Let us know in the comments. The Fall Iraq War Roundup is here.