Friday, October 05, 2007

How Do We Leave Iraq?

By Land, and by leaving the office furniture behind.

Gregory Cochran is a physicist and adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah who has developed some new ideas in evolutionary medicine and genetic anthropology. Cochran is known for several controversial theories, which is why The Economist considers him a noted scientific iconoclast. But that's not a problem for me, because he cuts through a lot of Bushit for us. As he says in his cover story in The American Conservative, "Knowing your goals makes life simpler."

There are just a few advisories:

Leave with all weapons systems, munitions, vehicles.
First, we should aim to get our troops out safely, with their weapons intact. Weapons are important-we win more because of superior equipment than superior training or talent. That equipment is expensive, takes a long time to replace with our existing procurement system, and we might actually need it if we found ourselves in a war of necessity…140,000 and 200,000 tons of crucial equipment and supplies in Iraq, as well as 15-20,000 vehicles and major weapons. That can't add up to more than half a million tons total.
Leave all other logistical hardware, buildings, supra-structure, non-combat-related materiel behind.
We've accumulated dentist chairs, chapel pews, swimming-pool filtration systems, office complexes, multimillion-dollar fitness centers, air-conditioners, refrigerators, prefab latrines, Coke machines, even 50-inch plasma TVs. We have stockpiles of 50-gallon oil drums full of battery acid, contaminated oil, and industrial solvents. We're being told that it all has to be shipped home. I have a better idea: leave it all behind. I'm sure that the Army bureaucracy thinks that we've got to move these refrigerators, got to move these TV's. They're wrong. Maybe they fear that leaving a single vending machine behind means that they will have to personally answer to the Coca-Cola Company…. Better to gift-wrap those drums and let the Iraqis steal them...
Don't leave any one behind. Except in Kurdistan.
. . . a solid majority of non-Kurdish Iraqis now find attacks on coalition forces acceptable-is asking for trouble. The British tried that in Basra, and they took rocket and mortar fire every day while achieving nothing.
Stop Congress' game of playing politics with numbers:
If we couldn't create a compliant Iraq with 150,000 troops, we won't manage it with 50,000 or 20,000. Many of our presidential candidates-you can recognize them by the humps on their backs-are talking about retaining smaller numbers of troops in Iraq, hoping to achieve some political end or at least disguise defeat, but that pig won't fly.
Leaving a lot of stuff in Iraq is not going to cost an arm and a leg Consider the real savings, when you think of the $10 Billion a month this fuckastrophe is costing us? Cochran is saying, "Bring out men, weapons, ammo, vital spares and leave the pews and the porta-potties." Removal of all moveable and rolling stock would take a week or two of normal traffic on the main road to Kuwait.

Casualties? It's said that a retreating army is the most vulnerable of all. Well, we are only re-deploying. We are redeploying into Kuwait, which leaves us a lot less vulnerable than if we were re-deploying into Iran. Chances are, we won't have to fight our way out of Iraq: Cochran thinks,
. . . . there's a fair chance that we will face some opposition, although more practical Iraqis will probably be busy looting our camps as we abandon them, just as they have looted the bases abandoned by the British in the south. But we can be sure that the opposition will be insignificant and our casualties few, since the insurgents we face in Iraq would be extremely weak in a conventional fight. Remember that we lost fewer than 150 men during the invasion, when we faced 23 divisions, organized troops armed with (according to U.S. estimates) almost 2,000 main battle tanks, 3,500 armored personnel carriers, and 2,000 artillery pieces. The insurgents today have no tanks, no APCs, no heavy artillery, and yet we're supposed to worry about the havoc they would wreak during any withdrawal. We've been seeing about 100 men a month killed in action in 2007, we'd lose fewer in a rapid withdrawal than we would by staying one more month. The insurgents excel at planting IEDs and blending into the population-but that's all they're good at. In a conventional battle, they would do about as well as a rabbit in a lawnmower. If you're worried that the Iraqi army we're always training might turn on us, relax: we never gave them any heavy weapons, which shows that someone was thinking ahead.
The real reason for a long-drawn out protracted withdrawal is a perceived need to avoid the appearance of 'cut & run'. Slow bleeding and dithering is, it is thought by lame-ass columnists, pundits and politicians, easier to spin. But these are the same neo-Machiavellian poseurs who got us into this mess to begin with. If neither the Iraqis nor our own U.S. Department of Agriculture can materially interfere (by insisting on inspections) we're good to go:
The bottom line is that we can get troops and war-fighting equipment out of Iraq rapidly and relatively safely, certainly in less than six months, probably in three. …It would be faster than that, except for complications such as evacuating contractors and completely securing or destroying advanced weaponry that we don't want examined or copied by potential enemies. That, we need to be careful about. Fast withdrawal is safer than slow-it minimizes the slow bleed of occupation, and it avoids leaving dangerously weak forces in-country for long periods. Once we make up our mind to leave, “then ‘twere well ‘twere done quickly.”
Like I've always said in these pages, the real problem in ending the occupation in Iraq is ending the current regime in Washington.

12 Moderated Comments:

Blogger TomCat said...

His plan doesn't have a chance of being adopted, because it makes sense.

10/05/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/05/2007 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Vigil,

Fellow makes sense. Besides, Condi has got 'em Blackwater guys to cover the retreat, er i mean the withdrawal of the troops.

10/05/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

It's clear we are not leaving any time soon regardless of the outcome of the next election.

If Hillary wins, as I believe she will, we will not leave at any time during her Presidency.

The occupation will evolve and it may, if we are very lucky, eventually dissolve into a more sustainable relationship between states.

This deserves more time and analysis than I can cover here. But I am becoming more confident the ultimate rsolution of the Iraqi occupation will not end in some dramatic withdrawal "bang" but with a barely noticed whimper years from now.

10/05/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

See how facile Wizard is, as he poses as the pundit. Of course the danger is that Hillary will extend Bush's presence in Iraq, securing the Shrub's accomplishments in history. The question is, why does Wizard so happily accept it? Not too surprising, actually, for some one who goes to the trouble of defending Rush Limbaugh on his own website.

10/06/2007 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Messenger said...

See how facile Wizard is, as he poses as the pundit.)

- But you support the troops but not the deserting liar right ?

And you think they are involved in a pointless war, but you support them right ?

You may as well go back to your upside down flag symbol.

That just means trouble, and does not get into the stupidity of supporting the troops.

How is it that people are so clueless as to the dynamic of how this society is currently working ?

So all you Mr. Nazi people that support the troops, DROP DEAD.

10/06/2007 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/06/2007 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Messenger, congratulations on your new Group-Blog!

10/06/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

COMMENT MODERATION: Special Rules for Special Fools

Skip Sievert is restricted to one comment (one hundred words or less) per thread, indefinitely.

10/06/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Fuck you asshole.

10/06/2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

Here's The Way Out.

10/06/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ziem said...

We will never see a way out while a shrub is in the White House. There's too much money for them to make. Chances are another Clinton will have to clean up after another shub.

10/06/2007 04:13:00 PM  

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