Strategy versus politics

April 12, 2008 | By | 7 Replies More

Last year, the Bush Administration told us they wouldn’t withdraw American troops from Iraq because there was “too much violence” in Baghdad; this year they’re telling us they won’t withdraw troops because “the surge is working” and they don’t want to “jeopardize the security gains of the past several months.”

So, here’s my question: if they won’t withdraw troops when violence goes up, and they won’t withdraw troops when violence goes down, then is it not self-evident that their policies in Iraq have NOTHING TO DO with the situation over there and, instead, depend entirely on something else…such as, continuing to butter the bread of the Bush/Cheney neo-con constituency (e.g., Halliburton, Exxon, Blackwater, etc.) and other special-interest groups within the American military-industrial complex?

Bush’s goal has been to be to keep boots on the ground no matter what, and that smells more like self-serving politics than like military strategy. Strategy is about achieving goals; politics is about rewarding supporters. We don’t hear much from the Bush Administration about achieving goals in Iraq, but we sure do see a lot of rewards going to his supporters. Do the math.


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About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

Comments (7)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Dagumit! I was just writing about this! Think about it, we've lost over 4,000. We've had more than 20,000 wounded. There has been no reconstruction of electricity, water, basic civil society in Iraq.

    We keep using supplemental appropriations to fund the "war" (silly 'Mission Accomplished!') and can now figure exactly the cost of each casualty. In five years (longer than WWII) the only people which have profited were the Bushies's fatcat contributors, chiefly among the oil industry.

    What Cheney has been hiding all these years from us hasn't been a secret energy policy, it's been the fact that the oil companies were the frst to know we were going into Iraq and how they would profit and what they each had to kickback to the GOP in money for the elections and pet causes of Bush, Cheney and the neocons!

    I say it here and now, no more lives for oil!

    We would not stop "funding the troops" if all appropriations for the war were insiide the regular appropriations process, and there would be some accountability (not a word used by the Bushies!). Don't give 'em another dime until we all know who got what and when!

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to Tim's comment, I think it's very revealing that the only two industries that have raked in record profits during the Bush/Cheney administration have been the oil industry and the "defense" industry — the former haunts of Bush and Cheney, respectively. Such an amazing coincidence….

  3. Edgar Montrose says:

    The aforementioned profiteering notwithstanding, there is a simpler, more insidious reason that the "war" in Iraq continues: the Administration is using the "time of war" argument as justification for its claims of extraordinary Executive powers (the Constitution contains exceptions for "time of war" that the Administration is exploiting and possibly abusing). Allow that "time of war" standing to be jeopardized, and the Executive powers are jeopardized, as well.

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    Indeed, so, Edgar. That is one reason why we must stop calling it "war":

  5. Tim Hogan says:

    It's not a war, and since the original use of force resolution was directed towards toppling Saddam, why are we still there?

    Congress needs to get some guts and stop funding Bush's public slush fund for for neocons, oil companies and military contractors. McCain is more of the same with all the lobbyists he has on staff.

  6. Tim Hogan says:

    We've called this shot before, why is no one listening?

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    The Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot claims that both the decrease and the increase in troop deaths prove that the "Surge" Is a success.

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