Iraq Update, Pt. I
It's soon going to be a necessity for US troops to retreat into the Kurdish area of Iraq (start calling it Kurdistan) and into the sparsely inhabited Western desert. By semi-happy coincidence, it will make economic sense in its own twisted way. The Kurds have the only real army in Iraq, they are itching to fight Sunnis and Shiites, the pipelines going out through Turkey are the ones worth defending, and the US is building a major air base north of Kirkuk. As the cherry on top, Dick Cheney's "Nine Virgins," the areas in the western desert never explored for oil, could be easily defended. So that's what redeployment will look like, and it's what Jack Murtha (soon to be House Majority Leader) will push for.
This is simply the "over the horizon" strategy you've probably heard about through Murtha--it's what the generals want, it would work for oil extraction, and it would allow a significant troop draw-down. It makes so much sense, in fact, that Bush will probably hate it. Once he realizes that the western media will tire of reporting on Sunnis and Shiites burning each other alive so long as they don't do it near US troops, Bush will warm up to the idea and call it "smart security," and start having his staff and the press refer to him as a "statesman" in public.
Lots of smart people with tons of military and Mid-east experience would accuse me of smoking corn silk if they read this. But they don't come here, and I'm probably right. You read it here first.