The "Surge" in Iraq, the brain-child of General David Petraeus, has been gushed over by a gormless MSM booboisie as a success. The logic for it was borrowed from an Australian ex-Colonel, David Kilcullen, who had in turn ripped it and most of his Twenty-Eight Articles (current COIN field manual) off from an extraordinary Austrian-French insurgency scholar-soldier in Vietnam named Bernard Fall. Everyone's logic got FUBAR'd in a hell-hole and buried with cash. So it is that most Americans think the #1 Darwin-Award-dumb move their generals made in Iraq...was the smartest. Hunky Dory instead of Humpty Dumpty.
Petraeus, while kissing political ass and mulling a White House run in 2012, is set to take the show on the road to the rustic mountains of Afghanistan. Where it will virtually guarantee another thirty years of war. It's easy to see why the Surge seemed successful in Iraq; if I were in the Sunni triangle and someone armed me to the teeth, gave me a little training, and paid me $300-500 a month to stay home and NOT fight, I'd say, "Sign me up!" But what happens if they suddenly stop paying me and 100,000 of my relatives? The Maliki government was supposed to take over responsibility for payments on October 1st, 2008. Right. That was so going to happen.
(Aside: as previously noted, you can't pay Afghani tribesmen with money, so their Surge will differ. They prefer trade in weapons, sex slaves, poppy paste, toothpicks, shovels, and mules. And goats! How could I forget goats? Instead of "Surge II," we could call it "The Goat A Month Club." Toilet paper is a status symbol of princely proportion, so "Operation Charmin" can be launched. But funny things happen in Afghanistan. During Russia's occupation, they noticed when a surplus of well-fed mules started showing up. Which had been sent in by the CIA and ISI to lug an influx of new weapons. Naturally the Russians got serious about killing mules, so the CIA scrambled to get more of them, causing global mule inflation. And you can't get your hands on 5,000 mules in a hurry. If Obama goes through with this expanded Afghan adventure, and regular-army units are encouraged to "think outside the counterinsurgency box," similar hilarity is sure to ensue.)
The 100,000+ militiamen of the Sunni Awakening lack sponsors. Their trigger fingers have Parkinson's. Their commanders, the guys who ran the former Iraqi army, have planned operations ready to go. Iraq is about to have another round of elections, and when they're over, the country will likely re-detonate and proceed to break into three parts, as was completely predictable if ye olde bullshit umbrella was deployed back in 2002. The Sunni groups will seek sponsorship in two places: Saudi Arabia and Russia. Having just throttled al-Qaeda in Iraq, they're unlikely to find much succor in the Saudis. This presents Russia with a compelling scenario, one filled with sweet irony, one where they win either way.
Russia's restraint from fiddling in Iraq has been marvelous, perhaps stemming from an idea that the Bush Administration was not merely acting crazy. But now they've got a new guy to analyze, one who emphasizes pragmatism. Pulling out of Iraq, for example, would demonstrate pragmatism. If you're a Russian strategist, you wouldn't really want to see us leave and, say, save our empire from hemorrhaging to death, so a temptation to send weapons to the Sunnis may prove irresistible. It would stave off a Sunni genocide, and militarily, the ROI (Return on Investment) would be stratospherically large. A hundred-year opportunity to take down an empire. Here is what Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's former foreign minister, has been saying:
The Khyber Pass supply route was closed for much of last month due to insurgent activity. And is closed right now. The US/NATO command proposed an alternative supply line. One which goes through Russia. Yep. We're that dumb. Analysts who earnestly reiterate it's in Russia's interests to keep us in Afghanistan are right...for an obvious reason, and they apparently can't remember as far back as 20 or 30 years. Yet they're respected in my society. Is LSD back?? And where should I report to for my show-trial?
The United States' Achilles' heel is Iraq.... The US colonialist project to have absolute control over our planet can be buried in Iraq.
Only through backing the patriotic Iraqi resistance and strengthening its military capabilities can we accelerate the end of US colonialism all over the world.... The key to defeat the United States in the world and to corner it into isolation is Russia providing support to the Iraqi resistance directly or indirectly.
The key to freeing the world by muzzling the United States requires Russian involvement in the Iraq battle.
The only large maneuver-room we have left as a country (screw Empire) is to stop pissing away treasure into shit-pits. Obama should designate a Base Closure Czar, but the fact that anyone who admits defeat will be cut in half somewhat complicates decisive moves to cut losses. In Iraq, in Afghanistan, Russia is now completely in the driver's seat. Depending on what they decide, the choices range between slow death and fast. I'm afraid they'll choose "Slow."