David Brooks writes about an essay in Foreign Affairs that recommends a new strategy for fighting the Iraqi insurgency. Brooks thinks the strategy might just work.
But then he says:
The fact is, the U.S. didn't adopt this blindingly obvious strategy because it violates some of the key Rumsfeldian notions about how the U.S. military should operate in the 21st century.
First, it requires a heavy troop presence, not a light, lean force. Second, it doesn't play to our strengths, which are technological superiority, mobility and firepower. It acknowledges that while we go with our strengths, the insurgents exploit our weakness: the lack of usable intelligence.
Third, it means we have to think in the long term. For fear of straining the armed forces, the military brass have conducted this campaign with one eye looking longingly at the exits. A lot of the military planning has extended only as far as the next supposed tipping point: the transfer of sovereignty, the election, and so on. We've been rotating successful commanders back to Washington after short stints, which is like pulling Grant back home before the battle of Vicksburg.
I have to ask: If right-wingers think the Iraq War was so vitally necessary, why don't they all despise Rumsfeld? Why don't they say that we've "had to fight the war with one hand tied behind our backs" and blame him for that -- as well as the Commander in Chief who hired him and is clearly determined to keep him on, come hell or high water?
The obvious answer is that right-wingers don't care about the Iraq War as much as they care about their side. It's more important to them to rally support for Republicans than it is to win whatever battle against terrorism it was that we were supposed to win in Iraq. Iraq is important primarily because it's their guys' war; if criticizing the battle plan hurts the GOP in the eyes of voters but helps the troops accomplish their objective, well, it's much more important not to hurt the GOP.
Maybe this will change. Maybe more and more right-wing columnists will bail on the people they put in office. But it's not happening yet to any great extent.