U.S. Military Defeat Worsened by Bush
As Mr. Bush delayed his decision on Iraq, 109 American soldiers died during the 2006 holiday season. The war has no
holidays, but Mr. Bush celebrated his and let the daily killing and wounding of our troops go on.
Mr. Bush is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, but he is acting for partisan, not national reasons. His
objective is to use the rapidly deteriorating military situation to force the Democrats to approve an increase of
thousands of troops and nearly $100 billion dollars in additional war expenses. The real goal of this damaging political
game is to preserve Bush's “stay the course” mindset -- code words for the establishment of permanent U.S. bases in Iraq
and secure access to Iraqi oil for the president's Texas oilmen cronies. These ambitions can no longer be hidden behind
the failed excuse that the US has the upper hand in Iraq’s security and can impose a pro-Israel and pro-U.S.A. democracy
in the sectarian-torn country.
Ironically, the continuing loss of American lives and treasure does nothing to further the neo-con's fatuous dream of a
Middle East tucked safely under the wings of an American Empire. Most Americans won't support this delusion, but Mr.
Bush’s actions may be surprisingly welcome in unexpected quarters -- Iran, for example.
Iran cannot admit it publicly, but keeping as many American troops as possible bogged down in Iraq, strengthens Iran’s
position in the region. Besides, Iran could easily retaliate against troops without major mobility in their areas, in
case of an American or Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. Mr. Bush intends to reinforce the troops, mostly in
Baghdad, but Baghdad is not Iran’s only resource.
Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, is now another Sunni group. It may be domestically hated, but its strategy of fueling
civil war and hurting Americans troops has proven successful. The presence of American troops provides hands on
experience training and an excellent recruiting tool. Sunni control of the Anbar province proves it, since the Americans
overwhelmingly took Faruya. Wouldn’t Shiites wait for Americans to overwhelmingly take over Sadr City to spread their
A proxy increase of American troops in Baghdad, still fresh, received an insurgency’s and militias’ short pause to
adapt to the new number and logistics of the increased troops and then unleash their recent violent campaign.
The insurgency’s strategy is simple: “the bigger and more powerful your Army, the easier it is to humiliate it and
defeat it”. The current rationality is also clear: “The U.S. has 140,000 super soldiers, the best armed in the whole
and we forced them to call for reinforcements to save themselves. The more targets the merrier”. The troops are not
clandestine, but the insurgency is. The Commander-in-Chief’s disastrous strategy has the American troops relegated to
fortified bases, fighting behind the Iraqi troops that serve the Americans as their human shields. Without tanks and
planes the Iraqi Army is practically an unarmed army. Moreover, the Iraqi army and police are both infiltrated by the
insurgency and the Shiite militias. Both of them gather valuable teachings in counterintelligence, training that keep
them ahead of the American troops.
The American troops practically lost control of the Anbar province and Baghdad. They have no role in a political,
intelligence and counterintelligence struggle. The civil war can be only stopped politically, so the American Army is
just loosing lives and wasting money. Taking the troops out of Iraq immediately is the most diplomatic way to
demonstrate that the U.S. has no interest in having permanent military bases in Iraq or taking Iraqi oil. This action
would leave the insurgency without an enemy and encourage the Iraqis to make peace as their alternative to civil war.
There is no middle ground for the U.S. in Iraq. Is it reasonable to suppose that the U.S. could intensify the civil war
by supporting Al-Qaeda and the Sunnis to stop the Shiite political lead in the region, under Iran’s umbrella? Or could
we support Iran, Syria, and the Shiite ethnic-cleansing of Sunnis to semi-eliminate Al-Qaeda in Iraq, at the price of
establishing a permanent explosive Sunni unrest in the region? Or could the U.S. re-invade Iraq?
The best option is to pull out our troops without any delay, relocate the most rested troops in the neighborhood and
rebuild Iraq at any price. Failing to do so, Bush will add to his responsibility for launching a war of choice, breaking
our army with an unwinnable strategy, destroying our diplomatic and political effectiveness in the region -- and
covering his hands with the blood of brave Americans who continue to be sacrificed day by day on the altar of a
José María Rodríguez González is a U.S. foreign policy researcher.