The British Defeat in the South and the Uncertain Bush "Strategy" in Iraq
February 21, 2007
There are many definitions of “strategy,” some of which are virtually indistinguishable from “tactics.” To use one of the better dictionary definitions, however, “strategy” is “the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war.”
By this definition, and any other meaningful definition of “strategy,” a meaningful US strategy in Iraq cannot simply focus on winning in Baghdad and going on with efforts to fight the insurgents in the most troubled. A meaningful US strategy in Iraq has to combine all of the necessary means to achieve a clearly defined objective and it has to have an end game.
In practice, any form of US action that ends in some form of “victory” means finding a strategy that allows the US to withdraw most US forces from an Iraq that is stable enough to have reduced internal violence to low levels that can be controlled by local forces, that is secure against its neighbors, that is politically and economically unified enough to function and develop as a state, and which is pluralistic enough to preserve the basic rights of all of its sectarian and ethnic factions.