2 Parts Military 2 Parts Political and 1 Part Diplomacy
Barak's Continued Display of Foreign Policy Weakness
Obama spoke a day after his main Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, made similar comments. She said the tactics of the short-term troop increase were working but political progress did not seem to be in sight and the U.S. should begin bringing some troops home.
A 1/4 Cup of Diplomacy A Cup of Diplomacy, and a Cup of Military
Barak's statement lacks a basis in reality and shows once again his naivette as a statesman. No one denies the diplomatic and the political are part of the solution to Iraq, but the military and force is part of the solution too. All are needed in these sorts of situations. Yes, sometimes players get the exact mix wrong use too much diplomacy, too much political, or too much military.
A Top Down Solution?
In Iraq we are trying to impose a political system top-down. That is like constructing a building without a strong foundation. Michael Yon reports political progress is happening! However, it is happening on the streets of Iraq, in warehouses, between mayors and in other small and countless ways too small to be noticed by the nightly news.
The Immigration Failure - A Study in Top Down Politics
Think about it. If you have any experience working for or around campaigns and/or causes you know it is not enough for for leaders to stand up and announce they are going to work together to do something and POOF it gets done. If that were true, than the immigration things would have been done this last year. However, it was not supported at the grass roots level and the leaders had no standing upon which to construct their grand solution.
So why do many think Iraq is going to be different? Michael Yon reports indicate the main power of the surge is that it allows local leaders more freedom to work with each other. The warehouse manager doesn't want to release food to Baqubah's mayor? Why not? Because he is afraid of it ending up in the bellies of Al-Qaida (or giving Al-Qaida a "food weapon"). However, with negotiation, discussions, and the like the Mayor of Baqubah and the warehouse manager come to terms. If the military is able to maintain those conditions long enough that cooperation (stubborn cooperation to be sure, but in the end cooperation) will eventually percolate to the upper levels of the national Iraqi political scene.
The question then is do we continue to foster the conditions needed for grass roots political reconciliation or do we in a pique our upside down pyramid fell apart and leave? If we leave too soon we will be back and at much higher cost.