Friday, January 05, 2007

The Ried / Pelosi Doctrine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to President Bush today. There has been a lot of speculation lately that Bush is ready to increase troop levels to coincide with a change in policy in Iraq. Pelosi and Reid sent a letter to Bush today begging him not to do it. Instead, Reid and Pelosi want to see a “…phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months…” In case some might misconstrue the Reid / Pelosi doctrine, they sum it up in the letter, “In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq…”

Since a victory in Iraq does not figure into the Reid / Pelosi first 100 hours of power, they are not willing to put any commitment into Iraq, and are ready to see us abandon Iraq. President Bush has been taking time to review the Iraq Study Group report, and other assorted reports from his different departments. The AP reported today that Bush’s strategy, “…is expected to entail new political, military and economic steps to win the war.” The Reid / Pelosi doctrine does not talk about victory or winning in Iraq. Instead, this doctrine wants to find an “end to the war in Iraq” or “[a] way forward”, maybe a “sustainable political settlement”, or at best, to “bring the war to a close.” The reports indicate that Bush has much grander things in mind: winning.

According to the AP, Bush is replacing the top two military leaders in Iraq. General Abizaid is to be replaced with Admiral William Fallon while General George Casey is to be replaced by Lt. General David Petraeus. Both of these military leaders have been pursuing the war on terror. Admiral Fallon has been the top US commander in the Pacific. He has gone on the record arguing that we are in a different type of fight. Admiral Fallon argues that our enemies will never defeat us in a “force versus force” type of fight. Instead, our enemies are currently using suicide bombers, IED’s, and the internet to try and sap our will to fight. Lt. Gen Petraeus was in charge of rebuilding Mosul with the 101st Airborne and in charge of rebuilding the Iraqi Army and police forces. His actions in Mosul and with the Iraqi Army and police have received a lot of praise.

In addition to the military shakeup, the AP reports the Bush is changing the make up of the ambassadors to Iraq and the UN, and will be putting Vice Admiral Mike McConnell in charge of Intelligence. These may or may not be the right moves to make. However, Bush is trying to put our troops in a position to win the war in Iraq. The Reid / Pelosi doctrine would have them come home in defeat, and give a victory to our enemies.


Sideon said...

The definition that has been missing from most of the discussions is this:

what IS a victory in Iraq?

Andy D said...

That is actually a very good question. I think you are correct as well, very few people want to discuss that aspect. Is victory a stable, democratic Iraqi government? Is it a democratic government that has to fend off Iran and Syria all on its own? I think the President has the first option in mind, but who knows for sure.