Monday, July 09, 2007

The War In Iraq Could "Take Decades"-- General Petraeus

General Petraeus was interviewed by the BBC today about how long it will take to root out the insurgency. His answers were not reassuring.

Speaking to the BBC's John Simpson in Baquba, Gen Petraeus said there was evidence that the recent troops surge was producing gains on the ground.

But he warned that US forces were engaged in a "tough fight" which will get "harder before it gets easier".

This is code for things are about to get worse and there will be no sign of improvement. In Bush speak, this means that the terrorists are desperate and are stepping up attacks because we are winning. If things were getting better, it would be because they are on the run.

"Northern Ireland, I think, taught you that very well. My counterparts in your [British] forces really understand this kind of operation... It took a long time, decades," he said.

"I don't know whether this will be decades, but the average counter insurgency is somewhere around a nine or a 10 year endeavour."

Northern Ireland had 3,700 total people killed over 30 years by some estimates. This works out to one dead every three days on average. Yeah, the two conflicts are totally the same thing.

No wonder George W. Bush promoted Petraeus to the top job. He is by all accounts a good general, but he is blowing smoke up our butts. We don't have decades to end this insurgency, even if we wanted to do it. Our recruitment numbers are down, we are sending people in for their fifth combat tour, and there is no way a person is getting elected President in 2008 with the message of stay the course.

Decades. Why not leave now? If this is the pie in the sky scenario, does waiting until September to have a congressional discussion about how long we should stay really matter?

Decades. My God.