Fire of Liberty
While the MSM and members of Congress are preparing to question General Petraeus on his current counterinsurgency operations in Iraq, one can best rest assured that the gaggle of anti-war Democrats will go off on a tangent about how the most recent fight in Basra is a sign that the General's policies are indeed a failure. Now these individuals might believe that such is a winning strategy with regards to Iraq, but they should be wary about such approach based on two reasons. First, General Petraeus can rightly point out that his counterinsurgency policy cannot be deemed a failure in Basra due to the fact that such a policy was never applied to the southern city because it was in the area of operation of the British(Who practiced a non-counterinsurgency model) and Iraqi forces. Secondly, even without an "in the street" counterinsurgency presence of the American forces in Basra, the Iraqi forces(With the aid of American air power) were able to inflict such heavy casualties on Sadr's Mahdi Army, that the cleric and his allies called for a ceasefire. So before these individuals embarrass themselves in today's hearings, they'd be best served to journey beyond the MSM's coverage and take a gander at Austin Bay's recent column or Jack Kelly's column and discover the glowing success that the Iraqi army(With our help) achieved in Basra. They should also go over to The Long War Journal blog by the ever impressive Bill Roggio and read the following post to discover how the Mahdi Army is facing a daunting challenge from the Iraqi Army and Government. Lastly, I'd recommend that they also take a look a Fred and Kimberly Kagan's(Who have been providing lengthy and detailed reports on the military's counterinsurgency activities) most recent piece in the Weekly Standard that gives an accurate assessment on the military operations in Basra this past week and a half. I realize that the the situation in Basra as well as our current counterinsurgency operations in Baghdad and Mosul are still a work in progress and it'll be several years before we can declare victory, but we should be rest assured from the pieces mentioned above that we're on the right track with regards to Iraq. So good luck to General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker as they go through the Congressional gauntlet.