Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Boot: Bush Boost Best

SWNID has been waiting for the superbly named Max Boot, global affairs pundit extraordinaire, to weigh in on Bush's plan to add troops in Bagdhad and Anbar Province. And now he has.

His judgment: the plan is not sure fire, but it is certainly the best plan available, more realistic and less risky than any of the Democrats' sketched-on-the-back-of-an-envelope "plans."

We offer the requisite tease quote:

As called for under a plan formulated by military historian Frederick Kagan and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, the five newly arriving brigades should be deployed alongside Iraqi units to live in Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. This is a classic counterinsurgency approach focused on securing the populace, and it has never really been tried before in the capital. It could work, especially if the surge is long lasting and if it's coupled with other vital steps — such as increasing the number of American advisors in the Iraqi security forces, instituting a biometric identity card to make it easier to detain terrorism suspects and enhancing the capacity of the Iraqi legal system to incarcerate more violent offenders.

If everything goes right, large swathes of Baghdad could gradually be brought under control. Then American and Iraqi units could pursue a "spreading inkblot" strategy--another classic counterinsurgency concept--to increase the pacified zone outward.

Boot's reference to Kagan and Keane is most instructive. In December, before Bush's speech, Messrs. Kagan and Keane presented their plan at a major media event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. A second event presented the plan more briefly outlining the plan with accompanying statements from Senators John McCain (R-Gaining SWNIDish Respect Lately) and Joe Lieberman (D-Currently Ignored by MSM). For those who repeat Democrat talking points like, "Just sending 21,000 more troops is not a plan," we say that such truths are self-evident but are not relevant as that isn't "just" what Bush is doing.* Just watch the AEI video.

*We draw attention again in passing to the perniciously illogical effect of interjecting "just" into statements about most significant matters.

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