greg (grysar) wrote,

Latest on the War

The UK is making plans to be out of Iraq within a year. The reason to for the pull out is to better focus on Afghanistan. Good for them. (Hat tip: Sullivan).

Kevin Drum argues that the Supporting the troops line of argument won't work for the Democrats. He cites a Spencer Ackerman article that makes the argument in longer form. In short, the military is generally more hawkish than the Dems. Majorities do not support withdrawal even if there is increasing discontent.

I buy this argument. It's important to listen to the full range of voices from the military, but disagree with them is acceptable and at times necessary. Ultimately, phrasing everything as support of the troops when we don't have the backing of the troops makes us look like posers. "Strength" is not a value highly correlated with posing.

The Washington Post has a good article on the impacts of torture on interrogators. It has some really interesting interviews including a really sketchy British interrogator that had worked in Northern Ireland. I rather like the American who stopped crossing the line after reading a holocaust memoir. His discussion in a bar at the end showed that he really gets it. Torturing the innocent isn't the only problem. Torturing the guilty is also an evil act.

Finally, the surge is failing. It's main success in the past few months was bringing down the number of sectarian killings in Baghdad. Unfortunately, it looks like the Shiite militias are done laying low as the numbers are up again. U.S. casualty counts are up, but that was fairly guaranteed given the new more aggressive posture. I still think the new counterinsurgency methods are solid, but we're in a deteriorating situation that's beyond our control.
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