Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gates wants to swap surge for ‘South Korea’ in Iraq

The Wall Street Journal reports that’s the strategy Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is looking at proposing to Congressional Democrats:

What Mr. Gates and some other high-ranking administration officials have in mind is a modern-day version of President Harry Truman’s “Cold War consensus,” a bipartisan agreement on the need to contain the Soviet Union. They hope lawmakers from both parties will ultimately agree to make a scaled-back U.S. mission in Iraq a central component of U.S. foreign policy even after Mr. Bush leaves office.

No thanks, I’ll say, for several reasons.

First, Democrats would be giving credence to the BushCo theory of “if we don’t fight them there, we’ll be fighting them here.”

Second, this assumes that Iraqis will be as accepting of a long-term U.S. military presence as South Koreans were.

Third, it presumes that such a long-term presence would magically make an Iraqi government more functional and Iraqi police and military units “step up.”

Fourth, what sort of numbers is Gates talking about remaining? What are the troops expected to do?

Fifth, the comparison and analogy of a religiously and ethnically multipartate Iraq to a nearly monolithic South Korea simply falters.

That said, I’m concerned many Democrats will take the bait, figuring they can make further changes after the 2008 elections.

Well, instead, they should consider a page, and a word, adapted, from Nixon. Start talking about the “Iraqification” of the conflict.

Cross-posted at Socratic Gadfly and Watching Those We Choose.