As the parliament elections approach in the United States the debate around the campaign in Iraq is getting more and more intense. This is easy to explain. First of all, when it comes to the questions of internal politics and economy there is a certain consensus between the two main parties in America. Plus the voters’ attention is not focused on these issues. Second of all the situation in Iraq continues to worsen, which forces the politicians to discuss the matter much more actively.
Now this has gone far enough for the president Bush himself to recall in front of the media crowd the election campaign race of 1968, comparing it to the current situation in American politics. Back then the attack launched by the Communist Vietnam a day before the religious holiday became the reason not only for the current white house owner’s replacement but also for the pulling out of troops from Vietnam .
Today of course it is not that easy to simple pull out from Iraq , but every day more voices are heard, including those of some experts, about the urgent need of tactic change. The American military commanders in Iraq confess that the current policy is ineffective. And now even though the American army coordinates its efforts with those of New Iraqi government’s policemen, the Westerners still prefer to attack the insurgents and the various armed political bands, ever pouring more energy and resources into fire support.
Meanwhile it has become obvious that bringing in more arms and troops in turn bring more casualties. The Iraqi military force does not fight well, to put it lightly. These days there is much more talk among the concerned American politicians not only about getting the troops out of Iraq (which is what the voters so long to hear) but also about the strengthening of the Iraqi army that needs improved training and needs to count on the American military protection and support from air in case of an emergency.
However, this plan, too, is far from ideal. For one thing, such training is very time-consuming. And besides there simply aren’t enough volunteers to fill the ranks of the state army. In fact, even the quality of Vietnamese military in 1968 was far better and they were able to defend against the Communist forces with American help from air. Still having won that one battle South Vietnam lost the war…
It is also not quite clear what exactly is to be done with all the militant groups composed of religious and political Iraqi radicals. While the Sunni organizations can still be legitimately labeled “insurgents” who refuse to recognize the new government but instead support the Al-Qaeda, things get much more complicated when it comes to labeling the Shiites.
Oftentimes they fight a whole lot better than the official army, receive the popular support from the nation who is majority Shiite and have someone to represent their interests in the Parliament, which was the American project to begin with.
On top of all that it has recently become apparent that the Kurds will be the ones to protest the harshest when the United States begins diminishing the number of its troops in Iraq . They understand that the extremists from the Shiite majority could elect for their enemies not only the Sunnis but also the Kurds, who are ethnically much different from the rest of the Iraqis.
In addition there is much concern in Washington about London ’s position. Prime Minister Blair, who is ready to do whatever it takes to defend his failing Labor Party, has recently announced his intention to pull out from Iraq .
In light of all such events a special commission for developing a new strategy in Iraq is being organized with the support of the White House. One of the leading members will be George Bush Sr. Whatever decisions these experts come up with, it is obvious that they will not be publicly announced nor come into effect until after the November elections.
Translated by Natalia Vysotskaya