Friday, February 16, 2007

Troop Surge Comment

"Honestly though, [Iraq War veterans I've met] all complained of the reactive nature of patrols. If they're just supposed to walk and drive around as targets, the mentality is grinding and there is no hope of smoking anything out without going on the complete offensive. It's time to re-clear the country, and go place US troops all over every border crossing in the entire country."

This is a comment in response to my post (below) arguing in favor of the troop surge. I think it is in line with what I was arguing, but takes it to a level I was at first unwilling to approach.

I agree that we need to be proactive, but I'm not sure we have the political capital to initialize such an approach. Sadly, it may well be the best approach at this point, considering we've blown every chance at diplomacy, to lock down the entire country. Obviously, it wouldn't be pretty--we're talking about more deaths, more ugly press, and more time--but it might be the only way out.

Now I hate to get into political philosophy, but this puts us firmly in a Machiavellian camp and points us towards the idea that no government can be run effectively without instilling respect through fear. Is this really the only way? Can’t the citizens buy into their government without the draconian motivation?

I, for one, don’t know—especially with deadly extremists messing with the whole process every day—but I certainly would like to believe that government can be run without blood; that what was great about the American Revolution as opposed to, say, the French Revolution, was its lack of internal deaths and that a majority of any country can buy into their system and make it work.

However, since Iraq has devolved past such a compassionate threshold, I believe that a Machiavellian solution is the only viable one as things stand today. It is a sad truth, one that reflects the horrid management of the War these three years. But we have to be honest with ourselves and stand courageously in favor of what is the poltically and socially unpopular opinion but most certainly the correct one.