Iraq is still dangerous, Afghanistan is still dangerous, and the Marines want out of Iraq and they are willing to be redeployed to Afghanistan to prove it.
First, the NY Times reports that Pushed out of Baghdad, the insurgents move north.
Sunni insurgents pushed out of Baghdad and Anbar Provinces have migrated to this northern Iraqi city and have been trying to turn it into a major hub for their operations, according to American commanders…
The insurgents who have ventured north include Abu Ayyub-al Masri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a predominantly Iraqi group that American intelligence says has foreign leadership. American officials say the insurgent leader has twice slipped in and out of Mosul in Nineveh Province to try to rally fellow militants and put end to infighting.
Okay, even more confirmation that all the Kagan-McCain-Bush “surge” did was to send the insurgents outside of Baghdad and Anbar Province where they laid low until the summer heat – military-wise and temperature-wise – cooled off. But, Baghdad and Anbar is safer now, right?
Well not according to
Defense War Secretary Robert Gates. In a different story in the NY Times today, Gates opposes force shift to Afghanistan because of volatility.
Senior Pentagon and military officials said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had decided against a proposal to shift Marine Corps forces from Iraq to take the lead in American operations in Afghanistan.
Mr. Gates told top Marine Corps officials and his senior aides that the situation in western Iraq, where the Marines now operate in Anbar Province, remained too volatile to contemplate such a significant change in how the ground combat mission in Iraq is shared by the Army and the Marine Corps.
All the “surge” did was to shift the danger. Iraq is still too dangerous to redeploy the over-deployed Marines to deal with the Taliban and the actual Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine Corps commandant made a “formal proposal” to shift the Marines from Iraq to Afghanistan, and because it “is one that matches our strength and capabilities”.
More simply put, the Marines want out of Iraq. The Army balked at the idea – “some Army officers also expressed wariness that the Marines were trying to move from an unpopular war, Iraq, to Afghanistan, which has more popular support.” But according to the LA Times, “the Marines saw the mission shift in part as a way to reduce the demands on their force overseas, replacing 26,000 Marines in Iraq with just 15,000 in Afghanistan. ‘That would be sort of the panacea for us,’ Conway said.”
So, not only would a deployment shift to Afghanistan help ease the strain on the over-deployed Marines, but it would also let the Marines focus on the original war… the war that was supposedly won in 2002. Lastly, the NY Times has a story about a second Suicide blast in Afghanistan that killed 13 people during Sec. Gates visit there.
A suicide bomber smashed his car into a bus carrying Afghan Army personnel here in the capital early Wednesday, killing 13 people… The dead were seven army officers in the bus and six civilians on the street. Among the civilians killed were four children…
An additional 17 people were wounded, 8 soldiers and 9 civilians… The car bombing was the second in two days, and occurred as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the first bombing…
Bush declared the Taliban defeated on July 4, 2002, so he and Cheney could go after Iraq’s oil. Meanwhile, Afghanistan slowly ebbed back into the hands of the Taliban, Al Qaeda had a resurgence, and the whack-a-mole “surge” in Iraq just forced the insurgency to outlying areas. What a mess-opotamia.