Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Real Surge

From Tiger hawk:
Back in January, we excerpted from a Stratfor analysis that identified Iran as the real target of the surge. It is worth reading again in light of all that has transpired since. Then go read Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club, who had this to say yesterday:

Even if the US never takes any military action against Iran the creation of a new and modern Iraqi Army, well supplied with artillery and logistics (as appears to be the case) will create a threat in being for the Ayatollahs. From a situation in which the Teheran could contemplate virtually annexing southern Iraq (as would have occurred if the US had admitted defeat in early 2007 and left) the Ayatolahs now face the prospect of having to maintain large permanent standing forces on their border with Iraq. Nor is this all. If most US ground forces are freed up by the Real Surge the Iranians will suddenly face the prospect of dangerous mobile US reserve. All in all it would be a nightmarish burden for Teheran to shoulder.Does this mean war in the Middle East?

Ironically the Real Surge may actually reduce the prospect of war considerably, while at the same time improving the prospects for the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem. While it is possible that Iran, watching its window of opportunity closing, may become suddenly reckless and launch an all-out attack to destabilize Iraq, it is probably too late for banzai measures. The odds are that Iran has been strategically beaten, first by the American Surge and worse, by the follow-on Iraqi resurgence.

Doves -- virtually all of whom have opposed the Petraeus strategy in Iraq -- usually argue that even if Iran is developing nuclear weapons and destabilizing its neighbors, it can be contained and deterred. Maybe. It depends how much the leadership craves martyrdom. But if the mullahs can be contained and deterred, does it not seem likely that the successful resurrection of the Iraqi army -- only possible because of the American "surge" -- will be an essential part of that strategy?

1 comment:

Roxie said...

Excellent postings Serendip. Sorry to have been away for a while but we have had a very busy time at home recently. It is my hope that my free time may increase in the future.