Saturday, June 23, 2007

Why Withdrawl May Not Be A Defeat

Even the introductory paragraphs of Sun Tzu's The Art of War are educational for those who would wish to ignite such conflagrations as the Iraq Democracy Experiment. I found this interesting quote regarding the much heralded "troop surge:"
I think they were tipped off by us talking about the surge, the fact that we have a problem in Diyala Province."LT. GEN. RAYMOND T. ODIERNO, on top leaders of Al Qaeda who fled a U.S. offensive in Baquba, Iraq.
This is the trouble when you have politicians who need popular opinion on their side versus doing unpopular things in order to win wars. I've said this before, but the notion that pulling troops out of Iraq would signal defeat is really setting us up for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In actuality, if the "terrorists" will fill in the void left by our absence, might that not be indeed be desirous? If they concentrate their energies in one location, we could then zero in on them and snuff them out in one fell swoop instead of subjecting our troops to the long slow bleed that is Iraq.

Sun Tzu would suggest, that in fact, retreat may not be altogether foolish in this respect. Doing exactly the opposite of what the world expects may actually assist us in finishing of this elusive enemy that hides in the wormwood of the world's desolate spaces and are protected by the favor of evil men.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
Unfortunately, the politicians in charge are more interested in gaining popular favor than actually winning the war.

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