Thursday, January 05, 2006

Spidey Senses Tingling:

President Meets with Current & Former Secretaries of State and Defense

President Meets with Current & Former Secretaries of State and Defense

There are a few things I keep thinking about the last few days:

1) Suddenly we are in an all fired hurry, not just to withdraw forces from Iraq, but Afghanistan as well, drawing down significant forces in each area.

I would like to think it's because we have met certain goals and that the insurgency in either of these areas has been wiped out, that democracy is steady and security at its appropriate level, but I don't think so (regardless of how optimistic I am about the future, I'm not sure that THAT future is here now or is absolute by the end of 2006).

So, is this a matter of money?
Is this a matter of opinion polls and elections?

2) Some of the forces that were being deployed as "replacements" are not staying home, but are going to Kuwait and other bases as QRF (essentially, quick reaction forces that Murtha spoke of late last year).

3) We continue to draw down forces from Bosnia and South Korea.

4) We are not drawing down forces in central Asia, but continue to provide training to government forces.

5) So, in essence, we are shifting our forces, freeing them up from certain commitments, lightening our spending load (we did just indicate we would not authorize additional spending for repair of Iraq's infrastructure), but not necessarily shifting them out of the area.

6) We are putting serious pressure on Syria, so serious that it is causing their government to shake loose some interesting characters and information.

7) I have heard no official statement from the President or State Dept or other representative about Iran, nuclear fuel or weapons, in the last few weeks. Nothing spectacular or definitive anyway, as if they had no real position on it or goals to work towards now that the EU3, the UN nuclear watchdog and the Russian talks seemed to have failed.

Generally, I would feel optimistic and happy that our troops were coming home and the democracy project in Iraq was well underway, with a decent situation in Afghanistan, but, the Iraq insurgency, while down, is still dangerous and Afghanistan is heating up. On top of that, we meet with these multiple ex-secretaries which seems like an attempt to get their buy in and possibly use their contacts around the world (each of them having had better contacts with certain leaders than others).

"For what?" is the question.

Iraq? I don't think so, although I found the presence of McNamara as an ex-SoD and the orchestrater of a failed Vietnam strategy an interesting addition as well.

My spidey sense says something big is going on even though the papers are trumpeting it as "Bush admits defeat in Iraq".

I gotta disagree. If this is admitting defeat in Iraq, what's it saying about Afghanistan or Bosnia?

Update: More tingley spidey sense from Chester.


FbL said...

Eek! Now you've got MY spidey sense tingling. Let's hope whatever's going on behind the scenes will result in effectively neutralizing the dangers posed by Iran/Syria (whether through warfare or traditional diplomacy).

Wish we didn't have to live in such "interesting times."

I've often wondered how the homefront kept its collective sanity during long wars such as WW I & II. I'm still wondering, because going on 4 years of (albeit realitively small/isolated) war, I'm really starting to look forward to the "boring times." Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion we're not gonna see that anytime soon.

Damn the terrorists!

Kat said...

Yeah...I think we are in for a bumpy 2006 as well.

Even we radical change agent type people look for the down time.