Is the Solution to Iraq Non-Military?
A number of senior U.S. military officials are saying there is no long-term military solution to the violence in Iraq. Knight-Ridder reports:
”I think the more accurate way to approach this right now is to concede that... this insurgency is not going to be settled, the terrorists and the terrorism in Iraq is not going to be settled, through military options or military operations,'' Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said last week, in a comment that echoes what other senior officers say. ``It's going to be settled in the political process.''
Asymmetric warfare is notoriously difficult to combat—even with the world’s best military. Given that American service members and Iraqi police and civilians continue to die at an unabated rate, new strategies are certainly warranted.
But can Iraqi Sunni’s and Shiites resolve their differences and end the violence? And how much affect on this can the U.S. have? Those questions have no ready answers. Clearly our troops can’t stay in Iraq forever and clearly the Iraqi people can’t form a strong society as long as daily violence continues.
Over two years into the conflict, it appears military leaders are ready to try some new ideas. Question is, is the civilian leadership at the Pentagon listening and can they develop a workable plan?
We have to hope so. There has to be a way to successfully end this war.