"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

The Long War - Regional or Global

Caroline Glick has an article in the Jerusalem Post that echos comments made in earlier posts of this blog. In it she observes,

The average Israeli is not particularly interested in the US-led war in Iraq. As far as most Israelis are concerned, that war, going on just a few hundred kilometers from our borders, might as well be taking place in outer space. It simply doesn't seem connected to our local reality of the Palestinian-Iranian and Lebanese-Iranian jihad.

Later, she writes,

The fact is that after nearly four years fighting in Iraq, the US essentially embraced the counter-insurgency strategy that Israel adopted in Judea and Samaria five years ago. And similar to the US operations in Iraq until now, Israel only adopted its surge and hold strategy in Judea and Samaria after two years of absorbing unrelenting and ever-escalating Palestinian terrorist attacks.

However, later on she writes about the limited nature of warfare both the US and Israel is attempting to execute,

But by the same token, the Israeli experience also informs us of the price of adopting a strategy limited to an isolated front. Neither the war in Iraq, which is sponsored by Iran and Syria, nor the Palestinian war against Israel, which is sponsored by Iran, Syria and Egypt, are isolated, singular campaigns. And yet both the Israeli and the American surge and hold strategies treat them as if they are isolated, distinct, non-regional wars.

Finally, she states what will happen to Israel and Iraq if forces should ever redeploy,

If the Israeli government is ever foolish enough to order the IDF to stand down, those terror forces will immediately rebuild their capabilities.

Finally, she rightly points to US citizen disillusionment of the war in Iraq and its limited nature.

In the US, the fact that the Bush administration's limited strategy in Iraq has taken a toll on the public's faith that victory will ultimately be achieved was demonstrated even more starkly in last November's Congressional elections.

These great insights may show us the way ahead in Iraq with Bush's new strategy. We will clear Baghdad of most of its terrorists as long as we are there, but unless Iraqi forces are able to continue to secure the capital (and the rest of their country), the terrorists will keep coming back.

The US needs to start focusing its efforts on regional players like Iran and Syria and understand the conflict for what it is now. It is not a war in Iraq, but a regional war. While I do not believe we have the force ratios to enter into Iran or Syria, we must use all instruments of national power, short of a ground invasion, to get these countries to limit their influence in Iraq.

Targeted air strikes in Iran and Syria are what is needed to keep these states at bay followed by a stern warning that continual influence in Iraq and Israel will bring more targeted air strikes onto not just military facilities, but onto civilian facilities.

Many people argue that this would just widen the war and increase terror attacks in Iraq. I am not sure how the war can be widened anymore with thousands of IEDs moving into Iraq from Iran and Syria. I am quite sure that Hezbollah and Hamas can attack anymore than it is already attacking. I am quite sure that Iran, if it choses to attack into Iraq, would be decimated by our air, naval, and ground forces within a few kilometers of its border. I am quite sure that Syria could be contained with the US on its East and Israel on its West.

These state sponsors of terrorism cannot hope to win an offensive against the US in Iraq. While causing casualties, it will bring a quicker, and therefore less violent end to the ongoing terrorism in Iraq, Israel, and Lebanon.