Coming soon to a US Iraq policy near you?
What we’re seeing here is the “perverse desire to win” of musical fame. Insofar as you want to obtain “victory” in Iraq, it becomes necessary not to devise a strategy to accomplish our goals, which can’t be done, but rather to define a set of goals such that they can be accomplished. Hence the appeal of an “80 percent strategy,” a.k.a. James Kurth’s “Crush the Sunnis” plan. But even if we could make this “work” (which is at least possible though, I would argue, actually pretty unlikely) what would we thereby achieve? Certainly not the Iraqi model of pre-war dreams. Indeed, it seems to me that in this case more rubble would bring more trouble, as the cross-national Sunni Arab majority comes to agree with Osama bin Laden that the United States is waging vicious war against them and theirs and that every good Muslim’s duty is to fight back.