Time and Troops
Some friends of mine showed me this article from the March issue of Atlantic Monthly outlining seven steps for Iraqi security. Their proposals include getting the UN more involved, an oil spot strategy (as opposed to the current military strategy of seeking out and engaging insurgents), and more time training Iraqi troops. Each of these make sense, although the oil spot strategy, where certain areas are pacified first, while allowing others to remain unchallenged until later, is one I have less faith in with each new time I read about it.
Although their specific recommendations are different from the current steps being taken in Iraq, the overall theme is the same as most other reports of its kind. In the end, the two things that will really help Iraq are more troops / support and more time. I really don’t think there is any way around that. The problem is that the American people want troop levels to decrease and involvement to end relatively soon. It is going to be interesting to see how this issue unfolds in upcoming elections, where the popular thing to say will not be the realistic strategy for success.