Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bush Announces Detailed Military Strategy To the Enemy...Why?

Much of President Bush's speech this evening (full text here) offered a detailed look at the planned strategy of how the troops involved in the "surge deployment" will be used in Baghdad. Bush listed the numbers of American troops involved (20,000), the number of Iraqi brigades that will participate (and, more or less, where), and how they plan to clear out the city, district by district, of terrorists, insurgents and armed militia.

Am I missing something or is this the first time in history that a military commander announced the details of his battle plan to the enemy before the battle?

What gives with this? I can see al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Muqtada al-Sadr taking notes on the speech, glancing through their appointment calendars and planning how to elude, evade and counter the proposed sweep of Baghdad in the coming months.

20,000 new troops to Baghdad and 4,000 to Anbar Province.

Is it possible that Bush offered a feignt (or an outright lie) tonight? Is it possible that the real battle will be fought first in Anbar with an increased force significantly larger than the 4,000 new troops mentioned?

A quick sweep through Anbar from the south to the north culminating in a sealing off of the Syrian border and a sweep back to the southeast to join the rest of the force in the Baghdad operation could wipe out most of al-Qaeda's presence, seal off their supply route and corner them in Baghdad where they would have no place to run except into Shia territory (where they would be warmly greeted, I'm sure).

Or, will the strategy in Baghdad be more of an encircling of power centers such as Sadr City and the forced confiscation of arms?

Or will the strategy in Baghdad be a pincer movement driving the Sunni Insurgents directly into the path of Shi'ite insurgents being driving into them from the opposite direction . . . and then letting them kill off each other while the American and Iraqi troops stand by and watch?

I'm fantasizing, of course, but I just cannot bring myself to believe that Bush, for the sake of national unity, or simply telling it like it is, would telegraph our counter-insurgency strategy for Baghdad in such detail as he did tonight.

There has got to be something in this that is designed to throw the "bad guys" off-guard rather than to put them "on-guard."

At least that's the way I look at it.

Anyone else have any ideas on this?