Admiral Mullen on the Surge

I’ve been told by someone whose source is his cousin that I’m behind the power curve since I have my doubts as to whether the surge is working as well as John McCain claims it is. It seems I don’t know any generals personally but I can remember when Admiral Mullen trstifed before the Senate in route to becoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Unless the Iraqi government takes advantage of the “breathing space” that U.S. forces are providing, Mullen said, “no amount of troops in no amount of time will make much of a difference.” Testifying alongside Mullen was Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, 57, the nominee to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He heads the U.S. Strategic Command. In written responses to committee questions, Mullen warned that “there is no purely military solution in Iraq” and that the country’s politicians “need to view politics and democracy as more than just majority rule, winner-take-all, or a zero-sum game.” Absent that, he said, the United States will be forced to reevaluate its strategy … Mullen, who is the chief of naval operations, told the panel that the U.S. troop increase in Iraq “is giving our operational commanders the forces they needed to execute more effective tactics and improve security.” He added, “Security is better; not great, but better.” … Levin expressed skepticism that Iraqi politicians can take steps toward political reconciliation. They “remain frozen by their history,” he said. Levin added that the Iraqi parliament is “at a standstill,” with nearly every session since November adjourning because too few legislators showed up … Asked by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) about the U.S. prospects for “winning” in Iraq, Mullen said: “Based on the lack of political reconciliation at the government level . . . I would be concerned about whether we’d be winning or not.” … In his written responses to committee questions, Mullen listed seven of “the most significant mistakes” made by the United States in Iraq. Among them, he cited Washington’s failure to “fully integrate all elements of U.S. national power in Iraq,” the failure to “establish an early and significant dialogue with neighboring countries,” the U.S. attempt to occupy the country with “an insufficient force,” the disbanding of the Iraqi army shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion, and the pursuit of a de-Baathification process that “proved more divisive than helpful.”

We may have just begun getting more support from the tribal and other local power structures, but as far as I can tell – we have not made nearly enough progress in this respect. And this Administration has turned its back on diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors. Maybe I’m no expert but Mullen is now the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But what does he know? After all – Movie Guy and his cousin are the true experts on Iraq.

AB readers – forgive me but I really tire when know it alls call folks like Barkley Rosser ignorant. Of course, Movie Guy didn’t call Barkley ignorant. He attacked for posting what Barkley said.