– On GPS today Gideon Rose, the editor of Foreign Affairs, stated that "now we are all Israelis." He based this on conversations with officials in Washington who indicated to him that a nuclear Iran was "intolerable." He further stated that this reflects his view that Iranian progress on nuclear weapons will soon require air attacks on that country. In listening to him it became clear that either he does not know what would be involved in an air campaign to damage the Iranian nuclear program or else he does not care to tell us. In fact such a campaign in order to be effective would involve at least 500 strike sorties and at least that many support sorties. One must ask what is the game here? I am quite certain that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Mattis of the Marine Corps have counseled the president that they feel it would be most unwise to launch such a campaign. Their reasoning has to do with actual consideration of available resources and space/time factors. What is Mr. Rose's statement based on?
- David Ignatius has a column in today's Washington Post in which he says that the US military have essentially abandoned the doctrine of counterinsurgency. This is not a surprise. We have been predicting it on SST for years. The COIN doctrine has once again proven to be impracticable when applied to large-scale situations in which the counterinsurgents are not the owners or even the permanent occupiers of the territory. As I have tried to counsel the Coinistas over the last few years, theprophets of failed dogma inevitably suffer the same fate as their rejected teaching. Ignatius makes the plea that this doctrine should not be altogether abandoned but should be retained as some small capability of the Armed Forces. I would support that. It is a suitable secondary mission for U.S. Army special forces (the Green Berets). UW should remain their primary mission. Conventional ground forces should be greatly reduced in size to save money and to discourage the idea of large-scale foreign ground interventions.
–Supposed experts continue to express surprise that the Egyptian electorate is going to vote an Islamist parliament into office. They do not comprehend the fact that the Egyptian population in the majority are deeply Islamist. What is going to happen is that this parliament and the leadership of the Egyptian military are going to combine with the new president, whenever he is elected, to consolidate their various positions. I still think that the next president is likely to be Amre Mousa. Eventually either the Islamists or the military will end up in charge in Egypt but that may take a while. pl