Report? What Report?

Well, could there possibly be anything deader than the Baker/Hamilton Report, these days?  In fact, the funny thing is: things in Washington are so boring during this post-election/mid-holiday season, the only thing there is of interest to talk about is the heaving lump on the floor that is the BHCR.  (I’m going to coin that entirely-useless acronym now.  Who’s going to stop me?  Who really cares?)

The former Knight-Ridder has some peek-sees into the new plan that Bush will unveil after the holidays, and basically, he plans to ignore the commission’s reports altogether.  JMM has some insightful and only moderately snarky comments on the article which are definitely worth reading.  Oh, Bushie wants to step up training of Iraqi forces, but as McClatchy gently reminds all of us:

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/14/2006 | Bush weighing deeper commitment in Iraq, officials say

Only a year ago, on Nov. 30, 2005, Bush, under pressure to show progress, unveiled a “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.” Then, as now, he pledged to focus on training Iraq’s security forces.

Oops.  That old thing, again.  Well, let’s set aside all the other concerns for now, and just focus on this one issue: training up the troops.

The bigger problem is that even if they train enough troops to fight a battle, they’re not equipping them and they’re not building the infrastructure.  An army is not simply men with guns and rockets.  It’s also an entire mobile infrastructure of food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine and countless other services which are required.  And that’s just the human element.  There’s an entire Army Corps of Engineers dedicated to making things like bridges and such happen in a war zone (and they make them disappear, too), not to mention the fact that modern military machines rely on telecommunications infrastructure that needs to be setup and maintained.  Ask General “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker about what it’s like to string telegraph lines around Chancellorsville, if you want to get a good sense of what it is to run an army.

Without the tools to provide troops the things they need on the field, you don’t have an army.  You have a bunch of dudes with guns and rockets.  Right now, most of the logistical heavy-lifting is being done by American servicemen.  Until this extremely critical need is met ~ and there does not seem to be any indication that anyone’s all that serious about meeting it ~ the rest is just details.

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By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.