CBS News:”Powell: We Are Losing In Iraq”
Considering he was part of ‘the team’ that brought the current Iraq war to it’s course – as Secretary of State and even earlier in dessert storm – Collin Powell told CBS News face the nation that the United States “Is losing the War in Iraq.’
He further warned as some calls are being made for more troops to be deployed there that as an option that was not the answer.
 “… “So if it’s grave and deteriorating and we’re not winning, we are losing,” Powell told Bob Schieffer in an exclusive interview. “We haven’t lost. And this is the time, now, to start to put in place the kinds of strategies that will turn this situation around.” … ”  CbsNews
Powell was speaking to Bob Schieffer on CBS in the interview on the U.S. network he claims that additional troops reportedly planned to be deployed in Baghdad and elsewhere will not solve the situation on the ground.
The Problem as many see it – is not more US troops – but rather improving the Iraqi Police force – Police not Marines are whats needed. The situation in Iraq as this side of blogspace said over six months ago has degenerated into a civil war.
insurgency after-all is an element of civil war – the most uncivilized of all conflicts because it pits neighbor versus each other in small towns and communities and is often caused by localized issues that have limited national focus for forces like armies to deal with. In particular foreign forces who do not understand the root causes of a insurgency it like politics and religion- is a local thing.
But, Powell may be speaking out to protect himself from fallout on the failure of the state deparments programs – which handled Police training – to take off. Funding was the central issue. State was supposed to do it – not the pentagon – whch handled the rebuilding of Iraq’s armies. Congress also was to blame not funding ‘police’ forces in favor of the new Iraqi army.
But Powell is right, Soldiers often are the worst forces to use in fighting an insurgency – since by the nature of the training they get – to fight to kill to destroy to dominate and control – they do not Police – or keep the peace well.
However as in the old-saying of pointing a finger and not noting three pointing back at himself-Powell and others should be lobbying for more ‘Cops’ – not troops.
Most of the successful counter insurgency and peacekeeping efforts I have seen had major components for Police training. With a heavy influence on localized recruitment.
But in place where donning a badge – is almost like getting a death sentence – as insurgents have targeted Iraqi Police more than any other unit in the current fighting. One also needs a balance of forces – small units perhaps – to beef up and protect the cops and make sure they are able to do the job of restoring – the old concept of law of order – or as seen in other places – as peace and order.
Much of the insurgency in Iraq – as in other places in taken advantage of by criminal elements who use the unrest to cover the illicit acts they do – while – there are also the ‘legitimate’ rebels with causes and complaints for their own self determination – or reasons for their fighting for whatever reason or sets of causes.
But scattered and even perhaps outnumbering these are thugs, rapists, drug pushers, smugglers, kidnappers, gangs, and the whole weird mix of problems facing the people of Iraq – and elsewhere.
Cops – Police are whats needed to address the root causes behind the insurgency and correct the injustices that cause people to rebel. Also honest cops – keepers of the peace who will uphold the law as well as protect those in need and ensure peace has a chance.
Troops – will always be needed to deal with larger problems and bigger more connected groups of insurgents or para – military police types. Iraq is not as out of control as it seems in some places – order is firmly in place – in others things are worse and getting further out of control.
Powell’s comments are needed though to show that there needs to be acceptance of where things are and people need to wake up and make corrections whoever ends up in control in Iraq his words do mark a situation as indeed getting worse.