McCain Adviser: The Brits Let Us Down in Iraq
Fred Kagan helped cook up the occupation of Iraq, and was a chief architect of the 'surge'
Fred Kagan, one of John W. McCain's top foreign policy advisers, blamed our British allies for the outbreak of violence in Basra:
Funny, Kagan didn't mention the Brits' alleged failure when they began to take on a less active role in Basra late last summer, a move that was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in violence. And the fact is, there's been a spike in violence in all of the Sadrists' strongholds, including Baghdad, where the American military bears primary responsibility for security.
British forces became embroiled in the fight to wrest control of Basra from Iranian-backed militias yesterday, as a senior US military adviser accused Gordon Brown of failing "as an ally" in his desire for a hasty withdrawal of troops. While Iraqi Army forces continued to struggle to subdue Mehdi Army militiamen, British troops became directly engaged for the first time. British artillery based at Basra airport pounded guerrilla positions while US and British warplanes took part in bombing and strafing runs.
Mr Kagan, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think-tank, told The Sunday Telegraph: "British forces have an obligation to step up when needed and it sure looks here like they're needed. It is rather a watershed moment in the Anglo-American alliance. I understand that your Prime Minister has already said that the special relationship is over. There's an issue here of fulfilling your obligations as an ally, freely undertaken."
He also didn't mention the alleged failure of our allies earlier this week, when he said that a civil war in Iraq had been "nipped in the bud", and that "the Civil War in Iraq is over, and until the American domestic political debate catches up with that fact, we are going to have a very hard time discussing Iraq on the basis of reality" (link).
It would appear that Kagan is trying to scapegoat the Brits for his own incompetence, and the failure of the troop surge that he helped orchestrate.
In the news story quoted above, the Mehdi Army is identified as an "Iranian-backed militia." In reality, one of the sources of the conflict is the fact that Mehdi leaders are nationalists who believe that the Iraqi government is tied too closely to Iran (link).
In addition to the laughably wrong pronouncements on the supposed end of the Iraqi civil war, Kagan also made a statement about ethnic cleansing that was flat wrong:
Well, there’s a magnificent myth out there…that there are no mixed areas in Iraq anymore and that the cleansing is completed. … Now, [these neighborhoods] are more consolidated than they had been before, certainly.Have a look at these maps of Baghdad, and you'll see that the militants have done a remarkably thorough job of ethnic cleansing:
Remember: when John W. McCain wants advice on Iraq, he turns to Fred Kagan.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)