Are We Fighting To Win In Iraq?

by John Hawkins | June 12, 2007 12:33 am

If this[1] is true — and I do mean “if,” because I am not so sure that it is — everyone involved with making this decision should be forced to resign.

“The insurgents who kill our young soldiers are ruthless, but we have sometimes been cautious in our response. Take the question of targeting bomb makers: There may be an unlimited supply of explosives in Iraq, but there is not an unlimited supply of people who know how to wire the detonators. In 2004, CIA operatives in Iraq believed that they had identified the signatures of 11 bomb makers. They proposed a diabolical — but potentially effective — sabotage program that would have flooded Iraq with booby-trapped detonators designed to explode in the bomb makers’ hands. But the CIA general counsel’s office said no. The lawyers claimed that the agency lacked authority for such an operation, one source recalled.

There are technologies that would allow us to detonate every roadside bomb in Iraq by heating the wires in the detonators to the point that they triggered an explosion. But these systems could severely harm civilians nearby, so we’re not using them, either. “In our system, we often are not given credit for the fact that we are very concerned about collateral damage,” Meigs said.”

When we ask our troops to risk their lives in battle, we have a duty to make sure that we are doing everything within reason to safeguard their lives. That means if we can kill Iraqi bomb makers with booby tracked detonators, we do it. It also means that if we have a reliable way of causing IEDs to explode before they harm our troops, we should use it, even if it means more Iraqi civilians dying.

PS: Along the same lines, it’s absolutely outrageous that the Bush administration has allowed the Iranians to continue to target American soldiers. If we so desired, we could end their civilization — and with conventional weapons. In other words, we have a nation that continues to exist because we allow it — helping terrorists and insurgents kill our men. That should not have ever happened and Bush certainly shouldn’t let it continue.

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