Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Airheads. Lots of Them.

I've mentioned that I think that splitting Iraq is a bad idea. We simply cannot trust the Sunni Arabs of Iraq with their own piece of real estate.

Yet some think we should split the country whether Iraqis want to or not and redeploy our forces to the friendlier Kurdish regions in the northeast part of Iraq to watch the area. We'd be safer there than fighting in central Iraq and Anbar, such redeployment advocates think. And it isn't nearly as embarassing as urging a redeployment to Okinawa or something addled like that. Staying in the region seems downright plucky and brave, too. Completely unlike cutting and running.

So there you go, Kurdistan is our perfect base area. Far enough from angry Sunnis to be safe but close enough to not look at all like retreating! Why the Baker commission didn't recommend something like this I'll never know.

Of course, the Shias of Iraq who will run the non-Anbar parts of Iraq might not like losing the Kurdish regions, in addition to losing Sunni areas (the ones they can't ethnically cleanse anyway). And the Turks will be mighty angry with us since they have their own Kurdish minority problem. Bad precedent to have an independent Kurdish nation with stamps and currency and all that. Oh, and the Iranians have a Kurdish minority problem of their own and are unlikely to welcome an independent Kurdish nation on their border stirring up trouble.

But that's ok, we'll be safe up in the mountains with our Kurdish friends.

I want you to go get a map, now. I'll wait while you get it.

Back now? Good.

Notice the northeast region of Iraq where this veritable redoubt would lie?

Let's see, to the southwest we have Shia-run rump Iraq. To the north we have Turkey. And to the east we have Iran.

Which one of these countries will just let the Kurdish nation trade through its borders freely?

And more to the point, which one will let us supply our forces in their new Kurdish bases?

Splitting Iraq and withdrawing into an independent Kurdistan simply puts our troops into a Dien Bien Phu situation where we are completely surrounded by people quite unhappy with us. No land traffic will get through and we'd be reliant on escorting air supply missions into an airhead (the air equivalent of a beachhead) through hostile airspace.

Bad idea, people. Bad idea. Putting our forces in Kurdistan would require lots of airheads to implement. I don't want to rely on airheads for this to work.

Or do we have more than enough airheads to put this plan in place?