Gen. Pace’s Alternative to the Iraq Study Group
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
One of the obvious shortcomings of the blue-ribbon panel, Iraq Study Group, is the reliance on politicians and the absence of military command officers who’ve actually led troops on the fields of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In reaction to this politically-motivated study group, General Peter Pace, USMC, the Chairmain of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assembled his own panel of commanding officers from all branches of the US Armed Forces. The goal is to not only to achieve victory in Iraq, but to define the elusive term “winning.”
The team involved in this military review panel includes Col. H. R. McMaster, an Army officer whose 2005 operation in Tal Afar has been cited as a textbook case in how to wage counterinsurgency in Iraq, as well as Col. Peter Mansoor, commander of the United States Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., who commanded an Army brigade that fought the Mahdi Army militia in 2004 at Karbala.
Also on the panel is Col. Thomas Greenwood, the director of the Marine Command and Staff College who oversaw efforts to train Iraqi security forces in Anbar. In all, more than a dozen military officers are on the team, which is overseen by Capt. Michael Rogers of the Navy, a special assistant to Pace.
The review, which includes the participation of Gen. George Casey Jr., the top commander in Iraq, and General John Abizaid, the head of the United States Central Command, is slated to be completed in early December
The war on terror is not going to end as World War II did — with an instrument of surrender signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Gen. Peter Pace said winning in this war on terrorism will be determined by conditions, not a signature on a piece of paper.
â€œWinning is having security in the countries we’re trying to help that allows for those governments to function and for their people to function,â€ he said.
He used Washington, DC, as an example. â€œWashington, DC, has crime, but it has a police force that is able to keep that crime below a level at which the normal citizens can go about their daily jobs and the government can function,â€ he said.
â€œThat’s what you’re looking for in the war on terrorism, whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan or anyplace else,â€ said the decorated Marine.
There is going to be terrorism for the foreseeable future, Pace said during a recent press conference. But the United States and its allies must band together â€œto provide enough security, enough good governance, and enough economy to allow the citizens and the governments to function and not have terrorism interrupt that.â€
Gen. Pace said military leaders constantly review the status of U.S. and Iraqi forces. He said that Multinational Force Iraq Commander Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.â€™s assessment that the coalition will turn over most of the security burden in Iraq to Iraqi security forces in 12 to 18 months is about right.
The Iraqi move to embrace benchmarks in the way forward in the country will be helpful also, Pace said and added that good discussions are taking place about what benchmarks are needed for progress in security, governance and the economy.
Pace does not want the Iraqi government to set a particular date for these benchmarks. â€œIf you say the 13th of a particular month is a date certain, that puts you into a very, very tight window, and it actually gives your enemies the opportunity to focus all their energies on making it so it’s not the 13th, it’s the 14th or the 17th or whatever it is,â€ he said.
â€œSo having a very precise date, I think, is not useful, either from the standpoint of forcing yourself to do something too soon or from giving your enemies too much information.â€
Pace favors a window for an accomplishment. A window â€œwhere you commit to your citizens that you will either have attained these goals or you’ll explain why you haven’t attained them, I think is a very good thing to do,â€ he said.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.