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Strategic victory by the United States in Iraq is predicated on domestic politics as well as international politics and military conditions (the ongoing occupation and insurgency) on the ground. As Sun Tzu remarks, “Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the Way (Tao) to survival or extinction” (Sawyer, 167).Therefore, a central precept in “The Art of War: “The Tao causes the people to be fully in accord with the ruler” (Art of War, 167) would seem to indicate that a change in political leadership at the highest level, specifically Commander-in Chief, would be desirable. However, this change would not ensure that the new political leadership’s “Tao” would bring about the needed domestic popular support for the ongoing operations in Iraq. Ergo, it is highly debatable whether a change in leadership sans a major change in policy would achieve much toward restoring domestic support for the war in Iraq.[1]             What is less debatable is whether or not the ‘Rulers” of the conglomerate enemies of the Unites States with operations in Iraq, Al Qaeda among them, have attained the “greater Tao,” that is, the lion’s share of popular support among the world’s population, or more specifically, and more importantly, the population of the occupied territories. This rising popular support for US enemies, coupled with the plummeting domestic support for both President Bush and the predominantly Republican American Congress certainly seems to indicate that the “Tao which causes the people to be fully in accord with the ruler” has shifted to those opposed to the present prosecution of US interests in Iraq[2] . Other avenues besides direct military force are needed to redirect this balance of “Tao.”As Andrew Torelli observes in his essay Sun Tzu’s Theory of War for Understanding the Outcomes of Terrorist Campaigns: “Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” codifies from a broad perspective the threat of military action combined with non-military methods such as diplomatic, economic, psychological means could be used to attack an enemy’s alliances and strategy which would lead to the greatest achievement of winning without fighting by convincing the enemy to yield or switch sides” (Torelli, 2004).The foremost and most highly visible attribute of the present strategy in Iraq is the military occupation. The associated events of this same military occupation: military and civilian casualties, high economic cost, widely reported abuses and atrocities, rising gas-prices, and the expenditure of materiel are widely regarded as primary influences for the present disaffection for the civilian leadership in the US.Caution against prolonged conflict is an underlying theme in “The Art of War” and a subsequent caution against occupation is implied in a number of Sun Tzu’s edicts; among them is this strong warning: “Thus the army values being victorious; it does not value prolonged warfare. Therefore, a general who understands warfare is a Master of Fate of the people, ruler of the state’s security of endangerment” (Sawyer, 174).Thus, a prolonged engagement by the US military in Iraq, unsupported by the popular will, is a recipe for disaster. Insurgencies and civil-wars are regarded as markedly volatile, “Thus combat between armies is advantageous; combat between masses is dangerous” (Sawyer, 197)[3]     [4] A central concern according to the philosophies espoused by Sun Tzu is that of “terrain.” Types of terrain differ from mere topography and have more to do with the placement of an army in strategic relation to its goals, support mechanism, and enemy disposition.  There are nine types of terrains, which are not necessarily exclusionary; that is, it is possible for an army to occupy more than one type of terrain simultaneously.The US military occupation of Iraq seems to fall under three categories of terrain:“When one penetrates deeply into enemy territory, by passing numerous cities, it is ‘heavy terrain.’“Where the entrance is constricted, the return is constricted, and with a small number they can strike our masses, it is called ‘encircled terrain.’“Where one fights with intensity he will survive but if he does not fight with intensity he will perish, it is ‘fatal terrain’” (Sawyer, 219).[5]             Redeploying the troops from the types of terrain described above (heavy, constricted, fatal) would satisfy Sun Tzu’s precepts for warfare and likely result in both a better military and domestic political situation regardless of a change of political leadership, per se. [6] The frequently leveled criticism that withdrawing troops is an act of military weakness, does not stand up to analysis by way of The Art of War which remarks “Warfare is the way of deception. Thus although you are capable, display incapability to them. When committed to employing your forces, feign inactivity. When your objective is nearby, make it appear as distant; when far away, create the illusion of being nearby”[7]  (Sawyer, 168).A redeployment of troops coupled with the tactical redisposition of air power, sea power, and a policy of economic and diplomatic inclusiveness, backed by the threat of US military intervention[8]  would seem a suitable remedy to the ongoing occupation. These military moves, coupled with diplomatic, political, and economic incentives would be more in keeping with the philosophies expressed by Sun Tzu in The Art of War.Sources:Sawyer, R. (1994) Sun-tzu The Art of War  Barnes ; Noble BooksTorelli, A. (2004) Sonshi  http://www.sonshi.com/index.html (2006, Sept. 9)[1]This is good !![2]What can be done to change rising popular support of US enemies ? if we are not mentioning that then I believe this paragraph, though  good, is not necessary[3]This is  very good !! may be a bit lengthy and can be described more effectively in short[4]How is the paragraph relevant here and what are we gaining from this paragraph ?[5]This is good !! may be an example each will be better but its fine like this as well[6]What terrain US forces are in and where we want them to be in ? may be an example is good here[7] This sections is more suitable just after  the paragraph “, a prolonged engagement by the US military in Iraq ……”We should be more clear on what are we suggesting here. Are we suggesting to deceive enemies to believe that we are leaving and we are not leaving and working hard or is it vice versa.[8]I don’t believe we need to suggest to invade iraq once more. That will be totally disastrous. We need a balanced more  strategically thought out plan on military actions.;

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