Party of War
In a televised address to the nation on this day of triumph November 1st 1991, US President George H.W. Bush announced the successful conclusion of the so-called Bay of Goats operation1.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul D. Wolfowitz (pictured) had
conceived this ingenius plan alongside Marine Brigadier General Anthony Zinni -
both men were in charge of Operation Provide Comfort2 which Zinni
would later describe as " a dynamic war of maneuver [in which the US Marine
Corps carved out a safe area of Northern Iraq for the Kurds by moving around
Flying into Sirsenk in far northern Iraq, Wolfowitz was startled by the success of the Operation. Arabic-speaking lieutenant colonel John Abizaid had created a security zone of some thirty-six hundred square miles with the use of minimum troop levels. Not so the State Department who went beserk, ordering Zinni and Abizaid to withdraw to the town of Dahuk.
Upon his return to Washington, Wolfowitz prepared a more daring plan with the Iraqi National Congress3 - "Create an enclave, give me some special forces and air support and I'll [Ahmed Chalabi] go in and topple the guy [Saddam Hussein] over". In effect, a military re-run of the Cuba Operation thirty years on but with lessons learnt and a stunningly different outcome this time around.
Recognised by neo-conservatives as the man who snatched victory from stalemate in the Gulf, Wolfowitz was the natural choice for US Defense Secretary in the Bush 2 Administration. In fact, Wolfowitz was a man of utter self-certainty; he genuinely came to believe that he had redeemed US Policy in Iraq after a messy end in which American troops had stood by whilst Saddam Hussein brutally crushed the Shiite and Kurdish rebellion.
By 2001, Wolfowitz ambition level had increased markedly. "I think the world in general has a tendency to say, if somebody like Saddam is killing his own people, 'Thats Too Bad, but thats not really my business'. Thats dangerous, because Hussein was in a class with very few others, Stalin Hitler, Kim Jong Il.. People of that order of evil .. tend not to keep evil at home, they tend to export it in various ways and eventually it bites us."
Few observers missed the significance of this statement, and in retrospect the policy of regime rollback in North Korea was widely anticipated. With W disgraced by defeat, two ex-veterans, John S. McCain and John Kerry would fight out the 2004 presidential election, as America emerged from the catastrophic military adventure in North Korea.
The idea for this post was conceived from Thomas E. Ricks' excellent book "Fiasco - The American Military Adventury in Iraq".
War party was a term to describe the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration considered to be a minority excluded from mainstream debate until 9/11. Therefore we imagine a worse scenario, in which the strategic success of the Gulf War One in overthrowing Saddam leads to a much bigger group, effectively, the whole of the administration becoming a larger Party of War with ambitions for crushing North Korea.
Sources used from Wikipedia
1) Bay of Goats Operation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Zinni#Opinions_on_2003_invasion_of_Iraq
2) Operation Provide Comfort http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Provide_Comfort
3) Iraqi National Congress http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_National_Congress
Steve Payne, Editor Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.