These are not "ragtag insurgents." I think it is best to think of them as the highly leathal fighting force that they are. When we stop under estimating our enemies, we will be able to come up with better strategies to defeat them.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 27.09.2006 @ 10:27
Great analysis. I have always suspected our policies themselves are sound. It is the execution of them that has been flawed. The main problem is what it has always been from the beginning. There simply are not enough troops in Iraq ore even Afghanistan for that matter to establish and keep order.
Meanwhile both parties have continued to reject calls to do the one thing that would make a difference. Commit more troops. At this time, nore troops probably cannot be added over night. It will probably take some time, about a year or so. The Army should be able to hold the current position for about two years. This gives us a window of opportunity to get the troops we need.
The troops we need can come from Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe. Any thing else we need can probably be augmented by a draft. We should encourage our Western European allies to build up their own militaries. This would relieve some of the pressure on the US. Also, Japan, South Korea, and Tawain should be encouraged to go nuclear. This would allow them to serve as a check on China and Russia. Also, this allows us to remove troops from these areas. The citizens of those countries don't really want them there any way. This would be a win-win for us all the way around.
The time for us to be able to commit more troops grows short. The politicians should stop making excuses and get it done. The stark reality is we can commit the resources necessary to get this done or we withdraw. To commit the appropiate resources would require sacrificies from the American people and the Government. It won't happen.
Regardless of who wins the House and Senate the US and it allies will be withdrawing from Iraq. The Government and the citizens are fundamentally unwilling to make the necessary commitment at this time. By June 2007 there will be no American or Coaliton troops stationed in Sunni or Shia areas. The number troops in Iraq will be 10,000 or less. These will be stationed in Kurdish areas and will probably be backed up by air support. They will be prepared to intervene to prevent the formation of terrorist bases. The mission will change to one primarily involving special ops backed up by air support. In other words, the mission will be one of counter terrorism. The attempt to establish liberal democracy is over. It was never given the resources to give it a realistic shot at succeeding.
Liberal democracy in Iraq was probably doable with the right commitment and the proper execution. Unfortunately we will never know. The Iraqis may very well create for themselves a western type Democratic system but America will have had nothing to do with it. If my predictions are wrong, I will come here and admit I was wrong.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 27.09.2006 @ 09:55
When wars are fight as indeciseivly as the US amd its allies have fought Iraq and Afghanistan, this will only serve to embolden the enemy. We either need to fight this more decisively or we need to withdraw to fortress America and go back to treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue. On this note the Administration, needs to worry more about winning the war than how they look politically.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 24.09.2006 @ 14:33
I think the invasion of Iraq meeds to be evaluated in two segments. 1.) Was the decision to invade Iraq the correct one? This was a controverial from the beginning. Iraq was a major supporter of Islamic terrorism and the events of 911 showed it to be in America's long range interests to change the situation in the middle east. Normally problems as complex as Iraq are kicked down the road to be dealt with later by the political establishment. In a post 911 world, the US government and the governments of about 30 allies felt we needed to deal with it now. I think the premise behind invading Iraq was a sound one but as, I said earlier, it was a controversial decision. 2.) The actual execution of the Iraq invasion needs to be evaluated. Here is where, to date, the Government has not succeeded. Once the decision was made ot invade Iraq, the Government owed it to the troops and to the American people to commit the appropiate resources. This was not done and we still don't have the appropiate resources commited to the region. It is problematic, at this time, as to whether or not we can get the appropiate troop commitments to Iraq. Right now they likely don't exist, however, the military can hold the line for the next couple of years or so. This gives us a window of opportunity to get the appropiate resources to the region.
At this time, I think the Administration's critics would do better to focus on the execution of Iraq and the broader GWOT rather than on the decision to invade Iraq. The government made the decsion to invade Iraq. We are unable to undo that at this time. Specifically when we chose to conduct Afghanistan and Iraq at virtually the same time we bit off more than we were willing to chew. We can do better in Iraq by either 1.) commiting more troops or 2.) scaling back the mission. Option 1 is doable but it would be EXTREMELY hard. Option 1 will require a greater sacrifice than the American people are prepared to make, therefore option 2 will be the one that the government will choose.
I predict that by June of 2007 the Aemrican troop commitment to the Iraqi region will be under 10,000. These will be primarily special operations and air support that will be based in Kurdish areas. If I'm wrong, I will be the first to admit it.
I hope the troops who are no longer in Iraq will be used for border security and to project a credible deterent against Russia and China. Russia and China are the biggest threats to American national security, not Islamic terrorists.
Finally, what no one really wants to address is the war in Iraq that when it was launched was a war of choice because of inept management may have morphed into a war of neccessity. In the coming years, we will likely have to fight against Islamic extremists and project credible deterence to Russia and China. Policy makers will need to push for a massive increase to the strength and size of the military.
If this NIE were used properly, policy makers could probably learn much from it. Unfortunately they will probably insist on playing partisan politics with it. In other words, Republicans and Democrats will cherry pick anything that beneifts them and formulate political talking points. Truly disgusting!!Comment Posted By B.Poster On 24.09.2006 @ 09:20
I think it would be a terrible mistake to underestimate the power of these enemies. The terms used to describe these people are names such as "amadinenutjob" or "Hugo the clown." These are very dangerous enemies and need to be treated as such.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 22.09.2006 @ 09:41
You write: "When it comes to arrogance, it's hard to to beat holding the belief that God finds you qualified to determine who is unworthy of life and slaughter them at will." This describes Iranian leader Mahmood Amadinejad. He thinks it is his duty to bring about world Islamic rule and to completely destroy two civilizations, America and Israel. He has the full backing of Iran's religous leaders with nothing to hold them accountable. The reporting by the msm on the Iranian leadership's religous motivations is generally spotty, however, I think you were referring to George W. Bush.
George W. Bush has Congress, the Courts, and the American people to hold him accountable. The Iranian leadership has no such check on its power. I think they have "elections" but the religous leaders decide who will be on the ballot and what policies they will follow.
Bush may have been rumored to make certain claims regarding God but he has the American the people, the courts, and Congress to hold him in check. There is no such check on the Iranian leadership.
Btw, the US nor George W. Bush are slaughtering anyone at their whim. If anything, the American military response has been indecisive. This has been part of the problem from the beginning. The military has not been allowed to fight decisively. The terrorists, in the name of their God, however, are slaughtering people at whim. Your statement describes America's terrorists enemies perfectly.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 22.09.2006 @ 01:43
The Yankees are no more or less arrogant than any other successful group of professional baseball players, however, of late and through out their history they have been more successful than any other team in baseball. This is why many fans outside of New York don't like them. The real reason fans outside of New York tend to dislike them is because of their success. Often times this comes at the expense of their beloved team. With all due respect, Yankee arrogance is a myth to make them feel better.
The same goes for American "arrogance." This is a lie. If a lie is repeated often enough and loud enough people begin to believe it. After all, I'm not arrogant. My neighbor must be. I met my neighbor and he/she is not arrogant. Then their neighbor MUST be. After the msm told me so. My college professors told me so.
Actually Americans including their leaders are on the whole quite humble. Of course this will vary by individuals. There will be some among the leadership who fit the definition of arrogant and some who don't.
Much of the rhetoric we have heard lately coming from America's leaders is simply a response to the rhetoric coming from their enemies. The msm reporting on this is spotty. This is either becuase: A.)While not actively supporting foriegn leaders, such as the Iranian, Venezuelean, and Russian leaders they harbor sympathy toward their positions. B.) Getting the quotes from foreign leaders is more difficult and, as such, their is not as large a press detail assigned to them and because of this those quotes are often missed. I think B probably explains things better than A. In any event, what an American leader says or does needs to be evaluated in the context of what others are doing.
On the whole, Americans and their leaders are quite humble. Author and blogger Dan Flynn said it best when he said,to roughly paraphrase, the America haters should "play imitate rather than play hate." America and its leaders are no more arrogant and probably less arrogant than the other great powers of Russia, Chnia, or Iran.
A combination of overwhelming American economic success and some foreign policy miscalculations that happened becuase Aemrican leaders do not properly understand their enemies have led to the current situation. The sooner the myth of American "arrogance" is shown for the myth that it is the better. Once the myths or debunked, we can better address the issues we face.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.09.2006 @ 18:40
I think I pointed out that we will probably need a draft to get the troops we need to properly address American nationa security interests. According to a friend who I talked with that has served in Iraq we can maintain our curent readiness for about two years.
I think we can get the troops we need in about a year. This seems to be about how long it took us to raise amssaive troop levels for WWII. We still have a window of opportunity to ger the troops we need. I'm not suggesting that Iraq is WWII, however, a massive infusion of troops is needed and has benn needed for some time.
In addition to a draft, we could encourage Japan, South Korea, and Tawian to go nuclear. This would provide a check on Russia and China and it would allow us to pull troops from these areas. These troops could be reassigned to defense of the American home land, Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Also, we could begin a phased withdrawl from Europe. It is past time that these countries took more of a responsibilty for their national security. The phased withdrawl will give them time to increase the size and strength of their militaries. I estimate two years would be needed to get this done.
Of course this will require a sacrifice on the part of the American people. More troops is the one thing that would make a difference in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far polititicans and pundits of all political stripes have made excuses to support the notion that we can't get more troops. That is what these are. It is excuse making and should be treated as such.
Now that a few more pundits are coming around to the fact that more troops are needed, the excuse making has become louder. Instead of saying it can't be done. They should simply tell the truth and admit it is harder than we thought it would be and we should have known it was going to be harder from the beginning. In other words, just say it is to hard and we don't want to make the sacrifices that would be necessary.
Personally I would be willing to make the sacrficies but the American people aren't willing to right now because of this we will probably be seeing a massive scale back of the mission in the coming months. The excuse making is likely done to help people save face. After all, if the excuse is going to be that it can't be done, some pundits and politicians can cloak their anti-Aemrican rants in the disguise of patriotism. Also, the so called "hawks" may be able to hide behind this excuse as well for a modicum of face saving.
My friend the Iraq war veteran says if any one wants to "support the troops", the best thing they can do is ENLIST. More troops are needed. He also says a General is nothing more than a politician in a military uniform. This may be why the ones in charge of Irraq have generally refrained from suggestions that we need more troops.
The bottom line is the American people don't want to make a greater commitment to this right now. Politicians know this and because of this they will probably not be suggesting a massive infusion of troops. As a result of this, the mission we will be scaled back and everything we set out to accomplish will not be achieved. Then the finger pointing and the blame game will proceed unabated.
In the final analysis, policy makers should have learned from all of this that we need a larger military. This is the case even if we do not plan to use them in Afghanistan or Iraq. Russia and China are the greatest foreign national security threats to the USA in the world today. Massive increases in the strength and size of the military will be needed in the coming years to deal with these chanllenges. A draft probably should be a component of this increased military size.
Unfortunately American politicians are currently fundamentally unserious about national security. They have not even done something as basic as securing the borders. The policy changes I suggested above will probably not happen unless there is another attack on the American home land by terrorists or unless their is a military attack by Russia or China. In the event, of an attack by Russia there may not be time to respond. Huge increases to the size and capabilities of the military are needed whether even if we don't commit these forces to Iraq or Afghanistan.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 23.09.2006 @ 15:56
I think you are right. Right now we probably do not have the troop capacity to get to the level we need. You are also correct to point out that this had more utility in 2003 than it has now. We should have figured this out in about June 2003 that we did not have enough boots on the ground and mad the appropiate adjustments then but we did not but this is past tense. We need to figure out how to move forward.
More troops would be a good option, if they were available. The Europeans don't have the troops to assist here even if they wanted to. We could supply, if we were commited to it.
According to information from a miliary person who has been deployed multiple times to Iraq, we can maintain combat readiness for about two more years at this rate. If we wanted to, we could probably raise the number of troops we need, in about a year. This still gives us a small window of opportunity to commit the resources we need to give us an opportunity to get this done right.
If we are not going to make an effort to commit the resources we need, then it is time to scale back the mission. As I've discussed before, we can redeploy to Kurdistan and intervene in the Iraqi civil war as necessary to prevent the establishment of terrorist bases and to support whatever factions we wish to support. That is, if we wish to do so. I suspect the scale back the mission will be the option that will be chosen. Right now the American people are not going to be willing to make the commitment that would be necessary to support a larger force structure in Iraq.
Btw, to get the military forces that would be necessary to achieve the mission of an allied, stable, and democratic Iraq would probably require a draft. Congress will not be keen on implementing such a policy right now. Personally I would be willing to do it but the American people are not, at least at the moment. We can probably achieve an allied and stable Iraq without the democracy we were hoping to achieve with a smaller commitment of resources. In other words, in all likelyhood the mission will be scaled back significantly very soon.
The situations with Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world should have taught policy makers that we need a much larger army. Even if we don't plan to use them in iraq or Afghanistan a larger army is still needed. The Islamic extremists we are fighting in the GWOT are not even the greatest threats to American national security. A larger army will be needed in coming years. Hopefully policy makers will get to work on this.
Another way to free up resources that could be used in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere would be to assist Japan, South Korea, and Tawian, to go nuclear, if they need for us to. A nuclear armed South Korea, Japan, and Tawian would provide a check on China, North Korea, and Russia. This would allow us to withdraw a large number of military personnel from these areas. The populations of Japan and South Korea do not seem to really want us there any way.
A massive infusion of troops ot Iraq is not fantasy. It is simply a matter of finding the will to do it. Right now the will seems to be lacking. As such, the mission will likely be scaled back. We will probably keep a force in Kurdish areas becuase I suspect it is highly likely we will need to go back into Iraq from time to time to prevent terrorists from establishing bases. In other words, the mission will probably focus more on the special Operations missions that you discussed earlier. I also suspect it will include an element of air support.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 22.09.2006 @ 11:17
I meant to write: "you are correct to point out that it will require a massive infusion of troops." I apologize for the typing error.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.09.2006 @ 22:16