Thanks for the response to my posts. Your posts are very thought provoking. I very much appreciate it:)
I agree with pretty much everything you write. Hopefully there are plans similar to what you propose. There should be. the problem is I don't have much confidence in this adminstration. I think Cheney and Rumsfeld should have been removed a long time ago.
I think we can win in Iraq, however, the commitment it will require will likely be far beyond what we have commited to date. The sad thing is due to mis steps in the execution this has become much harder than it needed to be. If there is a silver lining, mismanagement of the post war situation of WWI helped create the conditions that led to the rise of Nazi Germany. This is not to make excuses. It is simply to point out that such blunders have happened in the past and WWII turned out pretty well for us. Course corrections will need to be made now and alot of top people will need to be relieved of their duties. Clearly the results are lacking.
At some point, if this does not work out, we will need to cut our losses and withdraw. If we must withdraw, we should take the time to regroup and reorganize. The Islamic Extremists enemy would correctly view our withdrawl from Iraq as a defeat of the US and they would be emboldened and would be in a much stronger position. The way I look at it, it is best to deal with the terrorists now in Iraq. If we do it later, it only gets harder.
With that said, the biggest terrorist problem is Iran. If conceding Iraq to the terrorists, so we can focus on stopping terrorism at its Iranian source will better help us win the GWOT then this would be a prudent strategy. Taking care of the problem at its sources in Syria and Iran will help greatly with Iraq.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 17:14
We are not at the stage where we have to invade Iran now. Hopefully it won't get there. Some reports have indicated that their leaders are not very popular with the people there now. Perhaps the Iranian government can be remove from within. In any event, I find nothing idiotic about considering the possiblilty of removing a government who has threatened to "burn the roots of the anglo-saxon race" and has threatened to "wipe Israel from the map." Our very survival may depend upon removing this government. We're not there yet but the option should be considered.
Invading Iraq will have been idiotic if it does not work out. It is in danger of not working out because of poor execution. There is still time to get the execution right. If we fail, at some point it will be idiotic to remain and we will need to pull back and regroup.
I do agree with your general assertion that we will need more troops. The government should have placed the US on a war footing immediately after 911 and started adressing the trop issue right then. Both Republicans and Democrats are reluctant to ask the American people to make sacrifices. This needs to change.
Negotiations with Iran are likely to be frutiless, however, negotiations with Russia and China who are Iran's biggest supporters may bear fruit. If we can get them to withdraw support from Iran, the Iranian threat becomes much easier to neutralize.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 16:51
Perhaps more law enforcement personnel embedded with special forces may help. I think this is largely a law enforcement issue. The lack of law enforcement seems to have been the biggest issue.
We will either need to muster the politcal will now or later. If it is done later, the problem will be much harder to deal with. I suggest that Republicans and Democrats should work to explain to the American people what the stakes are. This will probably require Republicans to jettison the President, who I gave up on long ago and the Democrats will probably need to jettison the anti-war left. We can win this. It may require us to withdraw from Iraq and regroup. The biggest problem seems to me to be not enough troops for either Iraq or Afghanistan. This was made worse by poor planning and failure to make the appropiate adjustments.
Once again, excellent post!!Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 16:32
You seem to suggest that Iraq would be a good base to be used to provide a check against Iran. I tend to agree. Iraq was not as big a supporter of terrorism as Iran but it was a major supporter. As such, it was a legitimate target for invasion. In order to provide that check, a substantial increases in ground forces will likely be needed. Even if they are not stationed in Iran, they will need to be stationed somewhere in the region.
Amadinejad has recently stated that good relations with Iran require those who desire them to bow and surrender to them. Now is the best time to make our stand against Iran and its Russian and Chinese allies.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 16:00
So far with the exception of the troops and their families the average American has had to sacrifice virtually nothing in the GWOT. It should be apparent by now that to win a military conflict as massive as the one we are currently engaged in will likely require major sacrifices on the part of the American people. Good places to start would be: 1.)A Manhattan project of sorts to eliminate all foreign oil imports. 2.) Oil rationing. 3.) A suspension of tax cuts is probably in order. As a Conservative, I like tax cuts but the US is in a war for its survival and this calls for drastic measures that we will have to make now or later. It would be better to deal with this now. If it is put off, the threat will only grow.
In order to win, it is possible that we may need to withdraw from Iraq to regroup. I hope it does not come to that but we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to win.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 15:34
That would be an excellent place to start. We should commit enough troops to secure the borders. This would help to cut off the supplies to the "insurgents" which would help us to get securtiy under control. If we can restore securtiy this would help us rebuild the country, which should help us to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq.
David Galula is probably right to a point. When we initially commit more troops, this will initially intnsify the insurgency. A greater commitment will probably mean more deaths in the short run but in a situation of lawlessness the police commit more law enforcement personnel to bring the situation under control. The same principle should apply here. Commit enough security personnel that the insurgency has no life to breathe. this is what has been done in the past. At least, if we are not going to engage the insurgents with the added troops, we should secure the borders. This should provide a valuable assist in getting security under control.
I think now is the ideal time to commit more troops. We will have to make a stand against Iran and its proxies in Iraq or elsewhere. Better to do it now. The bad thing is mismanagement of key aspects of the war effort has made this more difficult than it needed to be. The country should go on a war footing much like it did during WWII. Even if we withdraw from Iraq, a massive military build up will be needed for Iran who will have to be dealt with sooner or later unless they change course which does not seem likely.
You are correct the problems in Iraq are solvable. Part of solving the problem will be dealing with the regimes in Iran and Syria. Those regimes are a major threat to Iraqi democracy, as welll as major threat to the US. Once the Iranian and Syrian regimes are removed this will greatly help Iraq's chances of achieving democracy. The generations who sacrificed so much in wars like the Revolutionary War and the Civil War would probably be ashamed that so many people are already so willing to quit. Most of this problem is a failure of the leadership of the US. The President will need to explain the stakes to the American and major changes in the administration are probably needed.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 21.08.2006 @ 15:24
Exelent post!! If its up to me, we commit the resources to get this done now. I've been calling for this all along. If we withdraw, we will likely have to go back in later when things are even harder than they are now. The cry of the oppostiion should be to COMMIT MORE RESOURCES!! Even if we fail, we will at least be able to know we did all we could albiet a little late or perahps alot late.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 20.08.2006 @ 17:50
Peace in our time, part one was the Munich agreement with Hitler. Peace in our time, part two was the road map to peace. Peace in our time, part three is the UN Resolution 1701. Peace in our time, part one and two did not work. I find no reason to be confident that peace in our time, part three will be any different.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 16.08.2006 @ 14:38
What was Israel's mission? I think it was to "disarm" Hezbollah or to establish a reliable "buffer" between Israel and Hezbollah. Mistakes will happen in all wars and in all human endeavors. It is important that we learn from them. The biggest mistake of all was assuming that short of a Dresden response or a nuclear response there is no way that thrity or so would be enough time to do enough damage to Hezbollah to make a long range difference.
By all indications Israel was winning on the battle field. Yet we folded. Maybe the Arab league threatened to wield its oil weapon. Maybe we received threat of a terrorist attack, if we did not sign on to a cease fire. I'm not sure. In any event, our liberty is more important than our economic situation. At least it should be.
When the next round comes, I hope and pray the American and the Israeli governments will have the back bone to stick it out longer than they did here. Even if everything went perfect, it seems unlikely that a month would have been long enough. I think at least three months and probably longer would have been needed. President Bush needs to get a back bone. Also, every one needs to understand that doing the right thing is never easy.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 16.08.2006 @ 13:12
The only good reason I know of not to increase the military commitment to the GWOT is Russia and China. Russia is America's most dangerous enemy. They have a large and extremely advanced nuclear arsenal and they support every terrorist supporting state. In other words, they along with China are the enemies behind our enemies. When the price of oil goes up because of instability, this is only enriching Russia and China. As such, this is playing their game. Diplomacy with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah is frutiless. Diplomacy with Russia and China to get them to withdraw support from the terrorists could produce positive results.Comment Posted By B.Poster On 15.08.2006 @ 14:28