The Brooking's chart pretty much confirms everything I've said. There is a huge variability from month-to-month but the average is somewhere around the pre-war level. That is because of attacks on the infrastructure. The levels of electricity for Baghdad are consistently about 1/2 of pre-war levels.
The stated goals at the bottom of the chart speak for themselves. The electricity situation is, like I said earlier, stagnant at best.Comment Posted By Andy On 21.06.2006 @ 15:04
Right, and I say that is not the task of a combat force. The purpose of a combat force is combat. If you want to have a nationbuilding force, then we need a separate branch of the military to do it. People donâ€™t have a switch you can flip like some kind of robot. You canâ€™t send them into battle to destroy an enemy and then flip a switch and turn them into a humanitarian police force.
That's not exactly true. Army SF specializes is doing just what you described. The military, as a team, can do much of the task. We have civil affairs, CE, engineers, the whole bit. The military's capabilities are only designed to get things going in the short-medium term however. Civilian specialists are needed to built a permanent infrastructure.
As far as power and oil go, it's true that levels occasionally go above pre-war levels, but most months they do not. I don't see how anyone can call the electricity and oil situation a success. At best we have been maintaining a status quo for the past three years. Things won't improve as long as the insurgents are able to interdict the power and pipelines and prevent new infrastructure from being built.
Yes, the north and south are doing pretty well, especially the north. The North and south are also the safest areas of the country with the least violence. The Kurds have been autonomous up there for a decade and their infrastructure has remained relatively intact. The south is in a similar situation. Even in the relatively safe north and south, few areas have reliable power 24X7 from the grid. In the areas with the most violence, Baghdad and the surrounding cities, the situation is the worst. The areas around Baghdad that have the most violence account for about 60% of the country's population, so I'd say that is significant. It's not just the capital, but it's also all of the surrounding provinces.
Even with generators there isn't 24X7 power in most of the country, especially when there are fuel problems, which there often are.
So, overall, the power and oil situation does not look good. I stand by my earlier statement that much of this is due to interdiction by insurgents, which isn't widely reported outside of Iraq. Until the security situation is improved to the point where the the infrastructure can be rebuilt, the best we can hope to do is what we're doing now - simply hold the line against collapse.Comment Posted By Andy On 21.06.2006 @ 14:56
Electricity and oil production in Iraq remain below pre-war levels. The high power feeder lines and pipelines are frequently attacked. Certainly there is the legacy of sanctions and old infrastructure. The administration likes to emphasis this point while not discussing the success the insurgency has had at interdicting the power and oil lines. 6 hours of power a day really sucks in 120 degree heat.Comment Posted By Andy On 21.06.2006 @ 09:41
we're getting off-topic, but all our technology have severe limitations against the insurgent in an urban area. None of the equipment we have is really designed for the war we're fighting, though we've adapted. Body armor and armored hummers are only two examples.Comment Posted By Andy On 20.06.2006 @ 22:46
Actually, we have hardly anyone in the Former Yugoslavia. Those missions are largely NATO run with European troops. I don't have the exact figures on me, but I'm sure we have less than 1000 total troops in the FRY. Most of our forces were gone from Bosnia and Kosovo by the time 2004 rolled around.Comment Posted By Andy On 20.06.2006 @ 15:34
Just to comment about the draft: BAD IDEA.
No one in the military wants draftees. No soldier wants some draftee watching his six in combat. How would we pay for the millions of draftee's when we are already cutting personnel to pay for recapitalization. Besides, conscript armies are very very bad at fighting insurgencies.
As for the larger issue, I don't know how to solve it. 9/11 seems a distant memory to most in America and I feel a large part of the populace has gone back to their self-centered views and lives.Comment Posted By Andy On 19.06.2006 @ 14:51
Murtha's plan makes sense if you believe that things are going downhill in Iraq and will only get worse. Unfortunately, the facts don't support that contention.
Many people in the military, including me, used to have a lot of respect for Murtha for the reasons you cite. Haditha has destroyed that and now many despise him, especially his fellow Marines. He really blundered by opening his mouth about Haditha and convicting the Marines involved in front of the world before the investigations were complete. It was an ultimate betrayal and he lost the support of most in the military because of that. You see, by coming out and saying publicly that the Marines were guilty, he's prejudiced not only the jury pool, but public sentiment. If it turns out he is wrong and the investigations show the Marine's used appropriate force, then people around the world will scream coverup because Murtha already convicted them. The damage is done now, and even if those Marines are innocent, they will have a life-long taint of guilt on them because of Murtha's premature comments. If they are guilty as Murtha says, then I hope they burn for it, but Murtha will have made finding a military jury much tougher for both the defense and prosecution.Comment Posted By Andy On 19.06.2006 @ 15:03
Insteresting thing about the ref in that game. Apparently, he was not allowed to ref in the last WC because of "irregularities" in his calls. Imagine that. I doubt he'll see another WC game again. He about ruined the game.Comment Posted By Andy On 17.06.2006 @ 16:02
A tie with a man down almost the entire second 1/2 of the game! Amazing comeback for the USA!Comment Posted By Andy On 17.06.2006 @ 15:55
My ribbing about the generational thing is mostly that, but I think it is wise to avoid generalizations. I'm a bit jaded as I've grown up with boomers telling me what a slacker I am.Comment Posted By Andy On 16.06.2006 @ 19:41