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Thread: Planning for Failure in Iraq

  1. #1
    XRocketman1967
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    Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Planning for Failure in Iraq
    Lt Col Tom Williams

    The recent war funding battle between the U.S. legislature and the current administration is heralding the soon-to-be eminent pullout from Iraq. Per Clausewitz, the will of the people is key for winning a war and the American people?s will for the conflict in Iraq has, right or wrong, evaporated. The Congress? push for timetables, benchmarks and tighter control over war funding reflects the people?s will in this regard. The U.S. military tradition of civil control mandates that we do what is asked of us and if we are to do it well, we need to have a plan.

    Contrary to popular liberal media generated belief, there was good plan in place for building the peace in a post-Saddam Iraq. It consisted of three parts: 1) use the existing Iraqi military to keep the peace, minus the senior staff 2) employ the Bathe party apparatus in order to quickly restart government services, minus the party leadership 3) put an Iraqi face on the peace keeping operation as quickly as possible using local tribal/Sheik leadership. All of these steps were in their infancy when Bremer put a stop to them and in one day alienated over 200,000 well armed Iraqis that we desperately needed. Much has already been written on the Iraq war, and details on the plan for building the peace and how it was derailed can be found in such works as Gordon and Trainor?s Cobra II and Woodard?s State of Denial. Regardless of how it happened, we are now living with the consequences of poor decisions made over four years ago. We now must properly plan for the pullout from Iraq. If we don?t, the pullout will also become a failure.

    Just like there were three things that needed to be done to win the peace in post-Saddam Iraq are three things that need to be done if we want to keep the pullout from turning into a catastrophe. First, contain the chaos. This will require a large number of troops to be deployed to the Kurd-controlled northern portion of Iraq and to Kuwait. The troops sent to Northern Iraq will be there, not only to prevent the chaos of central Iraq from spreading to the north, but also to keep Turkey from moving into what will soon be known as Kurdistan, and to keep the Kurds from fostering civil unrest in Southern Turkey. With the center of Iraq not holding we don?t need any additional unrest in the area. The troops going to Kuwait will be there to further secure our ally and to serve as a quick reaction force in order to prevent the worst of the civil/sectarian war from spreading to Saudi Arabia and Iran. Protecting the global oil supply coming from the Persian Gulf is critical. Second, we will need to double or triple the number of troops in Afghanistan to prevent a similar failure there. Already, emboldened insurgents/terrorists are heading to Afghanistan to continue the Jihad and attacks have increased greatly. Just like we had in Iraq, we have a small window of opportunity in Afghanistan and that window is beginning to close. Third, we need to provide asylum for the Iraqis that threw in with us. For example, a significant portion of the minority Christian population in Iraq has worked for coalition forces because we treat them as equals and paid them as so -- in contrast to the 3rd rate citizen status that they suffered under prior to our arrival. According to the State Department, there are 1,500 to 2,000 Iraqis refugees applying to come the United States and there is no cap on the number of Iraqi refugees the United States is willing to allow. This is good start and we need to make sure that this continues. If we don?t, then those who worked with us will be the first lined up and shot when the revolution comes, and the revolution is coming. If we don?t take care of those who supported us, we will find it very difficult to get another ally in the Middle East.

    Contrary to what is often stated by conservative pundits, planning for failure in Iraq is not admitting defeat in the global war against fanatical Muslim terrorists. The opposite is in fact true. Preparing for an orderly pullout from the central portion of Iraq, containing the damage, putting the troops where they can do the most good, and supporting those who believed in us will keep a bad situation from becoming worse. In the end, by realistically dealing with the failure in Iraq we will increase our chances of winning the larger struggle against those want to destroy our nation and its ideals of freedom, liberty and equality.

  2. #2
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Well, thanks for that.

    It's not likely the US will do this 'more troops' thing. It hasn't got more troops.

    >>First, contain the chaos. This will require a large number of troops to be deployed to the Kurd-controlled northern portion of Iraq and to Kuwait. The troops sent to Northern Iraq will be there, not only to prevent the chaos of central Iraq from spreading to the north, but also to keep Turkey from moving into what will soon be known as Kurdistan, and to keep the Kurds from fostering civil unrest in Southern Turkey. With the center of Iraq not holding we don?t need any additional unrest in the area. The troops going to Kuwait will be there to further secure our ally and to serve as a quick reaction force in order to prevent the worst of the civil/sectarian war from spreading to Saudi Arabia and Iran. Protecting the global oil supply coming from the Persian Gulf is critical. Second, we will need to double or triple the number of troops in Afghanistan to prevent a similar failure there. Already, emboldened insurgents/terrorists are heading to Afghanistan to continue the Jihad and attacks have increased greatly<<

    I don't think more US troops will have a very great effect on the security of Persian Gulf oil supply.

    Maybe you guys stuffed up when you invaded Iraq on the apparently false pretext of WMD? IMHO you won't fix it with 3x the troops, even 10x. There are some in the Middle East who want to sell oil and have the money. Military occupation is NOT the way to set this up.

  3. #3
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    I can't really argue with the article -- Like I've said before, we need to either go "all-in" or "fold" in Iraq.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  4. #4
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    we need to either go "all-in" or "fold" in Iraq.

    Your army is stretched as it is.

    Conscription? Yeah right.

  5. #5
    mrblanche
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Your army is stretched as it is.

    Conscription? Yeah right.
    We could "unstretch" it by taking our troops out of Europe.

  6. #6
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Your army is stretched as it is.

    Conscription? Yeah right.
    We could "unstretch" it by taking our troops out of Europe.
    I can't figure out what we're doing in Europe, anyway.

  7. #7
    mrblanche
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I can't figure out what we're doing in Europe, anyway.
    Making it possible for Europeans to use their taxes for social programs, since they don't have to defend themselves.

  8. #8
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I can't figure out what we're doing in Europe, anyway.
    Making it possible for Europeans to use their taxes for social programs, since they don't have to defend themselves.
    Well, that and the money spent in the local economy by our troops. It must be admitted that Germany makes a nice waypoint, especially for the med evacs.

    Next, I also can't figure out why NATO continues to exist, no wonder the Russians get upset.

  9. #9
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    We've really cut back on our NATO commitments.
    I know of at four air bases that have been closed since the early 1990's.

    Hahn (where I was stationed)
    Bitburg
    Wuescheim
    Rhein-Main

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  10. #10
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I can't figure out what we're doing in Europe, anyway.
    Making it possible for Europeans to use their taxes for social programs, since they don't have to defend themselves.
    Fair enough too. France and Britain have independent nuke arsenals to the level of MAD. Or do they?

    btw Mike you are quite right about US grain/food production in excess of storage/demand most years. Might just as well convert a lot of it to car fuel.
    I heard via radio yesterday that the average Atlanta GA citizen burns the highest amount of fuel in the world at 1,021 KJoules [this was in the context of car-usage in an international 'sustainable development' forum, don't ask me to defend it] and the average Chinerse citizen used 2.01KJoules and cities like Beijing are already so crowded they are building the largest transit system in the world for the Olympics year on. The point being that it is not possible to continue the style of transport and infrastructure currently used in the US unless certain 'freedoms' are curtailed, or simply not available to the rest of the world.

  11. #11
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    We've really cut back on our NATO commitments.
    I know of at four air bases that have been closed since the early 1990's.

    Hahn (where I was stationed)
    Bitburg
    Wuescheim
    Rhein-Main

    Chip H.
    Those closings were in part an expression of unhappiness, were they not? I believe that some of the strength was sent further east. In any case, I don't know who the potential aggressor(s) might be.

    Islam is not capable of fielding a western style army or fighting a western style war nor need they be: they're outbreeding the west so it's only a matter of time.

  12. #12
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Those closings were in part an expression of unhappiness, were they not? I believe that some of the strength was sent further east. In any case, I don't know who the potential aggressor(s) might be.
    Not sure what you mean by "unhappiness". The Soviet era had ended, and the threat of Warsaw-pact armies pouring through the Fulda Gap was diminished.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  13. #13
    mrblanche
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    I heard via radio yesterday that the average Atlanta GA citizen burns the highest amount of fuel in the world at 1,021 KJoules [this was in the context of car-usage in an international 'sustainable development' forum, don't ask me to defend it] and the average Chinerse citizen used 2.01KJoules and cities like Beijing are already so crowded they are building the largest transit system in the world for the Olympics year on. The point being that it is not possible to continue the style of transport and infrastructure currently used in the US unless certain 'freedoms' are curtailed, or simply not available to the rest of the world.
    Atlanta is a uniquely bad environment for mass transit. They have done some work, but nowhere near enough. And American cities are extremely spread out, so ride sharing or mass transit to downtown is a non-starter.

    It has been calculated that no light rail system has yet made money, and, in fact, in most cases (such as Dallas), it would have been cheaper for the city to buy every regular rider a new $20,000 car.

  14. #14
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Those closings were in part an expression of unhappiness, were they not? I believe that some of the strength was sent further east. In any case, I don't know who the potential aggressor(s) might be.
    Not sure what you mean by "unhappiness". The Soviet era had ended, and the threat of Warsaw-pact armies pouring through the Fulda Gap was diminished.

    Chip H.
    The US used the move to express its unhappiness with some policy of Germany or the Euro Union. Or so I think I remember reading.

  15. #15
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Not sure what you mean by "unhappiness". The Soviet era had ended, and the threat of Warsaw-pact armies pouring through the Fulda Gap was diminished.

    Chip H.
    Yes but great powers cannot change quickly?

  16. #16
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Things change quickly enough when there is enough 'juice' behind them.

    The base I was at was closed during the 1st Gulf War. 3 squadrons of F-16's and their maintenance units left for Kuwait, and while they were gone they closed the base. It was left to the wives & support units to pack everything up. Took less than a year.

    Now Ryan Air is sending several flights a day into it, telling people they're landing in Frankfurt (a big fib -- Frankfurt am Main is a 2-hour bus ride away)

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...9645&z=13&om=1

    My old work-center (the compound in the center of the screen) :
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&om=1...,0.004989&z=18
    Note the hay-bales now being stored across the taxiway in the aircraft shelter.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  17. #17
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I can't figure out what we're doing in Europe, anyway.
    Making it possible for Europeans to use their taxes for social programs, since they don't have to defend themselves.
    What do you think the Europeans have to fear?

  18. #18
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm


    Islam is not capable of fielding a western style army or fighting a western style war nor need they be: they're outbreeding the west so it's only a matter of time.
    Is this why you sell fragmentation bombs to Israel? With money you have givern to them already?

    China has more people than Islam, give-or-take, do you fear them equally? China has been trying to prevent our NZ politicians from meeting the Dalai Lama. We have formally met him, but out Prime Minister has not. They met informally in an airport lounge by accident. But China is not feared.

    Are US Archie Bunkers still advocating "more troops" for Iraq? As if doubling or trebling US presence there will fix things? Shades of who was it, Westmoreland? who wanted more in 'Nam.

    I repeat, and in unison with Eric on this, the threat comes from religious nutters. And Muslim young men dispossessed of their land, and fertile breeding ground for religious war and dogma. Of course it is easy for me in a safe remote corner of the world. Islamic religious nutters are to my mind the big threat. It may be that this will lead to Armageddon.

  19. #19
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    [quote=robmcg ]
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm

    Is this why you sell fragmentation bombs to Israel? With money you have givern to them already?
    And if a bomb does nopt fragment, what good is it? They are supposed to explode and a few fragments are a necessary result.

    You can slice it and dice it anyway you wish but the essence of the issue is whether one believes that Israel should exist.

    Consider giving New Zealand back to the Maori and shipping the European interlopers to whence they came. When you have that sorted out, we can go further.

  20. #20
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    Re: Planning for Failure in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    And if a bomb does nopt fragment, what good is it? They are supposed to explode and a few fragments are a necessary result.

    You can slice it and dice it anyway you wish but the essence of the issue is whether one believes that Israel should exist.

    Consider giving New Zealand back to the Maori and shipping the European interlopers to whence they came. When you have that sorted out, we can go further.
    Israel can exist. But should its existence be as aggressive as it has been, with US money? It has exosted with little regard to land rights which existed in 1948 and the US continues to support Israel's aggressive land-grabs.

    The Maori thing is in continuig negotation between people who have not been at war for about 150 years, and is not even remotely comparable, you bad-tempered OF.

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