How to Win in Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    I read in a column by David Brooks that this article is attracting a lot of interest in the Pentagon, the CIA, the U.S. embassy in Iraq, and Vice President Cheney's office:

    Article LINK
     
  2. kubel

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    That strategy, IMHO, is flawed. There's no way of telling friend from enemy. It's a step in the right direction, to see a strategy. But we need a better one.

    I have no doubt that at the current pace, our forces will eventually win. Perhaps in another 10 years, Iraq will be a peaceful nation. It's not a question of military planning or strength over there. It's a question of politics and public willingness to continue over here.

    But I agree with Brooks suggestion about winning the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq. That's just about as important as killing insurgents.
     
  3. KenH

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    Just curious, have you read the Foreign Affairs article?
     
  4. carpro

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    It's long, Ken.

    Interesting, but I'll have to finish it later.

    Beddy Bye time. [​IMG]
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
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    How to win?

    1. Put out a press release saying "we won. We gave you a democracy if you can keep it."
    2. Bring the troops home.
     
  6. Dragoon68

    Dragoon68
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    Thanks for sharing this very interesting article with us! I enjoyed reading it and have the following comments which I will post in two parts because of excessive length:

    We haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to have made but we have made a lot of progress.

    I agree, completely, that withdrawing would be a mistake.

    Yes, self government by the people of Iraq is a goal and not a strategy on how to get them to that point.

    Yes that’s been our primary military mission since shortly after Saddam’s forces were defeated. We continue to make steady progress in this area. Iraq’s military, security, and police forces continue to grow more capable of dealing with the situation. Iraq’s government is also evolving although not as speedily as we’d like.

    We forget the long years it took for us to sort out our own foundation for freedom. We’re impatient and want instant results!

    These “critics” are quitters and need to be discounted for what they are. They are of the same thinking as those who helped bring about the shameful “peace with honor” solution in Viet Nam otherwise known as “cut and run” that precipitated a tragic end to a long struggle for freedom in that country.

    I see nothing wrong with continuing that objective! I not opposed to expanding or improving our strategy for counterinsurgency warfare provided they are attainable objectives.

    This sounds very good as an objective not unlike that we already have!

    How I wish Americans had the resolve to support the cause to the extent required. I fear that many do not, most are skeptical, and only a few will agree with a protracted commitment. Americans have been conditioned to “instant success” in all that we do and we’ve almost become incapable of long term thinking.

    This is an excellent summary of the enemy strategy! The sad thing is that, even though we know it, many people can’t muster up the determination to deal with it.

    This is also very correct. In Viet Nam we faced three basic types of enemy forces. The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) regular forces, the VC (Viet Cong) “insurgent” forces, and the VCI (Viet Cong Infrastructure) embedded in “friendly” civilian and military forces. Each was a problem unto itself! Our current enemy doesn’t have anywhere near the same fighting resources and aren’t an organized army like the NVA. I don’t think they’re even as strong as the VC. I also don’t believe the “insurgent” forces have a presence comparable to the VCI.

    I suspect this is also correct or close to it. I think the “insurgents” get a lot more attention than there real support merits.

    They have us figured out very well and they’re counting on our repeat performance. There are plenty of well meaning people, and otherwise, among America’s citizens to lend support to this end. We must remain strong enough not to fall victim to it!

    This makes sense! American people must believe the war is worth it and we must keep telling our troops that it is!

    Yes, the “insurgents” have several advantages and this is not an easy struggle for us to win. That’s why very deep resolve is required from American citizens to support the cause. We must stop fighting among ourselves and join together to fight this enemy at all costs. We will not win unless we do!
     
  7. Dragoon68

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    This seems like the advisor role we have played in nearly every modern war in which we’ve engaged. We’re basically performing an advisory and training role right now in Iraq. I’m not sure exactly what different strategy is being recommended here.

    Is the author suggesting something more like the Marine CAP (combined action platoons) of the Viet Nam war which had good success in the limited areas and times in which they were implemented? Marines were co-located with local Vietnamese Popular Forces at the hamlet level to provide security for citizens who lived there. These were effective small scale operations to maintain security.

    Our news media continuously focuses on and reports the wrong metrics! All we get is the number of Americans killed or wounded whenever that happens. We don’t get much else so that’s all people have to go on.

    We’ve seen exactly what the author is claiming herein. The enemy counts on the effect their actions have on the three “centers of gravity” previously mentioned. These have virtually nothing to do with military victory or defeat. We need to understand that and stop letting the enemy – even through our own news media – make us “feel” we’re being defeated.

    Correct! Those actually in harms way are less “rattled” by the enemy’s actions than those at home.

    American citizens need to understand that Iraqis are indeed fighting and dying for their own freedom. We have to think rationally recognizing that the vocal minority always speaks louder and the trouble makers always congregate at the scene of the crime. An unfortunate curse of modern media is instant intense filming of both of these at the expense of avoiding the silent majority or those that stay at home.

    I like this concept! This could also serve to encourage offensive action which is always better – in many ways – than defensive action. Troops don’t like sitting around waiting to be hit. They’d rather be on the move going after the bastards they’re sent to fight.

    I like this one as well so long as it doesn’t become an incentive to fabricate reports by either the people. We have a bad habit of interpreting smiles of those who don’t speak our language as agreement and support. People are wiser than we think!

    This is the hard cold fact! We will not meet the American desire for an instant success according to a fixed time table. We have to put aside our “fast track scheduling” and “instant return on investment” thinking. We have to accept that this is long hard struggle wherein we must endure losses and failures.

    I suspect the struggle will take longer than a decade and more likely will last through the next generation.

    That’s really the key question. If the answer is “yes”, I have confidence the old spirit of American ingenuity, determination, cooperation, etc. will win. If the answer is “no”, then I fear the next generation will not enjoy the freedoms that those before them have.
     

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