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Iraq War, v5



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 2nd, 2008, 1:52 am
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Iraq War, v5

Welcome to the fifth version (version 4) of this very popular thread. We are now over 5 years into the Iraq War, and people are as passionate about the subject today as they were in the lead-up.

And yet, as regular posters know, the topics of discussion seem to go round and round in a never-ending cycle of arguments over whether the invasion should have ever happened at all. In this version as in the last, the CoS staff would like to move beyond endless arguments over what is now history, and focus on discussing the unknown future instead.

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Questions to start discussion:

1. With the surge ending, can the Iraqi government maintain peace and order?

2. What should be the role of the coalition military forces post-surge?

3. What are your predictions for the future of the Middle East, especially with regard to Iraq and its neighbors?



Last edited by Chris; August 4th, 2008 at 2:44 pm.
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  #2  
Old August 8th, 2008, 4:40 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
1. With the surge ending, can the Iraqi government maintain peace and order?
Not completely at this time. I do think they are getting better at it. This is a new world for them, and the coalition, and it is best to make sure that hard won gains are not foolishly given up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
2. What should be the role of the coalition military forces post-surge?
This is a very difficult question long term. Short term, keeping the enemy out (or eliminating them), continued training of Iraqi security forces, and continued improvement of the Iraqi condition is certainly vital.

When Senator McCain made his now famous "100 years" comment, he was IMO drawing an analogy to an ongoing presence in some form, which is likely what will happen. Just what that is, I can't say.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
3. What are your predictions for the future of the Middle East, especially with regard to Iraq and its neighbors?
I have always said that it will be interesting to see what the impact will be 20 years from now. Will democracy in some form spread across the region? Will Western influences eventually moderate the more fundamentalist elements of Islam? I guess we'll have to stay tuned.


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  #3  
Old August 8th, 2008, 4:57 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

As an aid to discussion may I post reporting on an extensive (650 groups over 38 years) RAND Corp study on terrorism an the ineffectiveness of military responses.

"Global policy experts at the Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation have made an exhaustive study of the forces that determined the fate of almost 650 terrorist groups which operated between 1968 and 2006. Their objective was to examine how terrorist groups come to an end. The findings are sober reading. The most common demise for such groups - in 43 per cent of cases - was a transition to the political process. Effective police work defeated another 40 per cent and 10 per cent dissolved after emerging victorious.

Just 7 per cent were defeated militarily. For all the military effort directed at fighting terrorism, the overall scorecard is dismal.

Afghanistan has complexities which are unique and inseparable. The al-Qaeda dimension makes it a terrorist conflict. The Taliban and its associated groups make it an insurgency war with its own terrorist element. And the ease with which both terrorists and insurgents move back and forth across the Pakistan border elevates what often is treated as a national conflict to a more challenging regional rupture.

The RAND report concludes: "Our analysis suggests there is no battlefield solution to terrorism. Military force is usually too blunt an instrument… The use of substantial US military power … also runs the risk of turning the local population against the government by killing civilians." The report urges a combined police and intelligence effort and, when necessary, the use of local military force. "This means a light US military footprint or none at all," it says. "The US military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim societies, since its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment.""

SMH


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  #4  
Old August 8th, 2008, 7:08 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
As an aid to discussion may I post reporting on an extensive (650 groups over 38 years) RAND Corp study on terrorism an the ineffectiveness of military responses.

"Global policy experts at the Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation have made an exhaustive study of the forces that determined the fate of almost 650 terrorist groups which operated between 1968 and 2006. Their objective was to examine how terrorist groups come to an end. The findings are sober reading. The most common demise for such groups - in 43 per cent of cases - was a transition to the political process. Effective police work defeated another 40 per cent and 10 per cent dissolved after emerging victorious.

Just 7 per cent were defeated militarily. For all the military effort directed at fighting terrorism, the overall scorecard is dismal.

Afghanistan has complexities which are unique and inseparable. The al-Qaeda dimension makes it a terrorist conflict. The Taliban and its associated groups make it an insurgency war with its own terrorist element. And the ease with which both terrorists and insurgents move back and forth across the Pakistan border elevates what often is treated as a national conflict to a more challenging regional rupture.

The RAND report concludes: "Our analysis suggests there is no battlefield solution to terrorism. Military force is usually too blunt an instrument… The use of substantial US military power … also runs the risk of turning the local population against the government by killing civilians." The report urges a combined police and intelligence effort and, when necessary, the use of local military force. "This means a light US military footprint or none at all," it says. "The US military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim societies, since its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment.""

SMH
I honestly believe the intial intent was to create a Democratic process in Afghanistan and Iraq and the theory was that this would be a system that urged participation and by that effect discouraged terrorism as a means of regress. I know literally dozens of ulterior motives have been accused, but even from go that philosophy was spoken by Bush and other world leaders. I am trying to make a point without touching off a new "why the war started" flurry of posts, but I do believe we have suspected or known that open political processes work to combat terror better than military offensives. If the plan had worked and a quick transition taken place, the removal of SH and rise of a democratic government would have fostered this very effect in theory, anyway. This is also a reason why we have been trying very hard to open the political process as wide as posible in Iraq.


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  #5  
Old August 10th, 2008, 10:36 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Iraq demands "very clear" U.S. troop timeline


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Last edited by Midnightsfire; August 12th, 2008 at 2:17 pm. Reason: No source for quote...
  #6  
Old August 11th, 2008, 1:53 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
"You promised you would go when we told you to go. Well, we are telling you. Go. We want you to go. As in, leave. Sooner the better. Read my lips; GO! So ... when you are leaving?"

---Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Sunday
It's hard to misinterpret that...(but, I'm sure someone will figure out how).


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  #7  
Old August 11th, 2008, 2:24 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhart View Post
It's hard to misinterpret that...(but, I'm sure someone will figure out how).
Sounds kinda like the stories of McCain claiming "that's not what they really mean" may have gotten back to the Iraqi government, eh?

McCain Interview Meredith Viera asks John McCain about the fact that the Iraqi government keeps praising his opponent's vision of forward-looking Iraq policy. McCain retorts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCain
"I have been there too many times. I've met too many times with him, and I know what they want. They want it based on conditions and of course they would like to have us out, that's what happens when you win wars, you leave. We may have a residual presence there as even Senator Obama has admitted. But the fact is that it should be -- the agreement between Prime Minister Maliki, the Iraqi government and the United states is it will be based on conditions. This is a great success, but it's fragile, and could be reversed very easily. I think we should trust the word of General Petraeus who has orchestrated this dramatic turnaround."


Anyone have a more breathtaking example of arrogance? I'd like to read it.

McCain Dismisses Iraqi Idea of Troop Withdrawal


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  #8  
Old August 12th, 2008, 12:05 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightsfire
"You promised you would go when we told you to go. Well, we are telling you. Go. We want you to go. As in, leave. Sooner the better. Read my lips; GO! So ... when you are leaving?"

---Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Sunday
I know I've said this before, but the desires of the Iraqi government in this matter are completely irrelevant. The United States shall maintain a military presence in Iraq for as long as is deemed necessary by the United States.
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk
Anyone have a more breathtaking example of arrogance? I'd like to read it.
You already have read it, the Iraqi Foreign Minister giving the US orders, as if his opinion was in the least bit important.


  #9  
Old August 12th, 2008, 12:17 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Witchhunter - if I have your position right, since the US went into Iraq and enabled the current government to form in the first place, we then can dictate when we leave, since we did the work? Is that a fair summary? And, if we leave too early, Iraq could fall into a turmoil which would allow more terrorists to rise up and eventually strike against the United States? Or did I misunderstand you?


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  #10  
Old August 12th, 2008, 1:31 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchHunter View Post
I know I've said this before, but the desires of the Iraqi government in this matter are completely irrelevant. The United States shall maintain a military presence in Iraq for as long as is deemed necessary by the United States.

You already have read it, the Iraqi Foreign Minister giving the US orders, as if his opinion was in the least bit important.
So the invasion has nothing to do with freeing the Iraqis and democracy but enslaving them in a vassal state that just happens too have huge reserves of oil.


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  #11  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:14 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

So, we "liberated" Iraq so they can do as we want, now? What the heck is that? They are not slaves. They are not prisoners of war.

If your going to do that, just annex them into the US as a territory and be done with it.

Or, if they refuse..should we go back to war with them and blow them up a third time? Maybe we should keep trying until we get a government there that does everything we tell them to.


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  #12  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:20 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhart View Post
It's hard to misinterpret that...(but, I'm sure someone will figure out how).
I had to delete that.

The link was sent to me and that was used as a quote. But since I can't find when the foreign minister said those exact words...I have to assume that it was paraphrased.

Poor posting on my part.


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  #13  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhart View Post

Or, if they refuse..should we go back to war with them and blow them up a third time? Maybe we should keep trying until we get a government there that does everything we tell them to.
Well, we could do that...

...or, we could agree on a conditioned-based withdrawal so that when the coalition troops leave, they don't have to go back. That's not too much to ask considering the cost of this whole business.


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  #14  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:29 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchHunter View Post
I know I've said this before, but the desires of the Iraqi government in this matter are completely irrelevant. The United States shall maintain a military presence in Iraq for as long as is deemed necessary by the United States.
Why? Isn't Iraq a sovereign country? What precisely is the authority of the United States to deem things necessary over the Iraqis themselves?


  #15  
Old August 12th, 2008, 9:44 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

[quote=Redhart;5110494]So, we "liberated" Iraq so they can do as we want, now? What the heck is that? They are not slaves. They are not prisoners of war.

If your going to do that, just annex them into the US as a territory and be done with it. [quote=Redhart;5110494]

Come on, now. This is some seriously venomous and unreasonable rhetoric isn't it? We have never tried to make Iraq into a U.S. colony, holding or state and have no intention to do so. This is not the U.S. policy or intent, nor is there anything that reasonably leads to that conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhart View Post
Or, if they refuse..should we go back to war with them and blow them up a third time? Maybe we should keep trying until we get a government there that does everything we tell them to.
We fought them once to force them to restore the nation of Kuwait that Iraq had imperiously invaded and claimed ownership of. The iraqi policy in Kuwait was the annex action spoken of earlier in the quoted post. This second military action was a very fast and deliberate attempt to depose a dictator and establish a democratic system. If we had been even 1/4 as brutal and violent in our invasion as the opposition seems to assert, the casualties would have been in the millions and the cities would have been leveled completely. If not for a concern for Iraqi civilian life and potential independance we could have avoided protracted violence and coalition casulaties at the actual expense of Iraqi people with significant success.
Now I have to take exception to the circular argument it seems Iraq war opponents are engaging in. First we hear that the Iraqi government is a shill and incapable of controlling the country and lacks national authority or support and from the same people we hear that if this ineffective government demands our evacuation we are obligated to oblidge them. It can't actually be both ways.
Also, I will reiterate that the single factor most responsible for the attacks by terrorists on the U.S., according to the terrorists themselves, was a long history of U.S. intervention in the Middle East where we are accused of creating havoc and disarray and then leaving the situation without resolution or any attempt at reconstruction. To prematurely leave Iraq and reconfirm this perception with a large and new example of not only our ability to create distruction, but our willingness to leave whenever we get "tired" of the conflict is an absolute mistake. How can leaving Iraq, solely because our people lack the desire to be there anymore, especially as our people's vehiment and obvious desire to invade was so much a part of our decision to go to war in the first place not be interpretted as a victory for terror operations over the U.S. military? Won't this confirm that terror tactics work against us? Won't this confirm that we can be worn down and defeated by simple manipulation of public opinion and persistence? Doesn't this simply reinforce that we are incapable of following through with any military operation if small and protracted resistance is determined to continue violence? It worked in Vietnam and is working in Iraq. It is expensive, it is difficult and it continues to cause casualties, but the damage done by a forced withdrawal will be more devistating in all aspects than staying will be. We are writing the playbook for our enemies this very moment if we allow these tactics to succeed. If there is any doubt about that we need only look at the similarities between the vietnamese tactics and the insurgent tactics in Iraq.
As an aside, if we do leave, who will control Iraq and how aimlessly will they likely use force to gain power? Will they actually use dicretion in the use of force? How can anyone claim they are the least bit worried about the Iraqi people and still call for withdraw from Iraq? What do people who support immediate withdraw think is going to happen when that happens? How is that anything that will benifit the Iraqi people?


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Last edited by OldLupin; August 12th, 2008 at 11:20 pm.
  #16  
Old August 12th, 2008, 10:52 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Maybe they'll hire Bush as a consultant. That should help a lot.


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  #17  
Old August 13th, 2008, 12:47 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldLupin View Post
Come on, now. This is some seriously venomous and unreasonable rhetoric isn't it? We have never tried to make Iraq into a U.S. colony, holding or state and have no intention to do so. This is not the U.S. policy or intent, nor is there anything that reasonably leads to that conclusion.
The neoconservative manifesto begs to differ. I suggest you read it.


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  #18  
Old August 13th, 2008, 2:31 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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The neoconservative manifesto begs to differ. I suggest you read it.
I wasn't aware that such a thing existed, is there an online version that can be linked? Was it written by a member of the Administration? Is there any actual policy letter, policy statement or anything else where empirical possesion of any other nation by the U.S. is mentioned as a stated goal? If we are going to start accusing the U.S. of attempting to become an empirical power, I am sure there is more evidence to support it than inuendo and assumption, right?


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Last edited by OldLupin; August 13th, 2008 at 3:09 am.
  #19  
Old August 13th, 2008, 3:13 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

I think maybe this is it: Project for the New American Century (PNAC), by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.

I found this bit in Google:

Their Goal: The neoconservative agenda Established in the spring of 1997 and funded largely by the energy and arms industries, the Project for the New American Century was founded as the neoconservative think tank whose stated goal was to usher in a “new American century”. Having won the cold war and no military threat to speak of, this group of ideologues created a blueprint for the future whose agenda was to capitalize upon our surplus of military forces and funds and forcing American hegemony and corporate privatization throughout the world. In their statement of principles they outline a fourfold agenda:

1) Increase an already enormous military budget at the expense of domestic social programs
2) Toppling of regimes resistant to our corporate interests
3) Forcing democracy at the barrel of a gun in regions that have no history of the democratic process
4) Replacing the UN’s role of preserving and extending international order


There used to be a website called: New American Century, which I actually read at one time. But, as you'll see if you click on the link, they have "suspended" access through Google.

We'll have to hope Midnight can come up with something better. It looks like they've gone underground... except for when they're on Fox News.


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Last edited by purplehawk; August 13th, 2008 at 3:21 am.
  #20  
Old August 13th, 2008, 3:28 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I think maybe this is it: Project for the New American Century (PNAC), by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.

I found this bit in Google:

Their Goal: The neoconservative agenda Established in the spring of 1997 and funded largely by the energy and arms industries, the Project for the New American Century was founded as the neoconservative think tank whose stated goal was to usher in a “new American century”. Having won the cold war and no military threat to speak of, this group of ideologues created a blueprint for the future whose agenda was to capitalize upon our surplus of military forces and funds and forcing American hegemony and corporate privatization throughout the world. In their statement of principles they outline a fourfold agenda:

1) Increase an already enormous military budget at the expense of domestic social programs
2) Toppling of regimes resistant to our corporate interests
3) Forcing democracy at the barrel of a gun in regions that have no history of the democratic process
4) Replacing the UN’s role of preserving and extending international order


There used to be a website called: New American Century, which I actually read at one time. But, as you'll see if you click on the link, they have "suspended" access through Google.
I see a certain slant in the verbiage of the posted link, but even following it and reading it over, I saw no mention of grabbing new colonial holdings or extending international influence by actually empirically taking other nations as territories of the U.S.
Aside from that, the organization isn't actually the government and while some members, most notably Cheney, are associated with the government that by no means makes it the policy statement of the nation or even the President. I suppose I need to have some clarification as to how any of this makes the U.S. taking Iraq on as an empirical holding either a goal or supposed goal. Also, this link is basicly a critical overveiw and paraphrasing of the policies the organization advocates, is there anything that actually has a written manifesto? Will that manifesto claim the U.S. should become an empirical power?


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