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Old 01-06-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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"The un-needed Iraq war cost us about a trilliion - which the US taxpayer funds. This is why we need to pick our battles very very carefully."

We can agree to dis-agree. Sadam was intent on restarting his chemical program and his nuclear programs as soon as he got the inspectors out. We know from his history that he would use those weapons. He wasn't called The Butcher of Bagdag for nothing.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Quick note, I appreciate all the posts both for and against, as they all have valid points and bring up valid issues. I only wish this kind of debate would take more precedence in Congress, in the media and in our national dialog in general.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
We need more international policemen than imperial soldiers. Terrorism is an individual crime (or a limited conspiracy) not an act of organized war.
I remember after 9/11 a general was being interviewed to predict what action the US would take to deal with the threat. One option said the general was to fight a conventional war against nations where the terrorists lived which has worked swimmingly for us so far.

I don't think its possible to fight and win a conventional battle against an unconventional foe. Are we even sure all the cells that our media reports as Al Qaeida are actually Al Qaedia and aren't there other threats we have to be ready to deal with such as the recent Georgia incident?

The war in Iraq was mainly to secure the oil. At one can see the logic of that. The one in Afghan was supposed to capture some guy by the name of B Luvi'n, B Boppin',..., shucks, its been so long and we haven't found him not to mention keep switching the reasons for staying there I forgot.

We MAY be more effective in this War on Terror by diverting our resources into developing even moreso our spy and intelligence network, infiltrate cells from within and crush them. Basically an international COINTELPRO.

We have a large Latin American and Southern European origin community(staunchly Catholic) who with accent and cultural mores training could easily pass for locals in ME nations. A large African American population (also overwhelming Christian) that could also do likewise in Africa.

The threat may be more effectively approached with a scalpel rather than a sledge hammer.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Quick Enough View Post
"Good, then we can come home now that its all better". Much better but, not quite done yet.

"If the media in America were to show the real face of war and what it entails, we would not be there today". You are probably right. But, that that does not mean in the long run it was not the right thing to do.

Along with the bad, the good needs to be be showen as well.

By only showing the bad we would end up with another Viet Nam. Only the bad was shown and a distorted view at that.

What the Iraqi's have today is much, much better they had under Sadam.
I assume you live in Iraq and thus have intimate knowledge of how glorious it is to live there under US rule. I'm sure the last 4 or 5 years of hell have been worth it for you, Iraqi citizen Quick Enough.

Quote:
We can agree to dis-agree. Sadam was intent on restarting his chemical program and his nuclear programs as soon as he got the inspectors out. We know from his history that he would use those weapons. He wasn't called The Butcher of Bagdag for nothing.
Assuming you are Nostradamus and this is true, who was he going to use those weapons on?
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by calmdude View Post
There are a lot of countries we can improve but that would bankrupt us. The un-needed Iraq war cost us about a trilliion - which the US taxpayer funds. This is why we need to pick our battles very very carefully.
It's not our place to improve or change any other country or culture.
Why the hell don't we just mind our own business and quit trying to force our failed political system on the world?
We'd be better off fixing our own problems and taking care of our own citizenry instead of ticking off the world.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:53 PM
 
Location: a nation with hope
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinkieMcGee View Post
I assume you live in Iraq and thus have intimate knowledge of how glorious it is to live there under US rule. I'm sure the last 4 or 5 years of hell have been worth it for you, Iraqi citizen Quick Enough.

Assuming you are Nostradamus and this is true, who was he going to use those weapons on?
On anybody who opposed him?
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
On anybody who opposed him?
Who are those people. I don't want vague answers, I want specifics. The specifics someone should need to dole before they go on a war of choice and dismantle a nation.

Was he going to use these supposed weapons (we weren't able to find) on the US? By what means? Under what conditions would he even attempt to?

This highlights what I feel is a larger issue and it's the general ignorance of the American populace as to why we commit certain actions abroad. If someone asked "why are we attacking Iraq" 8 years ago the answer would have gone off 8 different ways and at this stage pretty much all of those answers would be proven false grounds for committing such an act.

As an example the "WMD" excuse the previous poster listed is false since we've been there for like 6 or 7 years and nothing has come up.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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We didn't win wars for many years. But first we need to define what exactly is a war. Second, we didn't win wars, in-spite of winning almost every battle. However, for a variety of reasons, these wins could not translated into clear war victories.
The shift in global politics after WW2, make classic wins almost impossible. That is true for the US as well as for others (see Soviets in Afghanistan for example. Even the Iraq-Iran war in the 80s didn't yield a clear victor).
Another example is N. Korea. At the time, MacArthur wanted to decimate N. Korea and nuke China into submission. His intentions were terrible, but if put in practice, there would have been no N. Korean threat in 2010 and no communist regime in China. But today such military steps are considered unacceptable by most people, hence no clear military victory.

Last edited by oberon_1; 01-06-2010 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Stepping back for a moment here, I believe the Mr. Bacevich, the author of this piece is getting at a broader aspect of this, and that is the nature of our wars.

Since WWII, there have been many conflicts but less abundant are the clearly defined goals or achievable victories. As has been pointed out in his article as well as some of the posters here, the definition of a victory or even a goal is absolutely critical to the type of war that will result.

From a political standpoint it becomes even more difficult as political leaders depend upon the advice of military commanders assessments, intelligence, analyst, and less discussed, the implicit desires of the people.

From a more military standpoint, I have to wonder what is truly in the minds of our military leadership, as they have spent a great deal of their lives dedicated to understanding all associated concepts of war. I'm sure that Sun Tzu, Fredrick the Great, Machiavelli are all required reading at West Point, and having also read these and other like works, to then apply these situations to our current one must be somewhat of dismay to military commanders. Nearly ever piece of military doctrine of theory or practice I have ever laid my hands on starts the premise with the goal and then works on the strategy of how to achieve that goal. Almost all warn of becoming engaged in a situation where there are no reasonable goals to achieve as they drain your armies of men, material, and will.

When I need a doctor, I go to someone educated and trained in the art of medicine, when I need financial advice, I turn to someone who is educated and trained in economics and management, so to when I look at matters of war, I listen closely to what military commanders say on their own accord as opposed to what they say on behalf of the civilian Commander in Chief.

The two top leaders, Patraeus and McCrystal have both conceded:

Quote:
that violence alone is incapable of producing decisive and politically useful outcomes. Expend as much ammunition as you want: what today’s military calls “kinetic” methods won’t get you where you want to go. Acknowledging that battle doesn’t work, counterinsurgency advocates call for winning (or bribing) hearts and minds instead. And they’ll happily settle for outcomes—take a look at Iraq, for example—that bear scant resemblance to victory as traditionally defined.
As another poster pointed out Desert Storm being a victory and I can see this point. This war unto itself was to expel Saddam from Kuwait, to which George Bush Sr. set out and did just this. People can debate whether we should have went all the way to Baghdad and finished off Saddam, but that wasn't the goal at the time. As Bacevich pointed out though, we never left after Desert Storm as we then implemented no fly zones and cordoned off the country with harsh sanctions, but our military presence was still on hand.

When we now look back at the current Iraq situation, how many times has our goal been changed thus far? Weapons of Mass Destruction was what got us there. The it was to liberate the people, check. Rid the world of Saddam, check. Bring a free and stable democracy to Iraq, _______. Is this a realistic goal considering the three major factions? Is it our duty or right to do so in the first place? Would this be the last of a series of changing goals?
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:13 PM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,488,387 times
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The problem as I see it is we dont fight wars to win them anymore. Instead we fight for vengeance & to look good. Since walking away after you win & leaving a pile of rubble doesnt look good we stay. Since taking over & making a conquered country yours after you win doesn't look good we stay & let them rebuild, heck we fund the rebuilding and help our enemies regain their strength so that we can fight them again in 5, 10 or 20 years.

We won in Iraq as soon as Saddams regime was conquered, we stayed to find him and instead of just hanging him from a tree or shooting him let it become a spectacle. Even after that we stayed & now have invested billions into a country which at the end of the day will still not be an ally.

We won in Afghanistan when we toppled the Taliban. But instead of leaving we have to stay & stabilize the region, so we look good. Except we dont look good. We look like tyrants shoving democracy down the worlds throat. But we ignore that, train & arm the same people that hate us so we can fight them in 5, 10 or 20 years.

We ignore the FACT that the 911 guys were ALL saudis & that the Saudis fund radical Islamic terrorism. The place we were most justified in leveling we leave alone, not to look good, but because they have oil.

Politically, no we didn't win Korea, Vietnam, in Iraq or Afghanistan. But from a military standpoint we won every one and if not for feel good politics that would be clear.
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