Originally Posted by vinea
I have zero confidence in our being in Iraq the multiple years required to achieve victory.
I agree that we SHOULD. But that ain't happening past 2008 IMHO. If so, the sooner we take the hit, the sooner the pain ends.
We may be meeting our recruitment objectives but retention at the O-3 level has been horrendous. I recall 44% attrition in the 2001 class at the O-3 rank. Can't find that reference but that's not sustainable if you want a decent officer corps.
I think we'll be there for a long time, just in reduced numbers. Dem or Republican...we're not pulling out totally.
Originally Posted by segovius
You see this is the arrogance that inflames the world against the US, the mindless myopic self-obsession and condescension to 'primitive' people.. Ie, anyone else at all.
The clear subtext of the above ludicrous view is that the US cannot pull out because ONLY THE US
can fix it, ONLY THE US
the US is capable of doing it, ONLY THE US
is worthy of the 'responsibility. No-one else counts.
That's not what I said, nor what I meant. The US is the one there. We are the ones who waged war, and it is therefore our responsibility to clean up the mess, which up until now we hadn't been doing very well.
Of course from a logistical standpoint, there aren't a lot of countries that could provide the assistance we are providing. They just don't have the manpower, logistical capability or deep enough pockets for the most part.
The solution is quite simple: the US should get out and, more importantly, keep their big schnozz out of anybody else's business period.
And we should let AQI take over and watch potentially hundreds of thousands get slaughtered? 4,000 dead and $300B just wasted?
Let other more mature, older, more sophisticated and less violently aggressive nations step in.
Not France because they are now firmly on the Bush bomb Iran bandwagon now they have an extreme right-wing loon in charge, but the UK (now Toady is history), Germany, possibly Spain could have a free hand to maintain order.
With what militaries? And why would you support the UK going in just because Blair is not there? Seems pretty polarized to me Seg. I don't know about you, but I react to policies and actions, not so much personalities, at least not in matters of war and peace.
Dismantle the US embassy - write off the billions it cost, you made more from Iraq anyway - and obliterate the Green Zone. The sensible countries stepping in should start talks and put in some proper investment.
That makes no sense whatsoever, except to satisfy your hatred towards the US in general.
Start off by fixing the electricity and infrastructure and make a real commitment to the people.
I suppose I can agree there. More should be done in that regard, though I don't know what a "real commitment" means beyond what you've mentioned.
Give them something to live for and defend it against extremists - whether they are US, Zionists or Islamist.
Problem solved. There will be less 'friendly fire' deaths too.....
Yeah, 'cause the problems are The US and Zionists. They are the ones blowing up mosques and markets in downtown Baghdad, setting IEDs and generally wreaking havoc. Good lord.
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman
Don't know whether you're responding to supplying a link or citation or whether about the Frontline report. But that's a given from you. Doesn't surprise me at all. You therefore have lost your credibility again. Why start a thread when all you return with is arrogance and stupidity? Support your claims with information and maybe you'll redeem yourself (unlikely).
I don't need to redeem myself nor do I need your approval. You asked a stupid question. You know full well that there has been significant progress (i.e. "good news") coming from Iraq in recent weeks. You know it. You do. You're just engaging is a pissing contest by asking me for links. I mean, of all the things I posted, that's
what you spend your time on...the most indisputable and non-controversial part? Amazing.
Originally Posted by addabox
On the other hand, it's pretty clear that Maliki's "government" is falling apart, which simply negates the entire rational for the "surge", which, as some of you may recall, was intended to create the stability needed for the "government" to start governing.
I could see this one coming from a mile away-- suddenly there is this huge embarrassing silence regarding the actual status of Iraq as a country, and we are expected to sharply narrow our focus to whatever area has seen some drop in American causalities, or listen to fact free chatter about how we're really sticking it to "al Qaeda in Iraq", or accept without question that some city or another has been "secured" and cleared of "insurgents", while being required not to notice the simple math of increased violence in other areas and the ongoing de facto ethnic cleansing, which is well on it's way to creating an Iraq of single sect city-states.
The only metric that has any bearing on our presence is political stability and the capacity of the Iraqi government to govern. Without that, it doesn't matter if we leave now, next month or in ten years, we'll still be leaving a patch of real estate with a shattered infrastructure occupied by a number of warring tribes with various affiliations to surrounding countries.
The "surge" doesn't actually address any of that, and never really had any hope of doing so. All it does it provide a few sound bites about "winning", according to extremely limited criteria, so the jackals can continue to bray about how wrong the left is, and how much they hate America and the troops, and keep the FUD in play long enough to push this mess onto someone else, who can be castigated for fucking it up.
Unless the US is prepared to simply install a strong man who is given the green light to "restore order" by whatever draconian means seem expedient, can anyone point to the "good news" on the political front, that suggests "the surge" is providing its intended opportunity for the Iraqis to pull it together?
Petraeus is a military man, not a diplomat or a geopolitical fixer. With the resources he has been given, he can step really hard on a few areas and bring them under control, for a while. He can point to those areas, and give us pleasing numbers.
Does anyone really think that's enough? If so, perhaps you could explain how?
The problem I have with your thinking here is that it's exactly what the Democrats have done. First there was no military progress, too many attacks, soldiers dying, no strategy, etc. Then when the military side started going better, there was no political
progress. And, many of them had said just what the Republicans did earlier...that military security must precede and be part of political security. It's a bait and switch, because any good news from Iraq is definitely bad news for them.
Now clearly, political progress does
need to be made. I also don't recall your position on this, but to be fair I've not known you to blow around in the wind like the Democratic leadership does. That said, it's too early too condemn Maliki at this point IMO. Regardless of US troop levels, I'd like to see what happens over the next year with him. The pressure has been put on him. Soon there will be added pressure, that of us saying "look, we can't sustain these troop levels even if we wanted to, so get your shit together." In fact, that's already been put in front of him, I'm sure.
Last, there was a compromise this weekend that may have some effect. So there is some
progress, but it definitely needs to move more quickly.