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The Current Situation In Iraq

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by BigRob, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Lets take a new look at the current situation in Iraq:

    1) Iraqi security forces, which have grown by as many as 126,000 over the last year and have taken the lead in many security operations, such as in Sadr City and Basra in which the US military acted more as an adviser than a battlefield partner.

    2) The number of US casualties last month fell to 19, a number not seen since February 2004. With Iraqi forces taking the lead there is less need for more combat troops in the area and drawbacks are expected to be announced by Patreus within the year.

    3) The toll among Iraqi security forces has also fallen, from 980 in March to 506 in May.

    4) Attacks are down 70% since President Bush ordered a U.S. troop increase, or "surge," early last year.

    5) The UAE government recently recognized and visited the Iraqi government. This is a huge step as they are a Muslim nation and are applying pressure on other nations to do the same.

    6) There is more political stability. The Sadr militias are standing down and the government is working together. The provincial elections to be held at years end will be the big test in my view, I predict that they go well.


    The situation is getting better. Certainly there are some problems still be addressed, and the Iraqi government has asked for more help, which we should give them.
     
  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me like it is going well but the people against the war DO NOT want to hear that. They have no intention or desire to win this. Nothing but full retreat could ever satisfy them.

    Question, I don’t know but is it possible that things are worse in Afghanistan now because more of those soldiers are in Iraq. I don’t even know if the surge was taking soldiers from Afghanistan or not but I heard on the news a big breakout of prison and lots of Taliban escaped and things are doing worse there. I wondered if it was connected.

    I would rather hear if it was connected by someone who is not against the war because I have come to distrust most things said by them, what ever it takes to make their point true or not, even to the point if denigrating our own troops.

    So, you seem reasonable and not an anti war freak, do you think the two are connected? And if so how can it be fixed? If not connected, should we do a surge thing in Afghanistan too?
     
  3. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Hey Rob, I realize you are one of the 25%, so your predictions aren't worth....well you know. Anyway, as of 6-13 there were 4099 confirmed American dead because of a war built on lies. Of those, 3960 have died since "Mission Accomplished", 3638 since the capture of Saddam, 3240 since the handover to the Iraqi puppet government, and 2662 since the first elections.

    A few questions: Is that enough for you? How many more must die? Was it really worth it? Where are the WMDs? And finally, are we ever going to bring the troops home?

    You know, at this point, no stats, not anything, can justify what surely is one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in American history. It's too bad that you and others like you continue to try to justify the needless deaths of so many Americans.
     
  4. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    this is what I meant *looks up*
     
  5. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I think the situation in Afghanistan is very different from the one in Iraq. I say this for a few reasons.

    - The religious divide is not as great in Afghanistan as in Iraq. Iraq is about 65% Shia Muslim and 35% Sunni Muslim. There are some other small groups but these are the biggest. Added to that is the issues of the Kurds, who encompass about 15-20% of the total population

    -In Afghanistan on the other hand, the population is about 80% Sunni Muslim and about 20% Shia Muslim with some other small groups.

    - Also in Afghanistan the United States is not left running the mission alone. NATO is heavily involved and plays a very large in helping to maintain the security as well.

    - Further, Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service sector growth.

    - Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, also does not possess really any oil to speak of. So while Iraq is able to capitalize on record oil prices in an effort to rebuild, Afghanistan is unable to do, further exacerbating the problem.

    -Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade generate roughly $4 billion in illicit economic activity and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy concerns as well. That said, GDP grew by 12.4% in 2007.


    Given this backdrop one must also consider that before any invasion of Afghanistan even took place, Afghanistan was on the verge of being a failed state to begin with. This makes it even harder to turn the economy around give people alternative paths to their lives.

    To answer your question of should a "surge" be done in Afghanistan I would say there already has been one. The United States sent an additional 3,200 marines into the Southern area of Afghanistan this year to combat an expected upswing in violence. These soldiers are due to leave by the end of the year and NATO has been working to find replacements for them.

    That said, I do not think that the American troop presence in Iraq is taking away from the security of the mission in Afghanistan given that NATO allies are making up the difference. There are about 16,000 US combat soldiers in Afghanistan in a force of over 51,000 NATO soldiers.

    Also, when looking at the problems in Afghanistan it matters who you are fighting as well. In the Southern area of the country the Taliban has been making some comebacks, while the areas on the Pakistani border are basically a safe haven for Al Quada. Since the US is not allowed to cross the border with Pakistan, it is hard to root out these insurgents and really win the battle there, regardless of the troop count you put in place there.
     
  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to refute the situation as I laid it out, or just throw out body counts? What you anti-war people need to realize is this. We are in Iraq, mistake or not. People dying is a tragedy, but we have to now reassess the situation as it is, not as it was in 2001.

    Iraq certainly was a foreign policy blunder, but I think the bigger foreign policy blunder is now to turn around and abandon the moderate Arab states in the Middle East who expect us to keep our word and bring stability to Iraq.
    We will never have legitimacy with rouge regimes like the current regime in Iran, but we still possess legitimacy with moderate Arab states like Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, and even with Saudi Arabia to an extent.

    So yes, 4000 soldiers dead is a tragedy, yes the war was mismanaged, but no we cannot simply pull out, as that is an even worse decision than going in was.
     
  7. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Rob for the good information :)
     
  8. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Anytime :)
     
  9. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    I notice you give but just a cursory nod to all those that have died, thanks to the lies of your Republican president. Those body counts can be awfully inconvenient when they lost their lives because of the deceit of your Republican administration.

    Instead of giving us more of this rosy outlook BS, that we have been hearing for some 5 years, why don't you use your self described expertise and provide a scenario under which the troops can finally come home. Or do you side with John McCain, not really caring if they come home or not? Hey, after all, they can stay in Iraq 100 years.
     
  10. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    We have been in Europe and Asia for close to 70 years now, I do not hear you complaining, screaming for them to come home. McCain's comment was he would not mind keeping bases in Iraq (as we have all over Europe and Asia) as long as soldiers were out of harms way.

    Yes, these soldiers died under a Republican administration, and yes it is a tragedy, but nothing you have said has any bearing on the actual facts on the ground at present.

    The solution that will bring the soldiers home is to continue training the Iraqi Army and security forces and continue to allow them to take the lead in security operations. Exactly what we are doing. We have to ensure that the Kurdish area will not attempt to break away when we leave as well as that will enrage Turkey.

    The path we are on now is the correct path to follow. It will bring about stability as more and more Iraqi's take the lead on security missions (as they have been doing). Iraqi citizens are more apt to listen to Iraqi security forces when they take the lead than to American soldiers on patrol. That said we must maintain a presence to train them in a climate of stability. The average Iraqi citizen has all but rejected Al Quada at this point as well and is willing to give the Iraqi government a chance to work. Why is it that we are not?
     
  11. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Supporters of the Iraq war have continually tried to compare Iraq with WW II. First it was..Saddam is just like Hitler (sure he was) now it's the we've been in Europe for over 60 years, why not Iraq? It's not analogous in any way shape or form.

    As for Asia, notice we're not in Vietnam, that's because we got our asses kicked. That appears to be the only way to get us to leave from anywhere.

    It has a big bearing, at least the American people think so, witness Bush's record low approval ratings and the loss of Congress by the GOP. Only one good thing has come out of this so far, the vast majority of voters have finally seen the murderous thuggery present in the Bush Administration.

    I've been hearing almost everything you said word for word over and over again. Trouble is the goal posts keep getting moved. First it was those elusive WMDs, then it was about regime change, now it's all about stability for the Iraqi government. Could it be the real truth is that the American imperialists don't really want to come home? Well not until Exxon Mobil says the oil fields are dry anyway.

    About a week and a half ago, 31 Iraqi legislators, representing a majority of the Iraq Parliament, expressed "widespread disapproval of the proposed U.S.-Iraq security agreement if it does not include a specific timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. military troops" In other words, the Iraqi Parliament, representing the Iraqi people, wants a timetable set. Bush has always claimed we will leave when the Iraqis request we do so, want to bet that was another lie?
     
  12. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Yeah, they're really awful, especially when compared to very small number of deaths attributed to Dimocrap Presidents like James Buchanan who set the stage for the Civil War that gave us a million dead and wounded Americans, Woodrow Wilson who got us into WWI which resulted in 320,000 American servicemen killed and wounded, Franklin D. Roosevelt who got us into WWII which resulted in over 1 million dead and wounded servicemen, Harry S. Truman who got us into Korea which resulted in 140,000 dead and wounded American servicemen, and John F. Kennedy who got us into Vietnam which resulted in 211,000 dead and wounded American servicemen.

    Yup, Bush is a regular "war criminal" by those standards.:rolleyes:
     
  13. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Well we are there are we not. As the world hegemon we have to exert our influence. I have never once compared the Iraq War with WWII nor will I ever, the main point I made is that we cannot abandon our moderate arab friends in the region, and that is a foreign policy disaster. The same was true in Europe and Asia when we stayed because we had to contain Communism, there are more issues in foreign policy that simply troop presence alone.

    Are you suggesting that you want us to lose?

    In reality, and in the situation on the ground, no matter what the public approval rating is, what is happening is what I have laid out above. Like it or not, things have improved, and we need to continue to work to see that they do.


    Like I have said numerous times before, the reasons for going in were wrong, but foreign policy implications for a withdrawal are disasterous right now. We cannot leave right now. And in reality oil profits percentwise are not as large in other industries, and interestingly Exxon is actually getting out of the retail gas business. Interesting move. And if you are so averse to Exxon making money and leaving everyone else out, buy some Exxon stock, I did.

    If al-Maliki wants the US to leave, why did he go to the UN and ask for another 1 year mandate to be given to US soldiers? Further, the Iraqi legislature is composed of 275 members. I do not see how 31 is a majority of anything.
     
  14. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Uh, Popeye, the last time I checked, we WON the war in '72 by bombing the N. Vietnamese to the peace table. Saigon didn't fall until '75, because a Democrat controlled Congress reneged on our Treaty with S. Vietnam, and prevented President Ford from providing any more military support to them, after we'd already been gone for over 2 years, so exactly how did we get "our asses kicked"?

    An analogy I read on another Forum went something like this; If you and I play a doubles match of tennis and win, but 2 years later, you play a singles match against one of our former opponants, and lose, how does your loss translate into a loss for me, when I wasn't even in the game (it's kind of hard to lose a match you weren't even participating in)?
     
  15. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    I consider the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq to be statistically insignificant. Given the number and ages of our forces in Iraq, at least that many would have died from DUI wreaks, drug overdoses, muggings, driveby shootings, or just plane old accidents had those same soldiers never been sent to Iraq. It's diffinitely counter-intuitive, but, their probably safer in Iraq than on the streets of America.

    By the time we had been in Iraq for 6 months, it was easy enough to see that we couldn't leave and we can't stay. When we do eventually leave, unless we install and arm a strongman like Saddam, there will be a bloodbath on a par with the Cambodian killing fields.

    The latest U.N. estimates I've seen are that there are at least 2 million Iraqi refugess in Syria and Jordan. They can't stay where their at and have nowhere to go. Depending on whose figures you go by, there may have been upwards of half a million Iraqis killed as a result of our presence there.

    We continue to hemorage our national wealth for no clearly defined reason.

    We really got our tit caught in the ringer on this one.
     
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