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Your HOP Plan for Iraq

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Bunz, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Ok Folks, we spend a lot of time talking about and criticizing one side or the other on the Iraq issue. Your task is to hash out and come up with a plan to make Iraq a peaceful democracy by the Presidential election in 2008.

    A few things I would do.
    Remove any elected official with ties to terror groups

    Immediatly institute a local hire policy only for reconstruction jobs.
    No more western contractors doing jobs that Iraqis can do themselves and for much cheaper and safely. By giving them meaningful jobs especially the ones being taken by westerners will encourage the military aged men to lay down thier arms and pick up shovels.

    Create a dividend fund from oil revenues that will go to every Iraqi regardless of thier ethnic make up. This would be similar to the system in Alaska. Where for arguments sake, the first five years of the program %25 of petroleum revenues are set aside and invested in safe ventures, especially Iraqi ones. After 5 years, pay equal dividends to Iraqis. This gives them all a share in the oil wealth that belongs to them.

    Institute strict gun laws.
    This stems from every Iraqi home having an allowable AK-47. Now I am not a fan of gun control, but this will make it easy to identify those still wanting to engage in military action against Iraqis and Americans. If you have a gun, you are going to be arrested.

    This is a start for me, I will add more later. I am curious as to hear anyone elses thoughts on what would really make a difference in making Iraq viable.
     
  2. Abraxis Axis

    Abraxis Axis New Member

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    Id turn the whole God damned place into a sheet of glass
     
  3. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    The current strategy debate focuses too much on the military and too little on everything that has not been working. The great failures in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have been in non-combat power. Intelligence, diplomacy, economic aid, information operations, support from the civilian elements of national power.

    Military force alone cannot win the Iraq War. The civilian instruments of power are more important than the combat elements. The military can hold the line for a while but that holding the line will ultimately fail if we are not using that time to achieve progress in non-military areas.

    In my opinion, the heart of the problem is in Washington. It has been amazing to watch has been the absolute inability of our system of government to analyze the problem and react effectively. It is this collapse of capacity for effectiveness which is at the heart of our current dilemma.

    In my eyes, we must insist on defeating the enemies of America and the enemies of the Iraqi people and develop the strategies and the implementation mechanisms necessary to force victory despite the incompetence of the Iraqi government, the unreliability of Iraqi leaders, and the interference of Syria and Iran on behalf of our enemies.

    There are two ways I believe we can do this. The first would be to rely almost exclusively on about 10k Special Forces (not including air and contractors). The second, and one that I ultimately elect, is to add about 100k more troops to the sandbox immediately for a real surge.

    All things considered, I present you:

    USMC the Almighty's Iraq Strategy

    (1) Place General Petraeus in charge of the Iraq campaign and establish that the Ambassador is operating in support of the military commander.

    (2) Kill al-Sadr and the leaders of his Madhi Army. There can be no peace in Iraq without accomplishing this.

    (3) Expand the American Army and Marine Corps as much as needed to sustain the fight in Iraq while also being prepared for other contingencies and maintaining a sustainable rhythm for the families and the force. Critical to this is using the Army and USMC to prepare people better for Special OPS so we can effectively increase the number of Special Forces we have without lowering the standards.

    (4) Related to this, we need to pour as many intelligence assets into the fight as needed to develop an overwhelming advantage in intelligence preparation of the battlefield.

    (5) Develop a commander’s capacity to spend money on local activities sufficient to enable every local American commander to have substantial leverage in dealing with local communities. By this I mean throw up Wall-Marts or Nike factories in the 90% or so of Iraq that is relatively secure (i.e. not Baghdad). Give people stuff, not to mention jobs. When they have their iPods and TVs they’ll be more eager to adopt Western-style capitalism.

    (6) Establish a War Cabinet which will meet once a week to review metrics of implementation and resolve failures and enforce decisions. The President should chair the War Cabinet personally.

    (7) Communicate clearly to Syria and Iran that the United States is determined to win in Iraq and that any further interference (such as the recent reports of sophisticated Iranian explosives being sent to Iraq to target Americans) will lead to direct and aggressive countermeasures. Without this, the entire War on Terror will go in circle. We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists there. They fled to Iraq. We then follow them into Iraq and they flee to Iran and Syria. This cannot be tolerated.

    (8) Establish a jobs corps or civil conservation corps of sufficient scale to bring unemployment for males under 30 below 10%. What Giuliani did in New York is a great example of how to carry this out effectively.

    (9) Expand dramatically the integration of American purchasing power in buying from Iraqi firms pioneered by Assistant Secretary Paul Brinkley to maximize the rate of recovery of the Iraqi economy.

    (10) Demand a war budget for recapitalization of the military to continue modernization. The current national security budget is lower as a percentage of the economy than at any time from Pearl Harbor through the end of the Cold War. It is less than half the level Truman sustained before the Korean War.

    (11) The State Department is too small, too undercapitalized and too untrained for the demands of the 21st century. By my estimations, there should be a 50% increase in the State Department budget and a profound rethinking of the culture and systems of the State Department so it can be an operationally effective system.

    (12) Under our Constitution it is impossible to have this scale of rethinking and reform without deep support from the legislative branch. Without Republican Senator Arthur Vandenburg, Democratic President Harry Truman (with Kennan) could never have developed the containment policies that saved freedom and ultimately defeated the Soviet Empire. The President should ask the bipartisan leaders of Congress to cooperate in establishing a joint Legislative-Executive working group on winning the war and should openly brief the legislative branch on the problems which are weakening the American system abroad. Only by educating and informing the Congress can we achieve the level of mutual understanding and mutual commitment that this long hard task will require.
     
  4. Napoleon

    Napoleon New Member

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    1. Social Services - We need to increase our spending on their social services, such as electricity, water, food, education, and healthcare, and have a little chat with the World Bank and international community about why they haven't ponied up the vast majority of their loans and pledges from the Madrid Conference on Reconstruction. Socially and politically stable nations don't have a 15% rate of malnutrition, less than 8 hours of electricity per day, and dire need of sanitary water.

    2. Economy - We need to stimulate the agricultural and industrial industries. This can partially be achieved by providing jobs and contracting Iraqi businesses for their reconstruction instead of foreign ones.

    3. Government - We need to pressure the Iraqi government to take on more pressing issues than their pay and benefit packages. Someone needs to remind them that their people and our people are dying out there while they bicker over how much money they'll be making. A time table needs to be set for these issues. They don't like it? Tough. They can see what it's like trying to hold sessions of parliament without the protection of coalition troops.


    4. Security - Hand over the bulk of security to the Iraqi forces with coalition forces supporting them. Emphasis should be placed on securing their borders and conducting appropriate building-to-building searches for banned materials and wanted persons.
     
  5. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    I think we should place several IHOPs in Iraq, the influx of pancakes to their backwards culture should bring great advancement.
     
  6. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    This is where we depart ways. This strategy relies on the Iraqis somehow magically improving their performance in a very short time period. Yet the argument for staying in Iraq is that it is a vital AMERICAN interest. If we are seeking victory in Iraq because it is vital to America then we need a strategy which will win even if our Iraqi allies are inadequate. We did not rely on the free French to defeat Nazi Germany. We did not rely on the South Koreans to stop North Korea and China during the Korean War. When it mattered to American vital interests we accepted all the help we could get but we made sure we had enough strength to win on our own if need be.

    To me, the supreme importance of victory cannot be allowed to rest with the efforts of a new, weak, untested and inexperienced government and military force while we are risking American lives.
     
  7. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    I recommend reading Harry Summers' On Strategy, a detailed dissection of what went wrong in Vietnam. Most of the problems with Vietnam (the lack of a coherent national objective, poor communication with the American people, an excessive focus on counterinsurgency, etc.) are applicable to Iraq, as well.

    (Summers makes no moral judgments about Vietnam; he simply states what needed to be done in order to have won. That's why the book is so useful).
     
  8. rmbarron

    rmbarron New Member

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    On this I have to agree with USMC the Almighty. His military proscription is harsh, but rational. Personally, I feel that the only way to resolve the dilema is to withdraw entirely and allow the country to self-destruct and rebuild. However, it can't be done for a couple of reasons. First, the American electorate would never be able to tolerate the inevitable genocide that would follow. Any party that allowed that to happen would be commiting suicide. Secondly, the moment Iraq starts to go to pot, Iran will undoubtedly step in and establish itself as the main power in the region. Since, in my humble opinion, preventing this is the reason we went to war in the first place, this will never happen. So, seeing as withdrawl is not an option, the only alternative would be full remorseless commital.
     
  9. rmbarron

    rmbarron New Member

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    Genius!!! :eek:
     
  10. Napoleon

    Napoleon New Member

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    This isn't a battle that we can or should win. This is a battle for the Iraqis to win and if the United States would stop coddling them they might be more prepared. The Iraqi security forces are capable of handling operations with our support.

    Right and we all know how well that turned out. 57 years later and we're still there and have only achieved a ceasefire which is tenuous at best.

    How does taking on the role of occupier convince the Iraqis that we're working in their best interest?
     
  11. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    Oh it said HOP plan, I misread that...carry on.
     
  12. rmbarron

    rmbarron New Member

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    This is a flawed argument. The problem that our political leadership has failed to give a clear strategic mission for the troops. If they would buck up and lay it out in simple terms (i.e. establish a buffer state against Iran, or drive Islamist parties out of the region) then the Military can and should succeed at its goals, provided it is given the leverage to do whatever it takes to do the job.


    Who said we were working in the Iraqi's best interest? We're over there to secure American power in the region and maintain access to vital natural resources. These are our interests, not theirs. If we can secure a government thats even marginally less oppressive than Hussiens than great for them. If not, it doesn't change American interests in the region.
     
  13. Napoleon

    Napoleon New Member

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    The United States military is not capable of quashing the centuries of religious and ethnic tension in Iraq which is causing this mess.


    If we were really interested in Iraq's resources then we wouldn't be EXPORTING oil to them. An independent and stable Iraq is whats in our best interest. Not indefinite occupation.
     
  14. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    A few things I have noticed and am glad of, nobody has said the war is going fine it is the media portrayal of it that is causing the problem.
    I agree with an earlier statement that Al-Sadr needs to be removed from the scene.
    I also agree with having local military commanders with some "petty cash" that is dispersable at what is convenient to them for the needs of local population.
    The State Dept. needs to be more involved but I dont think this is from a lack of them being interested. The focus of this endeavour we have been led into has been a military one. The military is good for only one thing, that is military operations. We cant expect a hammer to cut wood properly. We need all sorts of different tools to make this work.
    Economic development is still the key to making this work if it is possible at all. Jobs and therefore money give people the reason to stop fighting. When given opportunity people will have the chance to flourish. If I was a 26 year old guy in Iraq, my job opportunities consist of joining the police or military force, join a religious/secular militia or to have an opportunity through friends or family for a non-fighting job. There are people being hired from western countries to do such work as clerical, child care, construction, accounting, and health care of which the Iraqis could be filling those jobs. There would be nothing more that would piss me off to see a white guy driving a truck for $80k USD a year. When an Iraqi person could just as easily do that job.
    Also along with boosting their petroleum production, we need to boost thier agriculture production.
     
  15. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Bunz, so you pretty much exactly agree with me?
     
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