Handing Iraq back to Al Qaeda: How do our Iraq war vets feel about that?

GBFan

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You stated: "The current Pentagon estimate for the complete subjugation of the Middle East - from Syria to Pakistan - is 2.6 years. THAT is the tactical military solution." I am running with your language here. Please clarify if I am misreading your position.

I haven't taken a position - but I will. I merely posited that the ultimate tactical military solution is to overwhelm the whole region. I did not propose that we do that ... My position is forthcoming.

I do want to know your position on what you advocate for in Iraq. Please share.

It's not an excuse -- it is reality. I'll withhold further comments until I hear your response to what should be done.

Finally!

Let's start with the basics - there are three questions to be asked about Iraq.

1) Should we have gone into Iraq in the first place?

2) Once we were there, should we have left when we did?

3) What do we do now?

Let's handle each separately.

1) Should we have gone into Iraq in the first place?

Democrats have attempted to portray the invasion of Iraq as a 'grab for oil' or 'payback for his old man' or 'nation building' (with all its negative connotations).

They fail, of course, to recognize that the real threat in the Middle East has been, and will continue to be, Iran. Iran has, unquestionably, been the perpetrator and impetus behind most, if not all, of the unrest, upheaval, and terrorism in the area. It is politically expedient for them to stick their heads in the sand, and ignore the interrelationships of actions in that area. We can discuss this, at length, but for purposes of this discussion, let's just assume that, if one is to support resolution of the issues in the Middle East, any plan must consider Iran, and its response. Let's assume that we all recognize that Iran is the ultimate target for change. In order to do that, we must be able to apply pressure to Iran's military and economic capability.

So, we have a country (Iraq) that has murdered its own citizens, gassed its enemies (both foreign and domestic), suppressed the will of the people, attacked its neighbor, and actively supported terrorism. In addition, it just happens to be located on the western border of Iran.

One of the things you learn in Strategy 101 is that, if you disrupt the supply and logistics routes, you can isolate the enemy. Consider the demographics of the area - on the western side of Iraq, we have access to Kuwait to use as a logistics support for our military action. Iraq, on the other hand, is immediately adjacent to Iran - the ultimate target of any strategic program.

East of Iran lies Afghanistan - controlling Afghanistan controls any logistics path from the east. So, if we can control Iraq, control Afghanistan, and control the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, we can logistically isolate Iran. Controlling Iraq serves two purposes - the publicly stated purpose of humanitarian support to the Iraqi people, and the unannounced purpose of placing us in an enhanced strategic position vis a vis Iran.

Liberals, of course, seem to be unable to understand the concept of intended (and unintended) consequences. They only see as far as the next move. It is this shortcoming that causes the current administration to be continually, and constantly, 'surprised' when things happen.

If you would like to discuss "Why we invaded Iraq" in greater depth, I suggest a separate thread.

2) Once we were there, should we have left when we did?

The answer, as is becoming more and more obvious daily, is an unequivocal no. Our departure was a domestic political decision, without regard for the impact in Iraq and internationally. If we remember, one of Obama's campaign promises was to be out of Iraq by December 2011. This promise, of course, was made without consultation with DoD or military leaders - who vigorously opposed the idea.

Some didn't agree -- some predicted our departure would create EXACTLY what we have today.
But, the current regime could not be dissuaded from fulfilling its campaign promise to its most extreme base.

Look at what is happening today, and tell me we did the right thing.

Again, if you wish to discuss this question in greater depth, I suggest a thread that will focus on just that.

3) What do we do now?

With that, we FINALLY get to what I think we should do.

I think we should embark on a three pronged approach.

a) We should provide immediate, and complete, air support to the Iraqi army to stem the advances of the ISIS troops. That support should be a no holds barred, complete destruction of ISIS military efforts. We must be willing to kill their supporters as well as their troops. It is not enough to establish a no-fly zone over Iraq - we must actively participate, and support, Iraq counter-insurgency efforts.

b) We should immediately attack ISIS support facilities, to include a a defined subset inside Iran. We must demonstrate to Iran that they are to stay out of it, that they will pay the price for fomenting the attacks on Iraq. For all its bluster, Iran is unwilling to go toe-to-toe with the US, and we need to press that advantage. Further, there must be an advertised and very public commitment to attacking Iran command and control facilities if they don't back off. Again, that won't be necessary, because Iran doesn't have the capability to defend their C&C structure. (Oh, by the way, if that announced campaign included a discussion about Iranian 'nuclear power' facilities, that probably would serve our purposes as well).

c) We should begin discussion with ALL the political players in Iraq, in an attempt to negotiate a compromise that will establish a government that represents ALL the players. It's amazing how pliable people can be when the hordes are pounding on the door. This compromise should include placement of a contingent of US military support personnel, whether they be training or intelligence support. BUT - they will only be placed in-country a) after all political elements agree, b) the ISIS attacks are repelled, and c) completion of a long-term SOFA agreement.

------------------------------

A side note: Now watch all the one sentence responses from the left on a very complex issue - it will be attacks on me personally, or dismissal in 4 words or less. No alternatives, no substantive discussion - just noise.
 
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BigRob

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1) Should we have gone into Iraq in the first place?

Democrats have attempted to portray the invasion of Iraq as a 'grab for oil' or 'payback for his old man' or 'nation building' (with all its negative connotations).

They fail, of course, to recognize that the real threat in the Middle East has been, and will continue to be, Iran. Iran has, unquestionably, been the perpetrator and impetus behind most, if not all, of the unrest, upheaval, and terrorism in the area. It is politically expedient for them to stick their heads in the sand, and ignore the interrelationships of actions in that area. We can discuss this, at length, but for purposes of this discussion, let's just assume that, if one is to support resolution of the issues in the Middle East, any plan must consider Iran, and its response. Let's assume that we all recognize that Iran is the ultimate target for change. In order to do that, we must be able to apply pressure to Iran's military and economic capability.

So, we have a country (Iraq) that has murdered its own citizens, gassed its enemies (both foreign and domestic), suppressed the will of the people, attacked its neighbor, and actively supported terrorism. In addition, it just happens to be located on the western border of Iran.

One of the things you learn in Strategy 101 is that, if you disrupt the supply and logistics routes, you can isolate the enemy. Consider the demographics of the area - on the western side of Iraq, we have access to Kuwait to use as a logistics support for our military action. Iraq, on the other hand, is immediately adjacent to Iran - the ultimate target of any strategic program.

East of Iran lies Afghanistan - controlling Afghanistan controls any logistics path from the east. So, if we can control Iraq, control Afghanistan, and control the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, we can logistically isolate Iran. Controlling Iraq serves two purposes - the publicly stated purpose of humanitarian support to the Iraqi people, and the unannounced purpose of placing us in an enhanced strategic position vis a vis Iran.

Liberals, of course, seem to be unable to understand the concept of intended (and unintended) consequences. They only see as far as the next move. It is this shortcoming that causes the current administration to be continually, and constantly, 'surprised' when things happen.

If you would like to discuss "Why we invaded Iraq" in greater depth, I suggest a separate thread.

You are now speaking a language I can understand, and spelling out some solid, strategic interests I can agree with. We should start a new thread, but I have to take issue with some comments here. I think it is somewhat misleading to say we should have gone into Iraq (and Afghanistan) just to contain Iran - which seems to be your point. We went into Afghanistan because of 9/11, and we went into Iraq based on a case (mostly) against WMD's. We can reframe the question to "what are the additional benefits of being in Iraq after we were there", in which case I can agree with you, but I think it is a weak argument to say the reason we invaded Iraq was to contain Iran.

2) Once we were there, should we have left when we did?

The answer, as is becoming more and more obvious daily, is an unequivocal no. Our departure was a domestic political decision, without regard for the impact in Iraq and internationally. If we remember, one of Obama's campaign promises was to be out of Iraq by December 2011. This promise, of course, was made without consultation with DoD or military leaders - who vigorously opposed the idea.

Some didn't agree -- some predicted our departure would create EXACTLY what we have today.
But, the current regime could not be dissuaded from fulfilling its campaign promise to its most extreme base.

Look at what is happening today, and tell me we did the right thing.

Again, if you wish to discuss this question in greater depth, I suggest a thread that will focus on just that.

The December 2011 deadline was set and ratified by the Iraqi Parliament before Obama even took office, so to some extent let's not lay blame at his feet solely for that. That said, Obama (or Biden rather) showed what a pathetic (perhaps intentionally?) negotiator he was by being unable to reach a new status of forces agreement that would give American soldiers immunity - an absolute must.

I agree with Romney 100% on his comments, but we should note how he ends his comments - "as long as there is a reasonable prospect of that occurring." I have to say, with Maliki's current government, I am not sure that "reasonable prospect" exists.

3) What do we do now?

With that, we FINALLY get to what I think we should do.

I think we should embark on a three pronged approach.

a) We should provide immediate, and complete, air support to the Iraqi army to stem the advances of the ISIS troops. That support should be a no holds barred, complete destruction of ISIS military efforts. We must be willing to kill their supporters as well as their troops. It is not enough to establish a no-fly zone over Iraq - we must actively participate, and support, Iraq counter-insurgency efforts.

Agree 100% as already stated. Air strikes should immediately be on the table to stop ISIS.

b) We should immediately attack ISIS support facilities, to include a a defined subset inside Iran. We must demonstrate to Iran that they are to stay out of it, that they will pay the price for fomenting the attacks on Iraq. For all its bluster, Iran is unwilling to go toe-to-toe with the US, and we need to press that advantage. Further, there must be an advertised and very public commitment to attacking Iran command and control facilities if they don't back off. Again, that won't be necessary, because Iran doesn't have the capability to defend their C&C structure. (Oh, by the way, if that announced campaign included a discussion about Iranian 'nuclear power' facilities, that probably would serve our purposes as well).

I don't agree - and I'd be extremely wary about openly conducting air raids into Iran. Iran certainly is not going to go toe-to-toe with the United States, I think we agree there. But Iran doesn't have to go toe-to-toe with us to be more than a serious problem for us. How do you believe Iran will react to American airstrikes on their soil? Certainly you don't believe they will just do nothing - or do you? I'd be interested to hear what you believe their reaction would be. I do not believe they will shrug it off because they don't want to fight a convention war with us.

Another point is that ISIS is a Sunni "insurgency". Iran (like Iraq) is majority Shiite. I'm very concerned by the concept that in order to stop, what frankly appears to be, a limited Sunni insurgency we would need to bomb Iranian command and control facilities as well as potential Iranian nuclear sites. I do not see the connection. Iran doesn't want to see Iraq overrun by ISIS any more than we do.

c) We should begin discussion with ALL the political players in Iraq, in an attempt to negotiate a compromise that will establish a government that represents ALL the players. It's amazing how pliable people can be when the hordes are pounding on the door. This compromise should include placement of a contingent of US military support personnel, whether they be training or intelligence support. BUT - they will only be placed in-country a) after all political elements agree, b) the ISIS attacks are repelled, and c) completion of a long-term SOFA agreement.

What size force - and what specific purpose? And do you believe that ISIS alone (especially after they are defeated) would be enough to overcome the immunity issues which were such a major roadblock to getting a new SOFA agreement in 2011?
 

pocketfullofshells

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Day late and a dollar short now. Then did plan before but things are fluid and plan is a continual process.
who planned Bush Co? lol please their plan was we go in find the WMD and then take the oil and its over in a few months, cake walk.....we don't need a plan to actuly hold the nation together like those crazy liberals keep talking about.
 

pocketfullofshells

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You are now speaking a language I can understand, and spelling out some solid, strategic interests I can agree with. We should start a new thread, but I have to take issue with some comments here. I think it is somewhat misleading to say we should have gone into Iraq (and Afghanistan) just to contain Iran - which seems to be your point. We went into Afghanistan because of 9/11, and we went into Iraq based on a case (mostly) against WMD's. We can reframe the question to "what are the additional benefits of being in Iraq after we were there", in which case I can agree with you, but I think it is a weak argument to say the reason we invaded Iraq was to contain Iran.



The December 2011 deadline was set and ratified by the Iraqi Parliament before Obama even took office, so to some extent let's not lay blame at his feet solely for that. That said, Obama (or Biden rather) showed what a pathetic (perhaps intentionally?) negotiator he was by being unable to reach a new status of forces agreement that would give American soldiers immunity - an absolute must.

I agree with Romney 100% on his comments, but we should note how he ends his comments - "as long as there is a reasonable prospect of that occurring." I have to say, with Maliki's current government, I am not sure that "reasonable prospect" exists.



Agree 100% as already stated. Air strikes should immediately be on the table to stop ISIS.



I don't agree - and I'd be extremely wary about openly conducting air raids into Iran. Iran certainly is not going to go toe-to-toe with the United States, I think we agree there. But Iran doesn't have to go toe-to-toe with us to be more than a serious problem for us. How do you believe Iran will react to American airstrikes on their soil? Certainly you don't believe they will just do nothing - or do you? I'd be interested to hear what you believe their reaction would be. I do not believe they will shrug it off because they don't want to fight a convention war with us.

Another point is that ISIS is a Sunni "insurgency". Iran (like Iraq) is majority Shiite. I'm very concerned by the concept that in order to stop, what frankly appears to be, a limited Sunni insurgency we would need to bomb Iranian command and control facilities as well as potential Iranian nuclear sites. I do not see the connection. Iran doesn't want to see Iraq overrun by ISIS any more than we do.



What size force - and what specific purpose? And do you believe that ISIS alone (especially after they are defeated) would be enough to overcome the immunity issues which were such a major roadblock to getting a new SOFA agreement in 2011?


I think saying going into Iraq was to hold Back Iran is a weak argument, is a bit of a Understatment. Iraq was the greatest gift the US could have given Iran. Iraq the Day Saddam fell went from a Sunni Mortal Enemy of Iran, to a Shia State with lots of high end ties to Iran, that Iran has used to great effect in South Iraq.

I don't agree that Air stikes should or would stop the ISIS, being that Our Air would be going in with at least right now, poor intel ( getting better with drones in the air) No one on the ground, and a relitivly small amount of great targets. Possibly able to get them trying to make a large move from city to the next, but for the most part they are well blended in, with many of them and their supporters living in the city already. Drone strikes, and maybe A-10's would be about the max I would think would be useful in many areas...I would think we would not want to send in blackhawks , that while would do very well, would be a horrible problem if one where to be shot down...having no ground forces in Iraq.

as far as his idea of hitting Iraq...I guess someone here, GB just wants a far bigger war. Because yea I agree, Iran does not sit back on that and take it. Iran could devistate the US Econ if it wanted, and hit accross the world US interests....pretty quickly. sure we would recover, but the quick hit if they closed the shipping lanes off would hurt bad here. I also have no idea why he wants to Bomb Shia Iran to stop Sunni insurgants who if the US did nothing, Iran would most likey start sending proxy fighters and arms to stop in the first place.

I contend that this will be largly on Iraq to figure out a way to solve...at best we can be support...After all this time, if Iraq can't even take care of this Militarily Iraq is pretty much gone I think as a state...The Kurds will ignore the Goverment as it will see it offers nothing, Iran will take the south and the North Central Suni Areas will be nothing but a Islamist terror network like Parts of Pakistan.

I for the life of me have no idea what so many expected to happen from the day we first put troops in, to when we left after we wanted out, they wanted us out...And somehow now its Obamas Fault Iraq can't run its nation.
 

Texas_tea

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because they are not idiots....But I am sure your enjoying it...what do you care if Muslims kill other Muslims
No .... they are not idiots. All is going as planned. Al Qaeda is growing stronger and will soon conquer all of Iraq. The Taliban now has its' top 4 star generals back on the battlefield.

And, it is not just muslims they are killing. It's Christians too and anyone who resist their brutal takeover. And, moreover they will not stop in Iraq!
 

pocketfullofshells

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No .... they are not idiots. All is going as planned. Al Qaeda is growing stronger and will soon conquer all of Iraq. The Taliban now has its' top 4 star generals back on the battlefield.

And, it is not just muslims they are killing. It's Christians too and anyone who resist their brutal takeover. And, moreover they will not stop in Iraq!

you mean 4 guys who are not in fact Generals...who are in Qatar , and from Afganistan who I guess maybe you don't know, but is not Iraq. But yes Brain trust, Obama wants al Qaeda to take over Iraq....I have to wounder if your so stupid you actuly belive that...or just so full of mindless hate you pretend to belive it. If anyone gave Iraq to al Quida...is was Bush and your Iraq war...These guys where in Iraq before the war, and where going to be there after the war. But you just pretend that somehow someone else in office would have just made them just go to work and live a happy life and never fight. Pretend like you would have just kept troops in Iraq and keept fighting till the end of Time while the Iraq goverment wanted you out...Just enjoy wanting Mulisms die, I know your enjoying it.
 

GenSeneca

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They have a phrase for this .... 'circular logic'.
Saying that I have to give up my rights for the simple fact that I have them while others don't is quite circular... Pleasantly surprised you admit it.

we have an inherent responsibility to help others to gain those gifts, to be able to exercise these unalienable rights.
Again... According to who?
 

Aus22

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Most recent wars have ended either in defeat for the west or a draw. There is no hope the west could win a war in the Middle East. we re not like by either side. Thy do not want American Democracy or freedom. To aid the Shite government against the sunnies is pointless and dangerous. The Sunnis are the majority in the Middle east and will eventually win even with new borders. The Shite government of Iraq discriminates against Sunnies. While I do not favour the extreme group trying to gain power now I know that a Sunni government will eventually take effect. It is better to support the moderate sunnies but we should not send troops.

In the end the USA has no duty to the rest of the world. ill the new super power China interfere in countries outside its sphere. No. The USA should do the same.
 

GBFan

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You are now speaking a language I can understand, and spelling out some solid, strategic interests I can agree with. We should start a new thread, but I have to take issue with some comments here. I think it is somewhat misleading to say we should have gone into Iraq (and Afghanistan) just to contain Iran - which seems to be your point. We went into Afghanistan because of 9/11, and we went into Iraq based on a case (mostly) against WMD's. We can reframe the question to "what are the additional benefits of being in Iraq after we were there", in which case I can agree with you, but I think it is a weak argument to say the reason we invaded Iraq was to contain Iran.

That's not what I said --- I said that a consideration regarding our response to 9/11 focused on the big dog in the area - Iran. You can choose to believe that the only reason we went was for WMDs or for oil, but I would suggest that, while those two were part of the equation, isolation of Iran was also an influence. In addition, capturing Iraq (how naive we were - we should have known the left wouldn't let that happen) provided a buffer between most of the antagonists in the area.
The December 2011 deadline was set and ratified by the Iraqi Parliament before Obama even took office, so to some extent let's not lay blame at his feet solely for that. That said, Obama (or Biden rather) showed what a pathetic (perhaps intentionally?) negotiator he was by being unable to reach a new status of forces agreement that would give American soldiers immunity - an absolute must.

As has been stated, the December 2011 baseline was established during the Bush administration as a working target. As time got closer, Maliki made public noises asking us to leave (all for internal political consumption) while asking us to stay. All Obama had to do, if you remember, was to agree to extending the SOFA negotiation period, and it would have been approved. Maliki himself said that several times - though never to the Iraqi people. But, Obama wanted to feed meat to his extreme left base, so he tried to play hardball with Maliki - and lost. Everybody was opposed to leaving - military, State Dept, Congress - but Obama pulled the rug out from under the negotiations with his political concerns trumping security and foreign affairs issues.

I don't agree - and I'd be extremely wary about openly conducting air raids into Iran. Iran certainly is not going to go toe-to-toe with the United States, I think we agree there. But Iran doesn't have to go toe-to-toe with us to be more than a serious problem for us. How do you believe Iran will react to American airstrikes on their soil? Certainly you don't believe they will just do nothing - or do you? I'd be interested to hear what you believe their reaction would be. I do not believe they will shrug it off because they don't want to fight a convention war with us.

You greatly underestimate the timidity of the Iranian hierarchy, as well as the influence of the Iranian people. Iran, just like Saddam, know they can't win a shooting war against the US. In fact, they know they can't win one against Israel, either. While they posture and bluster, they lack both the military resources and the intestinal fortitude, to respond to the US military.

Another point is that ISIS is a Sunni "insurgency". Iran (like Iraq) is majority Shiite. I'm very concerned by the concept that in order to stop, what frankly appears to be, a limited Sunni insurgency we would need to bomb Iranian command and control facilities as well as potential Iranian nuclear sites. I do not see the connection. Iran doesn't want to see Iraq overrun by ISIS any more than we do.

Iran clearly wants Iraq destabilized. They don't want anybody to win - that's why they are playing both ends against the middle. They are providing arms and finances to ISIS, but publicly, claiming to support the duly elected Iraqi government. I would suggest that it is Iran's goal to completely throw Iraq into chaos, and then step in and save them, thus winning all the game pieces.

What size force - and what specific purpose? And do you believe that ISIS alone (especially after they are defeated) would be enough to overcome the immunity issues which were such a major roadblock to getting a new SOFA agreement in 2011?

First - I don't really think it matters much what purpose a US military force would serve - as long as we're there, Iran will behave because they are afraid to play with the big dogs. But, for conversation's sake, let's assume military advisers (for planning and tactical support) and intelligence support (to translate US-obtained intel into usable product for the Iraqi military).

As for the immunity issues - when the wolf is scratching at the door, I don't think they would be overly concerned about administrative issues. Again - this is all predicated on complete buy-in from all the relevant Iraqi elements of society. The Shiites, and the Sunnis, must come to the table - and they will, because the alternative is unacceptable. We have SOFA agreements with every country that we have troops in - it really isn't that hard. Those 'administrative issues' were merely Maliki's way of showing his countrymen that he wasn't America's lapdog.
 

BigRob

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That's not what I said --- I said that a consideration regarding our response to 9/11 focused on the big dog in the area - Iran. You can choose to believe that the only reason we went was for WMDs or for oil, but I would suggest that, while those two were part of the equation, isolation of Iran was also an influence. In addition, capturing Iraq (how naive we were - we should have known the left wouldn't let that happen) provided a buffer between most of the antagonists in the area.

Isolation of Iran might have been a convenient offshoot of just being in Iraq, but I don't think (at least I would hope it didn't) that played any real role in making the invasion decision.

As has been stated, the December 2011 baseline was established during the Bush administration as a working target. As time got closer, Maliki made public noises asking us to leave (all for internal political consumption) while asking us to stay. All Obama had to do, if you remember, was to agree to extending the SOFA negotiation period, and it would have been approved. Maliki himself said that several times - though never to the Iraqi people. But, Obama wanted to feed meat to his extreme left base, so he tried to play hardball with Maliki - and lost. Everybody was opposed to leaving - military, State Dept, Congress - but Obama pulled the rug out from under the negotiations with his political concerns trumping security and foreign affairs issues.

Even had we extended the SOFA negotiations it is unlikely there would have been much progress. The US has just botched a power sharing agreement between Maliki, Allawi, and Talabani and the insistence to get a SOFA agreement ratified by the Iraqi Parliament was basically dead on arrival - because no one would go out on a limb for keeping American soldiers in place when they were all busy jockeying for power in Iraqi government that the US had just left in shambles.

You greatly underestimate the timidity of the Iranian hierarchy, as well as the influence of the Iranian people. Iran, just like Saddam, know they can't win a shooting war against the US. In fact, they know they can't win one against Israel, either. While they posture and bluster, they lack both the military resources and the intestinal fortitude, to respond to the US military.

I don't think they would respond in some conventional war. I believe they would respond in some asymmetric manner, which depending on what they do, could be just as devastating.

Iran clearly wants Iraq destabilized. They don't want anybody to win - that's why they are playing both ends against the middle. They are providing arms and finances to ISIS, but publicly, claiming to support the duly elected Iraqi government. I would suggest that it is Iran's goal to completely throw Iraq into chaos, and then step in and save them, thus winning all the game pieces.

I think Iran clearly wanted Iraq destabilized while we were there, but I think their calculations have changed to some degree. I think they want to win in Iraq, and see a Shiite ally rise. In terms of Iran providing money and arms to ISIS, I have not heard that claim before and seen no evidence of it - can you post some proof for that?

First - I don't really think it matters much what purpose a US military force would serve - as long as we're there, Iran will behave because they are afraid to play with the big dogs. But, for conversation's sake, let's assume military advisers (for planning and tactical support) and intelligence support (to translate US-obtained intel into usable product for the Iraqi military).

As for the immunity issues - when the wolf is scratching at the door, I don't think they would be overly concerned about administrative issues. Again - this is all predicated on complete buy-in from all the relevant Iraqi elements of society. The Shiites, and the Sunnis, must come to the table - and they will, because the alternative is unacceptable. We have SOFA agreements with every country that we have troops in - it really isn't that hard. Those 'administrative issues' were merely Maliki's way of showing his countrymen that he wasn't America's lapdog.

Why are the alternatives unacceptable to all parties in Iraq?
 

GBFan

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Isolation of Iran might have been a convenient offshoot of just being in Iraq, but I don't think (at least I would hope it didn't) that played any real role in making the invasion decision.

You can be confident that, despite the caterwauling from the left, the end game was a primary consideration in our planning for a response to 9/11. That end game relied on the neutralization of terror supporting states Syria, Libya, Iran, and Iraq. Just as happens in all wars (well, the ones that are fought to the finish), the dominoes fall.

However, when the new administration took over, they didn't consider the end game - they were more interested in the interim steps to get there. It was not politically appropriate to actually fight to the end, and then help to re-mold the pieces. Instead, we substituted 'military victory' for 'complete victory' and looked for any excuse to meet Obama's campaign promises.

Everybody know that war isn't a popular activity - nobody wants to go to war. Anybody who can stop a war is going to be popular, no matter the long term impact of doing so. But, there comes a time when leaders (I use that word advisedly) must LEAD and do the right thing for the country, though it might not be the popular thing. Our current regime failed ... and failed miserably.



Even had we extended the SOFA negotiations it is unlikely there would have been much progress. The US has just botched a power sharing agreement between Maliki, Allawi, and Talabani and the insistence to get a SOFA agreement ratified by the Iraqi Parliament was basically dead on arrival - because no one would go out on a limb for keeping American soldiers in place when they were all busy jockeying for power in Iraqi government that the US had just left in shambles.

You're absolutely right ... but I would maintain that our government did everything possible to make sure those negotiations weren't successful. The SOFA wasn't on the table --- the time period for negotiation was. In other words, the Iraqi government was more than willing to allow us to stay there, and continue talking about the SOFA, just as long as they didn't have to actually sign it. That way, they could scream and holler about us leaving, without worrying about losing the safety umbrella we provided.



I don't think they would respond in some conventional war. I believe they would respond in some asymmetric manner, which depending on what they do, could be just as devastating.

Thus, my proviso that the gloves must be off .. there must be no restrictions to the proper execution of the war plan developed to reach the end game. An asymmetric attack would require an asymmetric response ... one that ensured the enemy knew the cost of such actions was way too high.

I think Iran clearly wanted Iraq destabilized while we were there, but I think their calculations have changed to some degree. I think they want to win in Iraq, and see a Shiite ally rise. In terms of Iran providing money and arms to ISIS, I have not heard that claim before and seen no evidence of it - can you post some proof for that?

You're thinking of it with the typical Western mindset. Nationality is a fiction in that part of the world - just arbitrary lines on a map. The leaders of Iran are interested in a caliphate. They want the whole area - Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan - to come together under a single leadership. And, they want that leadership to be them. Any disruption of the current power structure furthers their ultimate goal.

Now, as for Iranian support - Iran is acting as the conduit for Soviet weapons to ISIS (by the way, so is Turkey - our ally). They are purchasing those weapons, and feeding them to ISIS. While Iran's publicized function is to support the Iraqi government, their actions seem to be counter intuitive. I don't think anyone disagrees that it is in Iran's vested interests for ISIS to be defeated, but the turmoil and upheaval caused by ISIS activities in Iraq has given Iran the entree needed to involve themselves in Iraqi internal politics.

Why are the alternatives unacceptable to all parties in Iraq?

All parties are interested in their piece of the pie. Everybody concerned want two things .... 1) they want to be king of the hill, and 2) they don't want anybody else to be king of the hill. A coalition government (where everybody loses ... a little) is more acceptable than a government in which somebody wins all the marbles. If they can't have 1, they will make damn sure nobody else gets it.

In addition, they are very aware of something we studiously ignore - in Iran, as in other Muslim states, there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the current regime. Our refusal to support the dissident activities in Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Libya has set freedom back 25 years in the area. If the dissident groups were confident that we would support them - politically and financially (to include military arms) - you would see an uprising of phenomenal proportions. They thought we would - thus, Arab Spring - but when it came to nut-cutting time, we bailed on them. The vacuum was filled by the Muslim Brotherhood and other militant insurgency groups. I'm not too sure it isn't too late until the next generation.
 

Dennis Smith

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2014
Messages
3
Sorry, Dennis .... I assume you've missed something.

Al Qaeda was actively supported, and funded, by the Hussein regime. Twenty one training camps were closed during the first days of Desert Storm. Perhaps you didn't hear about Saddam paying the families of suicide bombers.

You're right ... we lost 'thousands of lives and uncounted wounded and billions of dollars ' for no good result... but, that's not because the goal was bad, or the mission was poorly executed. It is simply because our leaders at the end of the battle lost sight of the goal, and succumbed to political expediency, and quit the battlefield before the fight was over. Now, we do it again in Afghanistan.

You are also exactly right --- ISIS, or any of the others, won't sign a surrender document --- so, simply, they must be eliminated. But, our leadership doesn't have the guts to tell the American people that's what it's going to take ... so, instead, they say 'we'll just provide air cover' or 'we'll train their security troops'. Then, when that drags out, and no progress seems to be made, the American people get disillusioned - not with the military - but with the failure of leadership to give them a definable, definitive end goal.

Then, along comes the left - no war no way. Just stop - walk out - sacrifice all those people on the altar of dictatorship. Suddenly, the POLITICAL climate doesn't allow us to finish the battle. Rather, we have to turn table and run (and, frankly, we're getting damn good at THAT).

BTW - your Halliburton and Cheney comment is clearly indicative of just how influenced you have been by leftist drivel.

I'm sorry but you're totally ignorant of the facts. First,me being influenced by the left is the laugh of the day. Your reply is indicative of someone influenced by the likes of Karl Rove, which is pathetic. Have you noticed that retarded Bush has made no comments about his failure in Iraq. The truth is,you and I are poles apart. I think for myself and look at the facts. Something you're incapable of doing. As far as an alternative to Saudia Arabia's oil there is one. It's called the Canadian Pipeline. But your heroes,McConnell and Graham uphold Obama in stopping it. Your hero,Bush, was also the first one to open the floodgates on the border. Go read something besides "The Little Engine That Could" and believing every word out of Bill O'Reilly's mouth and learn to think for yourself.
 
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Texas_tea

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
5,003
Location
Great State of TEXAS
I'm sorry but you're totally ignorant of the facts. First,me being influenced by the left is the laugh of the day. Your reply is indicative of someone influenced by the likes of Karl Rove, which is pathetic. Have you noticed that retarded Bush has made no comments about his failure in Iraq. The truth is,you and I are poles apart. I think for myself and look at the facts. Something you're incapable of doing. As far as an alternative to Saudia Arabia's oil there is one. It's called the Canadian Pipeline. But your heroes,McConnell and Graham uphold Obama in stopping it. Your hero,Bush, was also the first one to open the floodgates on the border. Go read something besides "The Little Engine That Could" and believing every word out of Bill O'Reilly's mouth and learn to think for yourself.
So Al Qaeda was not operating under Hussein?

And most of the billions spent on the Iraq war went to Halliburton and Cheney?

Sorry Mr. Smith ..... despite your "personal" beef with GB, I am having a hard time in finding much credibility in your posts.
 
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