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Iraq, a master stroke of military strategy

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posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 08:59 AM
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Bush has really done a great job of overseeing the
war except in one area.

The number one strategy on the Bush team has been
to get Islamic forces in the Middle and far east
to oppose Al Qaeda. The US just does not have
the resources to enter every Islamic nation in
the world and root out terror cells within those
countries. The US is dependant on getting those
countries to "clean up their own act". The first
time this became apparent was in Afghanistan where
the US successfully got the native Islamic forces
opposing Al Qaeda (and Taliban) to fight the war
for us.

The invasion of Iraq put every country, on notice
in the middle east that the US was willing to
take decisive action and in addition to removing
Iraq as possible developer of nuclear weapons,
this invasion served up notice to all those
governments that if they did not take steps
to remove Al Qaeda and supporting groups from
their soil that they could very well hear the sounds
of M16s shortly with Americans doing it for them.

To name some other places and operations that the US is
involved with and gaining help are these areas:

Flintlock:US is training Africans for operations in
Saharan Morocco, Algeria, Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Senegal,
and Mali. One quarter of the foreign insurgents come
from Africa.

Trans Saharran counter terrorism: Saharan Morocco, Algeria,
Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Senegal,Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria.
An ongoing 5 year program training and equipping allies.

Ebony Flame: Anti Al Qaeda operations in Djibouti to
counter Al Qaeda training camps in the African horn.

Eager Tiger: Joint Jordan/US operations concerning
border security and counter terrorism.

Georgia: US has trained 2600 soldiers to fight Al Qaeda
cells in Chechnya and Uzbeckistan.

Cobra Gold: Ongoing training and cooperation with Thai
forces against Islamic radicals in Thailand.




As I have said before, the US strategy is that of getting
concerned Islamic forces to cooperate and clean up their
neighborhood, and it is working very well. Iraq, over
which everyone in the world is predicting defeat,
is working out perfectly. Iraqi forces are rather rapidly
taking over the fight, where Al Qaeda and supporters are
putting up a serious effort to recover from their blows
in Afghanistan, where they totally miscalculated. They see
their Islamic Caliphate is at stake in this fight. If they
can't pull this off, their entire strategy is proven to
be just another fool's dream.

Another area detractors cite as being a US failure is the
ongoing guerilla war, that is composed mainly of Sunni
members of the previous ruling faction. They cite
our failure to see that guerilla effort ahead of time
as a failure. They may have point there but its not much
of a point for the following reason.

Originally it was estimated that the fight would be against
the main supporters of Saddam which was the republican
guard and his other Sunni supporters. It was said that
the Shia and Kurds would side with the US. If you look
at the situation today, you see this has happened pretty
much as planned. The Sunni supporters are the main insurgents
and the Shia are training and taking on the fight, and
also taking over 90% of the casualties.

The only place we got it wrong, was that Saddam had planned
a guerilla war all along and we never saw that coming.
But did this really change anything? The smallest estimate
of the number to be killed before the war, that I heard,
was about 10,000. In fact, after nearly 3 years of
fighting we are not even approaching that number. Part
of the small killed number could well be because Saddam
made the decision to do a guerilla war, and a guerilla
war was just as bad or worse choice than conventional war.
He really did not have the support or sanctuary necessary
to fight a guerilla war. Also he did not have the
support of the majority of his population to do that,
which is proven by the fact that Iraqis are taking over
the effort to put down the guerilla war. To do a
guerilla war you need the support of the people, and
you need a good sanctuary and supply for the troops.
None of these are present sufficiently for success
in this effort. Saddam knew that the US lost
a guerilla war in Vietnam, and being the military
genius he is, decided that was his strategy. The only
problem was that he never had any inkling of what is
required to carry on a successful guerilla war. Our
intel never did detect anything in this area and our
military leaders did not figure Saddam was stupid
enough to try a guerilla war with none of the required
support present. If he had just made an all-out
conventional war he might possibly inflicted many
more casualties, but even he was smart enough to
know that he was going to be defeated there, and
came up with idiotic plan B. This guerilla war
may take a little longer but it is quite possible
that it has actually kept the casualty rate down
for us.

I cannot name another war in our history that has been
more successful. The casualty rate is so low that
you could name just a few American cities that have a sum
total of more murdered per year than we are being killed
now in Iraq. With the total murder rate for the US being
near 20,000 per year, I wonder why we haven't heard Cindy
Sheehan demanding the US get out of America, NOW! After
2 years and 8 months of fighting, we still have not
lost as many in battle as we lost in the initial attack
on the WTC. As far as wars go, I have to say this
one shapes up to be the most successful one we have
ever fought. During the last 100 years our wars were
WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, gulf war I. The only
one that had fewer causalities was gulf war I.
Although we lost fewer people in gulf war I, the common
criticism was that we did not finish it. They have a good point,
and it appears that history is not going to repeat
the mistake of letting this regime continue on with
their mischief.

Another point to remember is this. This war is now
won in so far as our original purpose was concerned.
The ones predicting defeat have totally missed this.
Our original purpose was to insure that Iraq was
not hiding a nuclear development program that could
be revived at some future date. This has been
accomplished. In this respect, we could pull out
today and have accomplished our original purpose.
So victory is done in this sense. Pulling out
now though would be repeating the mistake of gulf war I.
Besides that, we really would gain much hatred throughout
the Muslim world for destroying the place then leaving it
in total disarray and the resulting civil war. This
hatred would be very pronounced among the Iraqi Muslims,
as they would inevitably fall into a power vacuum,
large civil war, and who knows what type of regime
to follow. The following regime might even be
the jihadist government, that Al Qaeda is trying
to sell. If that happened, then we would have
really lost the war, after all the prime goal of Al
Qaeda, who started all this trouble, is the
establishment of jihadist governments throughout the
Islamic world and possibly more later.

After WWII, the US stayed the course and oversaw the setup
of democratic governments in Germany and Japan. Under
these new governments these two countries became the most
successful economies in their spheres of the world. They
also became friends and allies that have endured for
more than 50 years. The first couple years after
the war with Germany and Japan were also very difficult,
with many things going wrong. But the effort to
finish it proved to be the best effort we spent in
that war.

The effort to train and turn this over to Iraqis is
going well. Even with the heavy losses to the Iraqi
army and police, the volunteers for them increases
as the Iraqis are seeing that they can succeed.
If progress proceeds as it has, then it will probably
be stabilized with Iraqis in full control within
a year, and with them carrying 100% of the casualty
rate. If the casualty rate continues the present
trend, the US toll will still be under 3000 by the
time it is stabilized. That number is still below
the figure for what we lost on day one. That is
phenomenal when you consider that it will have
included over 3 years of war, and it will still be under
the original estimate of casualties. For someone
to say that we are losing this war, you have to ask
them, just what does it take to make a victory?
I guess their answer would be "total surrender before
the first shot is fired".

.










[edit on 4-11-2005 by MajorCee]

[edit on 4-11-2005 by MajorCee]




posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 10:07 AM
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After the fall of Germany in WWII, nazi insurgents would run wire across roads that were traveled by American soldiers on jeeps. If you remember the old Whellis jeeps had windshields that would fold down on the hood.
Service men were literally be-headed until they began to rig
a device on the front of thier jeeps to snag the wires. What we are seeing
in Iraq with the IED's is nothing new. It has happened in every conquered
country since the beginning of warfare. As Irag takes over thier own security and the people of Irag take back control of their lives, this will subside. Anyway you try to look at our reason for invading Irag, the undeniable fact is we created a front in the enemies backyard. It was
an offensive military move to place the enemy on the defensive.

[edit on 4-11-2005 by Yorga]



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 10:58 AM
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MajorCee, Jorga, would you both be willing to give some of your historical background? Clearly neither one of you are "arm-chair soldiers" as they say, and would like to know more about how you'd gotten such rich and brilliant knowledge on the topics.

I think a lot of us in this country are lacking the experience to stand up and make speeches on why we should or should not be involved in international affairs. When the president said we were going into Iraq, my prevailing thought was, "I hope he's right". When people ask me about what I think of the war, my answer usually is, "I don't see what the president sees, so I don't know. I believe he believes he's doing the right thing." It's not a cop-out, I'm honestly too ignorant on the topic to form an opinion and would much rather point to someone who know first-hand. All the information here has helped provide motive to the big picture so for that I'm very grateful. What else can I say? Except, more more more!

By the way MajorCee, if you do write a book on this, could I have a signed copy when I buy it?

Pray, train, study,
God bless.

[edit on 4-11-2005 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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MajorCee,
It's nice that you have enough time on your hands to write such an impressively lengthy post, but you might have put a little more thought into the part where you think about what you're trying to say.

To aver that George Bush planned any part of what's happening in Iraq is the equivalent of someone who flips a ball over their shoulder, hits the basket and says "I meant to do that". Only problem is that instead of two points, we've gotten two thousand brave young Americans dead.

The notion that creating a worldwide terror battlefield in Iraq is basically saying that the world is ours to do what we will. Do you think we might have checked with the Iraqis before we decided to use their homes as our mosh pit? According to Department of Defense documents, less than 10 percent of the insurgents fighting us in Iraq are from somewhere besides Iraq. The statements by the Bush Administration that they're foreign fighters is another lie.

According to statements made by the men in the White House who are prosecuting the war, Cheney and Rumsfeld, none of this was supposed to happen. We were supposed to hit downtown Baghdad, have all the Iraqis shower our forces with flowers, then march home with Saddam's head on a pike. It hasn't worked out that way, has it?

The fact that less than 35% of Americans believe George Bush is doing a good job, and fewer than 30% believe we should stay in Iraq tells you that except for a hard-core of idiots, most Americans believe the whole thing was a big mistake. Trying to spin it as strategic brilliance at this point is a little bit silly, no matter how many words you employ doing it.



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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After the fall of Germany in WWII, nazi insurgents would run wire across roads that were traveled by American soldiers on jeeps. If you remember the old Whellis jeeps had windshields that would fold down on the hood.


According to every source I have read, the Werewolf "insurgency" never materialized, and the sum total of US combat casulaties in Germany after the surrender was zero. None. They killed the mayor of Aachen and pulled some other stunts during the Allied march into Germany, but ceased to exist almost immediately after the surrender. There was no postwar insurgency in Germany, though it was planned. Like so many of the NAZI's schemes, nothing much ever came of it. Somehow though it has become an article of faith on rightwing blog sites that they were killing scores of US soldiers long after the surrender. The ony problem is that it isn't true...

The right's obsession with comparing Iraq and the WoT to WW2 is absurd. They were both wars, that's about where the similarity ends...

[edit on 11/4/05 by xmotex]



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by microcosm
Hey MajorCee,

Saint4God isn't the only one that enjoys your posts. I love reading your posts. They're very well written, easily understood, and dispel alot of the myths, and rumors that are thrown around as solid fact. Your posts also give an alternate detailed analysis towards the current situation in Iraq. Great work, keep it up. W.A.T.S. for sure.



Im with Micro here, this is a great post.


Maximu§



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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After re-reading my last post I realize that it was misleading in that I said that many service men were be-headed. I have since gone back and edited that statement to say that service men were beheaded. I apologize for the slight error, but the statement stands as fact. Wire was strung up for the purpose of killing Allied soldiers and the jeeps were modified with a pole placed on the front bumper to snag and break the wire. The 'Werewolf' insurgency as was mentioned on an earlier post was more of a hinderance than a threat but it did exists from prior to the end of the war and upto and during the Nuernberg Trials. The lack of combat casualty info is due to the fact that the war in Europe was over and any deaths would not been seen as combat related. I was merely using it as an example that in most cases when there is an occupying force in a conquered territory then you have to expect this sort of thing. It happened in Post WII Germany and Japan.

[edit on 4-11-2005 by Yorga]



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 02:18 PM
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Actually there is justification in comparing Iraq to Germany. Both countries were ruled by ruthless dictators. Both countries used terror and murder to control its citizens. Both Dictators surrounded themselves with a tight nit group of trusted family members and life long friends. Both men murdered anyone they dimmed a threat. Both countries abducted and murdered politcal prisoners. Both men murdered innocent minorities in Saddams case
the Kurds and Marsh Arabs and we are still uncovering mass graves. Both countries bullyed or attacked their neighbors. Altough I admit that Saddam and his Ba'ath party were not quite the bastards that Hitler and his Nazi's turned out to be, there are lots of similarities. But in an attempt to try and keep my post short and to the point I'll stop here.



posted on Nov, 4 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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You have voted MajorCee for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


I dont post here but its nice to see some polite people who can actually give a good argument with the abscence of flames or cheap jabs. The only thing Bush has failed to do so far in this war is getting the peoples support. He probably believes that the people are too stupid to comprehend any strategy that occupying Iraq has. It goes back to that saying that alot of people say, "better to fight them there, then over here."



posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 08:08 AM
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It's kind of interesting the attempts to rebut what
I have said. It must be pretty hard to rebut, because
I have not heard one rebuttal that has any merit.

One thing a rebutter does that doesn't have facts is to
pretend that the adversary said something and then
argues against what he pretended the adversary said.
Cypher tried this ploy early on in this thread, and
I pointed out as much in my reply.

Lets take vuoto's example. Vuoto has now tried this age
old trick of changing my words so he/she would have a
comeback. Look at this claim made by vuoto of what I
said:

============================================
.....to aver that George Bush planned any part of what's
happening in Iraq is the equivalent of someone who
flips a ball over their shoulder........
============================================

Now notice what I said in my original post:

========================
Well maybe not a master stroke, and maybe George
was not a genius but just smart enough to take his
military experts advice on how to conduct the war,
========================


and in another spot I said:
============================
In actual fact, a primary purpose in Iraq was
denial of nuclear weapons to this regime, but
in addition, a major windfall has come about
that has side tracked Al Qaeda from their original
script and now has them pitted against Iraqi
Shiites.
===========================


So you can see from my original post the things I said were
in no way what is professed by this individual. The things I
said were exactly the opposite. But there he/she is arguing
with what is pretended that I said. You see what is happening here
is that this individual really can't refute the subject matter
as I presented it so they have attempted to change the fact
of how I presented it. Notice also this weak rebuttal doesn't
make any argument of how the war's strategy was mishandled.
They only make the point that public polls show that it
is not being handled well. Does this mean we should conduct our
strategy by public poll, instead of letting our military minds
handle it?




Now in another area this individual points out that our
leadership had proclaimed:
===========================
the men in the White House who are
prosecuting the war, Cheney and Rumsfeld, none of this was supposed to
happen. We were supposed to hit downtown Baghdad, have all the Iraqis
shower our forces with flowers, then march home with Saddam's head on a
pike.
===========================



Well now I ask you, how effectively has this individual refuted
anything I said? I had already covered this point in my very last
post where I said the following:
=============================
Another area detractors cite as being a US failure is the
ongoing guerilla war, that is composed mainly of Sunni
members of the previous ruling faction. They cite
our failure to see that guerilla effort ahead of time
as a failure. They may have a point there but its not much
of a point for the following reason.

Originally it was estimated that the fight would be against
the main supporters of Saddam which was the republican
guard and his other Sunni supporters. It was said that
the Shia and Kurds would side with the US. If you look
at the situation today, you see this has happened pretty
much as planned. The Sunni supporters are the main insurgents
and the Shia are training and taking on the fight, and
also taking over 90% of the casualties.

The only place we got it wrong, was that Saddam had planned
a guerilla war all along and we never saw that coming.
But did this really change anything?
====================================

As you can see I had already pointed out that mistake.
I also pointed out that it had not really changed the
situation that much. Notice also that this rebutter
has taken the liberty to blame the mistake on Bush,
not our CIA or intelligence in general. I wonder when
this rebutter thinks that Bush and Cheney were out in
the field collecting this intel which proved to be bad.


Also I would note that calling people who disagree with
you "hard core idiots", is probably not only a violation
of this site's rules, but also doesn't give much fact
in rebutting their arguments. It is a very ineffective
alternative to giving actual facts.



One more comment made was this:
===========================================
MajorCee,It's nice that you have enough time
on your hands to write such an impressively
lengthy post......
===========================================
I could not agree with you more on this. I really love
having the time and making these posts. I especially
like having the time to point out a rebuttal that misses
the mark as badly as this one did.



Now there are legitimate things that could be called mistakes
in this war by even George Bush, but only one person has offered
up what that mistake is. k3vin, you got it, congratulations.
The one thing that Bush has really messed up bad is the
handling of the public and keeping support for the war. You
would not think it would be that hard to keep support for,
considering no other war we have had has probably been so
successful, but never the less, the public perception of
this war is totally out of sync with the facts and Bush
has to bear much of the responsibility for that. It is
a subject that I could go into in great depth, but at this
point have not decided to do so.





[edit on 5-11-2005 by MajorCee]



posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Very good post...


What are your thoughts on the war in Afganistan ?



posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by MajorCee
It's kind of interesting the attempts to rebut what
I have said. It must be pretty hard to rebut, because

I have not heard one rebuttal that has any merit.

[edit on 5-11-2005 by MajorCee]


Do you want the rubuttals to include the copy-and-pastes that you plagerized?

U.S. and Iran: Beneath the Roiled Surface
By George Friedman

In other words, the United States reversed the process by trying to drive a wedge between the Iranians and the Iraqi Shia. And it appeared to be working, with al-Sistani and al-Sadr seeming to shift positions so as not to be excluded.
gillespieresearch.com



The Iranians and al-Sistani -- seeing the situation slipping out of control -- tried to convince the Americans that they were willing to send Iraq up in flames.
mrktlab.com


Merlin - 2004


In any generalized conflict between Sunnis and Shia, the Saudis are vulnerable to both direct military action from Iran and indirect subversion from their own Shiite population.
gotapex.com


Maybe that WATS award should go to George Friedman. Are you Merlin
from the gotapex.com forum and wrote that over a year ago?


JAK

posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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[edit on 5/11/05 by JAK]



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:03 AM
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Thank you curme, for pointing out that George Friedman
was the inspiration for much of my thinking. I should
have given Mr. Friedman more recognition in this thread.
I did mention in my posts the fact of his input
when I said in my original "as George Friedman said....."

This post has since been taken down and replaced with
a direct link to a site that is available on the internet.
This has negated the requirement that I give a summary
of what the good man George said, since this link gives
his views first hand.

In any event, I think the fact that George Friedman is
the source of much of my thinking gives validity to that
thinking. Having now made clear that George Friedman is
also behind some of this material I trust that people
will be more satisified with its validity.

As far as making George Friedman the "above top secret guy"
I can only say, no problem. The guy is in my mind the above
top secret guy.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:05 AM
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Well Major, I'm afraid I have to disagree at least in a few respects (i'm taking you at your word that you are infact a military officer, though it's not unheard of for people to fake it around here).


Originally posted by MajorCee
Here are some of those beneficial things that I came up
with when I made this presentation on Oct 11. These are
mostly my thoughts based on various sources, like FoxNews,
CNN, and Stratfor.

(1) It moved Al Qaeda from Afghanistan where they
are very difficult to find or fight and they have
moved operations to Iraq, where their guerrilla
strategy is much more difficult to implement and
also where they have to defeat the Shia (80%) of
Iraq, along with the US.


I have to disagree with this: I believe that it smacks of attrition. I believe that Afghanistan would relatively favorable terrain for this fight in many respects. I believe that forcing the Pakistani government's assistance in their Western provinces would have been far more effective and strategically safer than going to Iraq.

The Shia factor can't really be valued too highly because the Shia are not so prevalent in the major area of operations, namely the "Sunni Triangle". Furthermore the Shia are potential enemies: open to influence by Iranian Mullahs.

To gain this negligible advantage (if it is an advantage) of a Shia population, we have traded constricted mountainous terrain which is hard to traverse for travesible open deserts and many roads connecting a large network of large cities and towns.

Major avenues of movement in Afghanistan can be locked down and our airpower would give us a mobility advantage. The borders can be controlled to stop the movement of war materiel to the warlords and terrorists if we go in with an appropriately sized force. Also, because of the smaller civilian population, relative lack of urban terrain, and lower agricultural capacity, the non-military logistics of the enemy can be pressured more easily. We don't have to go about it the Russian way- we can fight a manuever campaign- hit them where they aren't, exploit their critical weaknesses, and save ourselves the constant minor skirmishes and terrorist attacks which are turning Iraq into a slow war of attrition.


(2) It enlisted the help of a very good portion of
the Shia population of Islam to fight Al Qaeda for
us.


I disagree with this suggestion. If we had a large Shia population that was really in it with us, why aren't we enjoying massive success in infiltrating Al Qaida? I don't believe that the Shia trust us, I do not believe they will tollerate our presence for very long, and I am suspicious that their loyalties are much closer to Iran than to the United States- realpolitik can only last so long.


(3) It threw Al Qaeda off balance and has given
them incentive to redirect their attack against
the US, to now attacking Shiite targets in
Iraq, thus making more and more enemies among
their own Islamic world, who they had hoped to
recruit and rule.


Again I disagree. Here is how I expect them to see it: The attacks on Shias are a product of the US efforts there: it wouldn't be happening if we weren't there. The US is failing to protect them. The US is eventually going to have to leave, probably in 2009-10 if a Democrat is elected, and we will be seen as abandoning them. This will be no different than the way we stabbed them in the back during the attempted coup against Saddam. Then there is the Israel factor. Then again I mention our problems with Iran and our obstruction of Islam's quest to gain equality to Israel by gaining the bomb.
Long story short, they are never going to hate Sunnis as much as they're going to hate us as long as we keep up business as usual. Realpolitik is going to swing back in favor of Islamic cooperation against America faster than you can say Great Satan.


(4) It brought about the resolve to stop the proliferation
of nuclear weapons within dangerous hands.


It brought about that resolve in who? The Europeans are going to fold, Muslims want the bomb, and even Americans aren't serious about it: we caved to N.K. We tollerate Pakistan despite what A.Q. Kahn has done, and I don't see any serious indication that we're going to draw a hard line on Iran.


(5) It brought Saudi Arabia fully into the effort to
stop Al Qaeda.


Which Saudi Arabia is that- the people or the House of Saud? Those are two distinct and opposed groups. Furthermore, let's not kid ourselves about our "friends" in Saudi. They are the premier bankrollers of terrorism on this planet- having edged out America and Russia at the end of the cold war.


(6) It gave us an operating base in the area. Before
the attack, the only country in the area that would
allow US troops to deploy from was Kuwait.


Iraq is not strategically sound unless we are either assured of Turkish cooperation or control Syria or Jordan. If Iran acquires additional SS-22s it becomes extremely dangerous to make seaborne deployments to Iraq. This isn't a wargame against Paul VanRiper- if Iran sinks our entire invasion force we can't just resurrect it and order the enemy to hold position while we land it. The gulf simply isn't secure so long as Iran remains hostile. Furthermore if we do allow Iran to get the bomb, which I suspect we may, Iraq itself becomes insecure even if we are assured of access via Turkey. We already have an avenue against Jordan and Syria via Israel, we need one against Iran. Iraq is not the best one. If we secure Western Pakistan and can lock down their loyalty to us then pakistan/Iran is far more practical, and we could have been well underway in that project way back in 2001, rather than 2003 when we invaded Iraq, and we wouldn't have the same barriers to another war that we now have because of being in Iraq. Iran was and is without a doubt the greater of the two threats to US security- Iraq was a waste of time and political capital.


(7) Iraq has given a partial financial resource to help
finance the war. Along with getting the Shiites of
Iraq to fight Al Qaeda, some of the bill can be paid
by Iraqi oil which has been flowing for some time now
and much of this money is going to finance the new Iraqi
army and police, and these forces are becoming the front
line of the war, actually taking about 95% of the casualties.


The contribution of a force is not measured by the casualities the force takes; it is measured by the casualities the force inflicts. How can we possibly justify spending several hundred billion dollars to build an understrength, substandard Iraqi army that can't operate independently, when we could just as easily have used our larger, more disciplined, more efficient army which would sustain fewer casualities and inflict more?



(1) USA would attack Afghanistan in response to 9-11 and
try to weed out Al Qaeda from the country.
(2) Al Qaeda would remain hidden away in remote areas
of Afghanistan and conduct a war of attrition over
many years just as they did with the Russians....


We didn't have to go to Iraq to defeat this. We could have mopped the floor with them in Afghanistan. They wouldn't have had years to attrit our forces. They would have had months to starve and run out of ammo as several hundred thousand US troops applied an ever-tightening stranglehold on their lines of supply and retreat.

The US Army is not the Russian army. Afghanistan is not Vietnam. For that matter Vietnam isn't even Vietnam. History demonstrates that there are three ways to lose against a small guerilla opponent.

The first is not to take the war seriously. That was the primary factor in Vietnam. Vietnam was nothing but a social plot and money making scheme on the part of our military industrial complex. A lot of defense contractors made a lot of money.

The second is to have a major nation supplying and aiding the small force. This is what cost the British the American Revolution, this is what turned the Korean war into a stalemate, this is another aspect of what happened in Vietnam, and that is what happened to the Russians in Afghanistan.

The third is to be inept. If your doctrine is flawed (attrition doctrine in vietnam), if your force structure is flawed (Russian conscript army with a weak NCO corps), or if your officers are not tactically proficient (this is how the Russians got their nose bloodied in Grozny several years ago) you'll fail at critical junctures and expose yourself to losses the enemy shouldn't have been able to inflict.


Afghanistan was and is a perfect
place for them to conduct the guerrilla war that they
envisioned.


Being stuck in harsh constricted terrain with an enemy who enjoys superior mobility and logistics is more favorable than living as a phantom amongst an urban population that in some areas is sympathetic to your cause and in all areas will eventually become fed up with the enemy occupation? The possiblity of being cut off from supply is favorable to having markets to resupply in? A hard to find enemy in a cave is easier to fight than an impossible to find one in a city?


The terrain is so rough and hard to move
in that military movements are very difficult. There
are also thousands of natural hiding places and cover.

All of these factors exist in cities as well. At least in the mountains US forces can enjoy significant advantages of visibility and manueverability courtesy of our airpower, and when you're not surrounded by civilians you can obey the first rule of infantry operations: when in doubt, call for fire.


This cover is necessary for a guerrilla war for several
reasons. It gives a sanctuary where the guerrillas can
safely hide and just as important it gives transportation
routes that are hidden whereby supplies can be carried
to the guerrillas.


A building provides cover too. A mountain trail at least can be survielled by thermal imaging from the air. A busy highway is faster and harder to check.


This transportation network is all
important to a guerrilla war. During Afghanistan's
war with Russia, there was a constant flow of food
and munitions to the guerrillas. This amounted to
many tons of supplies daily being moved over six main
supply routes into Afghanistan.


The Russians only deployed 100,000 troops and they were doing the same thing we are currently doing in Iraq: trying to build and sustain a government, which required constant convoys which suffered most of the attacks and casualties. This is a tremendous mistake.

If we had gone to Afghanistan in 2001 with 200-300 thousand troops, established a few vital corridors of safety, and made strong use of our helicopters, we could have shut down the routes of supply and movement in Afghanistan and bled the terrorists to death over the course of a single year. There was no excuse for us going into Tora Bora with locals who let Bin Laden get away, especially when the alternative was to do it ourself and never have to go to Iraq. Is America not capable of shutting down six major routes of transportation, especially when there isn't a rival superpower forbidding us to take the fight to Pakistan when necessary, nor supplying weapons to be sent across those crossing points?

Don't bother arguing that helicopters didn't work for the Russians. We didn't even send the Stingers in until the final phase of the war, and the Russians developed tactical and technical countermeasures- they lost 330-someodd helicopters in a decade long war- not bad if you ask me. Don't have BlackHawk Down stuck in your head either- we're not talking about battles being fought in the confines of a city block because we're not talking urban warfare. Good luck hitting a moving helicopter with an RPG at 500 yards.


If the US had sent a
major army into Afghanistan, they could have got
bogged down into a long unwinnable quagmire.


Gee- good thing we went to Iraq and avoided being stuck in an unwinnable quagmire.



They needed one badly after
having lost their first one, Afghanistan. To add
embarrassment to losing their first jihadist state,
they had lost it while only killing 2 Americans.


Yep, we only lost two Americans in Afghanistan- proof positive that Iraq was a much safer option.



As I said, Iraq was a master stroke from a military
point of view.


Endorsed by 9 out of 10 members of Custer's 7th Cavalry, I'm sure. I started out trying to be civil, but I honestly just cannot agree with anything you've said here. Don't get me wrong, but i suspect that you're an army officer; you seem to be very into history and doctrine. It's important not to be too reliant on old models when considering this. One must not only ask what happened historically but what could have been done differently. One must ask what has changed and what has stayed the same, and must consider all factors, or the answer which is arrived at will be incorrect. I believe that no situation can be more analogous to the conflict being considered than the conflict in question itself, and since it's just as easy to analyze this conflict as any other, don't stress too much over the libraries of doctrine that have been written so much as simply sizing up the enemy and figuring out how to kill them, then go do it. The mission of course is paramount- the objectives here are Al Qaida and Iran. So go get them. Pakistan/Afghanistan was the most direct route, and was no less practical than Iraq.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 09:23 AM
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Vagabond,

You make some good points and you could well be right
in some of those areas that you disagree with me.
First, yes I do have a military background but I
am retired. Also I want to point out that my opinions
expressed here are my own, not anything from official
channels. I want to especially stress that I am not
giving this information as if it were official in
any way. Most everything I have presented has
sources available to most any civilian. You're
right in your guess that I have got much of it from
history books.

History might give a better answer to whose opinion,
yours or mine is more correct on this Iraq thing.
Then again we probably will never know since we can't retry
it putting an army into Afghanistan as you seem to
have favored. While we wait for history to clear
up more how the Iraq invasion does end, we can entertain
ourselves guessing and discussing it. I really
don't like to spend more than about 20 minutes a day
on this little endeavor (ats), and I usually do it in the
morning while having a couple cups of coffee. Because
this starts to feel like work after about 20 minutes
instead of fun I will just take a point at a time
and give my thoughts on some points that you made.
For lack of any other plan I will just sort of go
down through your interesting post and cover a
point a day that gets my interest. By limiting it
to a point a day, will also keep the reading level
from being too overwhelming.

So today's point:

You stated that believed Afghanistan would be relatively
favorable terrain for this fight in many respects, and
that forcing the Pakistani government's assistance
in their Western provinces would have been far more effective
and strategically safer than going to Iraq.

I would say that idea does have quite a bit of merit although
I don't agree enough to concede the point. I like the part
especially about forcing Pakistani government's assistance.
I like it so well, that I believe this is exactly what was
done as much as we could. Actually Pakistan has been carrying
on operations against the suspected Al Qaeda areas and have
captured and killed many Al Qaeda there. In this respect
your idea was put into actual practice, and yes that is safer
than attacking Iraq, for sure. The point I can't concede
though is that terrain would be relatively favorable. The
book "Afghanistan The Bear Trap" gives the best blow by
blow description of how the war between Russia and Afghanistan
was carried out. It gave great detail into how the terrain
was very favorable for the guerillas. It pointed out the
fact that the terrain was so rough, tanks and helicopters
met some grave limitations in operation, and it also pointed
out how transportation was reduced to horses, mules, camels,
etc because trucks could not even be used in most of the
supply routes.

A basic need in any guerilla war is sanctuary. A successful
guerilla war cannot be undertaken without it. Some examples
of sanctuary may be in order here. In Vietnam the sanctuary was
North Vietnam. The North maintained a steady supply of
supplies and troops into the south who were to act as guerillas
and conduct a prolonged attrition. Sanctuary was also supplied in
the south by real rebels who supported the northern troops
and a vast underground system of tunnels was created. To
win in Vietnam it was necessary to remove the sanctuary
provided by the North. This was the failure of the Americans
there. With US leadership in Vietnam being provided from
the White House, the military effort was never allowed to
remove the supplying and sanctuary provided by North Vietnam.
Targeting was restricted in North Vietnam to the point that
they were never really hurt and there were numerous bombing
halts even on the petty targets they were allowed to hit.

A similar situation arose in Afghanistan for the Russians.
The sanctuary there was the really rough mountain terrain
and Pakistan. Guerilla efforts were hidden and supplied
by Pakistan. The supplies actually came from the US and
Saudi Arabia. They shared the bill 50-50.

I would point out this perfect example of the sanctuary of
Afghanistan/Pakistan being better than Iraq. We caught
Saddam in his poor sanctuary of Iraq. Osama is still hid
in his superior sanctuary.

Of course you pointed out to get Pakistan to help and clear
that in their country. A good idea, and they are actually
trying to do that. The problem is that those areas are
no man's land and Pakistan does not control them any more
than they control Afghanistan. This area answers to no
central government. The reason, its perfect as a sanctuary.
On the other hand Pakistan is removed as a supplier of
material to the rebels and that would favor the US much
above what the Russians had endured, with the Mujahideen
being well supplied from Pakistani warehouses. However
the Al Qaeda is suspected of having moved to Pakistan,
since the pressure was put on them in Afghanistan. If
you reduce your army troops being limited to Afghanistan,
then you still have the problem of getting Al Qaeda that
runs into Pakistan. Of course a solution there would
be to run US troops into Pakistan. This is not a move
the US wants to make. There is the belief that this
would really increase Pakistani militants to join
Al Qaeda. Pakistan has very deep Al Qaeda sympathies
among it's population, and this could drastically
increase Al Qaeda numbers and locations. Actually it
is believed that most Al Qaeda left Afghanistan within
a month of the battle starting, and hiding in the
border area of Pakistan. Since it was estimated that
the US would have needed 6 months to deploy a large
land force into Afghanistan, you can see that Al Qaeda
was gone before the troops would have shown up. You
can argue that they would come back to make strikes
against the US, and I also would argue that they would.
I would argue that because that was at the heart of
their strategy, getting the US into long war of
attrition. You can argue that we would have caught
them. I would argue, they would escape, because they
had the drill down to a science. They had done exactly
that against the Russians for 10 years. On top of
that, I would argue that this was their strategy
and you should never play into the enemy's strategy
if it looks solid. Since their strategy was modeled
on a proven successful one, who is to say they could
not do it again? It is true, that their supply would
be drastically cut down from what it was against
the Russians, but I would counter that they would
just expend whatever effort they could expend with
smaller supplies over a longer time span. Also this
whole idea of going into Afghanistan still would not
have solved the problem that surfaced where the
decision was made to insure no nuclear weapons were
going to be permitted that could get into Al Qaeda
hands. As was pointed out in George Friedman's
book "America's Secret War", Pakistan had cooperated
with the US in providing positive assurance that
they were keeping their nukes under control. With
cooperation like that you don't want to start sending
army troops into Pakistan, as you might make that
situation much more volatile. Since you don't want
to send army into Pakistan under these conditions,
that makes us rely on Pakistan to clean up their
border areas. Since they are doing that, I am a little
puzzled of how troops in Afghanistan would handle
the sanctuary problem of the rough mountainous border
area there. Remember also that there was no such
assurance from Iraq that their nuclear program had been
shut down. In fact the opposite happened
and Iraq had refused full cooperation with UN
inspectors on the nuclear issue, and sending an army
into Afghanistan still would have left this to be an
open question and possibility.

That pretty much details what I think in regard to this
specific point you made. Tomorrow I might give 20 minutes
to another point, if the urge hits me.


[edit on 6-11-2005 by MajorCee]



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by MajorCee
You make some good points and you could well be right
in some of those areas that you disagree with me.
First, yes I do have a military background but I
am retired. Also I want to point out that my opinions
expressed here are my own, not anything from official
channels.


Fair enough. We have differing opinions but we're both entitled to them. You seem to be openminded and I also respect yours since you've been there and done that, although I still disagree
.


History might give a better answer to whose opinion,
yours or mine is more correct on this Iraq thing.


Fair again, with the caveat that like any data, the value of history is contingent upon flawless interpretation, which i suspect very few people, probably not including either of us two, especially myself, can claim.



The book "Afghanistan The Bear Trap" gives the best blow by
blow description of how the war between Russia and Afghanistan
was carried out.


I'll make it a point to read that book during the winter break from school. It sounds interesting.


It pointed out the fact that the terrain was so rough, tanks and helicopters met some grave limitations in operation, and it also pointed
out how transportation was reduced to horses, mules, camels,
etc because trucks could not even be used in most of the
supply routes.


The helicopter aspect interests me because I believe they would be among our most valuable weapons in such terrain, and would give us the mobility, logistics, and battlefield awareness necessary to obtain a decisive advantage on that terrain.

The tanks are a less interesting casualty in my mind because the guerillas, for the most part, do not have lines to breach or a rear area to run amok in.

The trucks are far more relevant to the Russian effort, and the American one in Iraq, to than to what I have proposed. Many of Russias truck convoys, according to sources I have seen online, were not necessary for military operations, but were supporting the Socialist government with food, repair for damaged infrastructure, especially oil and gas pipelines, and support for the Kabul airport. These convoys were a favorite target of the insurgency and many of the casualties to Russian light armor were sustained in defending these. This was an extreme hinderance to Russian offensive operations because defending these convoys required a large diversion of the relatively small (100,000 troops) force which Russia had in-country.


A basic need in any guerilla war is sanctuary. A successful
guerilla war cannot be undertaken without it.

A similar situation arose in Afghanistan for the Russians.
The sanctuary there was the really rough mountain terrain
and Pakistan
I would point out this perfect example of the sanctuary of
Afghanistan/Pakistan being better than Iraq. We caught
Saddam in his poor sanctuary of Iraq. Osama is still hid
in his superior sanctuary.


I fully agree that sanctuary is necessary and that failing to compromise enemy sanctuaries was a major downfall of the superior forces employed by America in Vietnam and Russia in Afghanistan, and I would add America in Iraq to the list to a far lesser extent.

America does not seem to have learned its lesson. Syria and Iran have not been punished for providing sanctuary. Major operations against the large urban sanctuaries of the Sunni Triangle seem to be few and far between. The terrain in Iraq is less favorable for movement between these sanctuaries, the urban sanctuaries excepted; a busy highway full of civilians is a relatively safe supply line compared to a trail where most movement can be presumed hostile.
If we are not actively attacking the santuaries then we have not learned the value of them, and Iraq is not so much a "master stroke" as a "lucky stroke".

I believe that Afghanistan's relative dearth of urban areas and smaller border area combined with my proposal for active US involvement in Western Pakistan above and beyond what the Pakistanis can do alone would be a much better plan for denying sanctuary to the guerillas.

Osama did not escape due to an inherently superior sanctuary, but because America created an environment of superior sanctuary by trusting locals to do the job. This is analogous to America allowing rebel sympathizers in South Vietnam to provide sanctuary to the Viet Cong.


Of course you pointed out to get Pakistan to help and clear
that in their country.
(some text remove quote)
Of course a solution there would be to run US troops into Pakistan. This is not a move the US wants to make. There is the belief that this would really increase Pakistani militants to join Al Qaeda.


I should have been more clear. It was precisely my intention in saying "forcing Pakistani cooperation" that US troops should be allowed to operate in Waziristan and the surrounding territories. I would not be troubled by the increased recruitment to Al Qaida because of the geography of the region in question. With a cooperative Pakistani government to the East, and behind that an Indian government which will certainly not tollerate the movement of Muslim rebels, and to the West a relatively small border with Iran which can be sealed, and to the South an Ocean which the US Navy can easily police, I do not believe that Al Qaida could move the new recruits elsewhere for training, nor supply them in perpetuity.
I believe that with the appropriate commitment of US and Pakistani forces (primarily US), Afghanistan and Western Pakistan become a death trap for Al Qaida from which they cannot freely escape and wherein they can neither move freely nor persist at length for want of supply.


I would argue that this was their strategy and you should never play into the enemy's strategy if it looks solid. Since their strategy was modeled on a proven successful one, who is to say they could not do it again?


This seems extremely logical on its face, but one of the oldest tenets of military strategy, going all the way back to Sun Tsu and perhaps farther, is that one must be deceptive. The enemy would not be in one sense: we have seen their playbook. They also think that they've seen ours because they have been up against the Russians and know what we did in Vietnam.

When you know what the enemy is going to do, is it best to deter him from doing it, or set a trap and let him walk into it?
Indulge me in a football analogy. You and I are coaching a game against a team whose quarterback almost always throws to his left. Do we move our best cornerback to that side to cover the recievers over there, leaving recievers open elsewhere, or do we leave him with the illusion of an easy throw there, but blitz from right, catching the quarterback looking the other direction and getting the sack?


Also this whole idea of going into Afghanistan still would not have solved the problem that surfaced where the decision was made to insure no nuclear weapons were going to be permitted that could get into Al Qaeda hands.


Going to Iraq did not stop weapons proliferation. There was not a nuclear program in Iraq which could bear any comparisson to what is going on in Iran or Pakistan. I see gaining control of a nation bordering Iran as one of the chief advantages of our war effort, because Iran must be dealt with before they acquire the bomb. This was better done in 2001 when Bush had all the time and political capital in the world with which to hit them, rather than squandering those two precious resources in Iraq and precluding any strong response to Iran. Afghanistan could have been pacified by 2003 and we could have hit Iran instead of Iraq in that year.


As was pointed out in George Friedman's book "America's Secret War", Pakistan had cooperated with the US in providing positive assurance that they were keeping their nukes under control.


How much assurance can Pervez Musharaff offer us when his ISI does as it pleases and his nation is teetering on the brink of anarchy in the coming decades? I am not dismissing your suggestion out of hand, but I have not read the book and would be extremely appreciative if you could offer me some insight into what Pakistan has done for the cause of non-proliferation, since it seems difficult to understand how Pakistan could offer such assurance.

With cooperation like that you don't want to start sending army troops into Pakistan, as you might make that situation much more volatile.

I disagree actually, as absurd as it may seem at first. Pakistan is not a stable country. The professionalism of their military is deteriorating, their intelligence service (more so than most) cannot be trusted, their economy isn't what it should be, and they can't control their western provinces. The possibilities which open up if Pakistan buckles under make General Lebed's testimony on proliferation from the ruins of the USSR sound pretty reassuring in comparison. For that reason, I'm inclined to think that getting into Pakistan can scarcely make matters any worse, but if successful could be extremely positive.


Remember also that there was no such assurance from Iraq that their nuclear program had been shut down.


I'll forego any argument which takes advantage of the dubious claims made by hypocrites like Scott Ritter, as well as any argument based on 20/20 hindsight.
My answer is simply that destroying a weapons program does not require 2 years and 100,000 troops. We could have made it a policy to completely and totally destroy every installation which in even the slightest way hindered the access of the inspectors.
We could assassinated Saddam. We could have backed a coup (like we should have done during the uprising after the gulf war, instead of disavowing the CIA officers who put it together), There were many options for dealing with Al Qaida, Iran, and Iraq each in their own context by means appropriate to each situation.


That pretty much details what I think in regard to this
specific point you made. Tomorrow I might give 20 minutes
to another point, if the urge hits me.
[edit on 6-11-2005 by MajorCee]


I'm looking forward to it. This has been an interesting conversation so far. have a Way Above Top Secret vote on me- just because I disagree doesn't mean I don't respect informed posting.


You have voted MajorCee for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 10:28 PM
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Major, have you ever thought about the fact that the so called war on terror is a camoflaged excuse to tackle a a far more greater threat to americas world dominance???

You are assuming that war on terror as it is portrayed is real, all your reasoning is based on this.
If it isnt, which i think is the case, than all your well formulated arguments is nothing more then a shallow illusion.
I read the book americas secret war, and wasnt impressed at all, and really think it was written to make the neo con strategy look light brown instead of the truth namely very darkbrown.
Just a little sand in the eyes if you will.....misinformation.

Take away a few pieces in the chain of your arguments , and there is no chain anymore



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by Senser


Major, have you ever thought about the fact that the so called war on terror is a camoflaged excuse to tackle a a far more greater threat to americas world dominance???

You are assuming that war on terror as it is portrayed is real, all your reasoning is based on this.
If it isnt, which i think is the case, than all your well formulated arguments is nothing more then a shallow illusion.
I read the book americas secret war, and wasnt impressed at all, and really think it was written to make the neo con strategy look light brown instead of the truth namely very darkbrown.
Just a little sand in the eyes if you will.....misinformation.

Take away a few pieces in the chain of your arguments , and there is no chain anymore


Even if this were the case and the war were all about oil (I assume that is your position), the same strategy would be needed. If you are going in their to seize oil in Iraq, put pressure on Saudi Arabia, and have Iran surrounded, you still need to deal with an insurgency; you still need to draw the local opposition to a place of your choosing.

EDIT:

BTW Major, you have definatly found a fan of your opinions here. Very well thought out and presented IMHO.


[edit on 7-11-2005 by American Mad Man]



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
Even if this were the case and the war were all about oil (I assume that is your position), the same strategy would be needed.


I think the point is no country should be invading any other country to seize their oil, period!

Is this thread about how a very very bad thing has been executed very well?



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