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Time is America's worst enemy in warfare.

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posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq, locked in a war that cannot be won by military force alone, are facing a weapon that tends to favor insurgents -- time.

The war is in its fourth year and public support is waning. According to opinion polls taken in May, a majority of Americans think that invading Iraq was a mistake and that things in Iraq are going badly. The souring public mood does not bode well for the prospects of prevailing over an insurgency U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said could last another decade.

Military officers and experts involved in drafting a new counterinsurgency manual for the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps say that patience is one of the keys for success in winning against the kind of enemy the U.S. is facing in Iraq.

"The (counterinsurgency) effort requires a firm political will and extreme patience," says the draft, now going through revisions and expected to be issued in summer. "The insurgent wins if he does not lose, while the counterinsurgent loses if he does not win. Insurgents are strengthened by the common perception that a few casualties or a few years will cause the United States to abandon (the effort)."

Military history shows that past counterinsurgency campaigns in other parts of the world have taken between five and 15 years.




In past conflicts the United States has often lacked the "extreme patience" prescribed in the new manual, largely because of pressures from a public clamoring for swift, decisive victories. Both in Vietnam and Korea, public support ran high for the first two years and then dropped steadily in the perceived absence of fast progress.

In a recent study published by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, scholar Colin Gray noted that "time is a weapon, (and) the mindset needed to combat an enemy who is playing a long game is not one that comes naturally to the American soldier or, for that matter, to the American public."

"To wage protracted war is not a preference in our military and strategic culture, " he said, and it is difficult to explain and defend to a doubting and increasingly impatient public.





To underline the different concept of time in different cultures, one of the participants cited a saying he attributed to the Taliban in Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting for the past five years and the insurgency is strengthening.

"The Americans have the wristwatches," the saying goes, "but we've got the time."


No doubt its true, the U.S. govt. and the American people prefer swift victories, like for example during WW1 and WW2 that lasted only a few years, but however as we have seen how long conflicts where the American people have lost patience like Korean and Vietnam war. We can win these wars, but at what cost. For example we fought in the Phillipines against Filipino insurgents that lasted over a decade before we finally won, but cost in American lives in the thousands. Its in our culture to do things fast, of course not everything fast. The enemy these days have learn America's psyche about how we fight wars and how to defeat us or at least not lose. Thats the problem with us.



TPL

posted on May, 16 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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Everybody prefers a swift victory in a war. War fatigue always happens, usually it only has any effect on the war when it changes the man at the top and the war is ended either by a large push for victory or total retreat.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
the U.S. govt. and the American people prefer swift victories, like for example during WW1 and WW2 that lasted only a few years


- Cor, don't they just!

The USA entered WW1 about 3/4's of the way through - just over a year - before it ended (and in that short time the US took some time to mobilise and 'work up' forces in France for the final battles).

In WW2 the USA entered at the end of '41 and missed a full 1/3rd of that conflict too (and again took time mobilising and 'working up' forces, this time in the UK, for the final European battles).

Anyhoo, WW1 & 2 facts and American nose tweaking aside, the problem with Iraq is firstly that many many people do not believe they were told the truth about the reasons for the war starting and secondly they do not see the war as producing a sustainably beneficial result.

I don't see people as so ridiculously fickle that they 'need' short swift and decisive 'actions' (that was certainly not the European experience in WW1 or WW2) but they do require sound reasoning for their support to begin with and a reasonable sense that the outcome will result in a better situation than if the war had not been started.
The reason what support there has been for Iraq has ebbed away is due to the clear and obvious mistakes in the capabilities claimed for Iraq re WMD's and it becoming quite apparent that the Iraqis feel occupied and not liberated.

In other words 'the people' want to have reasonable surety that the sacrifice, expense and horrors are 'worth it' for all concerned.

'We' had that for most of WW1 (but towards the end many began to question the war) and we certainly had it in WW2.

It's pretty clear that Iraq is visibly lacking substantial support....... and it appears that 'they' might be prepared to go for Iran with almost zero public support (unless a rather convenient 'event' just happens to spur on a little support when it's needed......wouldn't be the first time, right?).



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

The reason what support there has been for Iraq has ebbed away is due to the clear and obvious mistakes in the capabilities claimed for Iraq re WMD's.




Hans Blix

Initially he was keen to show his independence from Washington, even refusing to hide his frustration with the Bush administration over key intelligence he wanted it to share.

Now that the war has finished, he has made clear his feeling that the US and UK had exaggerated, or "over-interpreted" - as he put it - the case for war.

He expressed his doubts about the UK Government's famous statement that Saddam Hussein could deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.

He has also spoken of the impression of a culture of spin and hype surrounding George W Bush and Tony Blair.

He famously compared their governments' attempts to make the case for war with an advertiser trying to sell a fridge.



It has obviously nothing at all to do with a mistake. Bush was not willing to give the Blix investigation team enough time to finish its investigation, with would have had a similar outcome as the current situation: Saddam was not in the posession of WMDs.

I am definitely sure that both Bush administration, and the CIA knew this, so there should have been a different reason for invading Iraq.

Most people see oil as the simple reason, which I either saw as one of the reasons. However, the main reason was the Iraqi oil bourse, which had previously changed from the USD to the EUR. The article, which you can read by clicking on the link below, makes clear why the British government continiously supported the Bush administration.



The actual reason for an attack on Iran is similar to that of the attack on Iraq:



The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.

Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields—he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.

History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have went into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished—he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire.




and:


Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York’s NYMEX and the London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests.


Source



[edit on 17-5-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 07:17 AM
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Time is America's worst enemy in warfare, maybe.

How about the so called "News Media" being the worst?

How about the wussy US citizens?

Roper



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by Mdv2

It has obviously nothing at all to do with a mistake.


- I know, I was simply being generous.



Originally posted by Roper
How about the so called "News Media" being the worst?

How about the wussy US citizens?


- Oh yeah, freedom of the press and the people having ultimate democratic control are the "worst enemies"?!

Wow that's some strange perspective, talk about 'through the looking glass'!



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 06:18 PM
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In this case I think it's simply a matter of the American people not being complete fools.

In the immediate wake of 9-11, it was very easy to sell the American people on a "preventative" war based on the carefully constructed fiction of Iraq as an "imminent" threat. Now that the "threat" has proven to have been mostly imaginary, people are turning against the war. Not because they're "wussies", but because they're not idiots.

If the war was to destroy Saddam's "WMD stockpile", where is it?
If the war was to "fight terrorism", why has it turned Iraq into the world's terrorism epicenter?
If the war was to "liberate" the Iraqi's, why are so many dying at the hands of fanatics?
If the war was a simple resource grab, where's the oil?

There is at least one rationale for the war that has not proven to be totally off-base - the neocons stated desire to "redraw the political map of the Middle East." In that it's succeeded, the political map of the Middle East has been irrevocably redrawn - unfortunately, it's been redrawn in favor of Iran.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

In WW2 the USA entered at the end of '41 and missed a full 1/3rd of that conflict too.


let me do some brit nose tweaking here......*grabs my needlenose pliars*

urrm, only missed 2 out of the 6 years of the war somehow neglects the fact that you could possibly be speaking german today?

and to be fair the russians helped a great deal as well, however I think the germans would have held their own on the eastern front if they only had britain to contend with on the western front.


FNF

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 04:40 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan

Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

In WW2 the USA entered at the end of '41 and missed a full 1/3rd of that conflict too.


let me do some brit nose tweaking here......*grabs my needlenose pliars*

urrm, only missed 2 out of the 6 years of the war somehow neglects the fact that you could possibly be speaking german today?

and to be fair the russians helped a great deal as well, however I think the germans would have held their own on the eastern front if they only had britain to contend with on the western front.


Why is speaking German worse than speaking American?
Also you seem to have this idea Germans are bad people, but they arn't, they just had a government who had strong beliefs which were controversial and morally wrong sometimes.

The Russians would of beat the Germans in the end without US involvement, and the Allies would of took Africa, leaving just the western front, which the Allies may of been able to win anyway - don't forget the Omaha Beach Landings were so bad due to American mistakes, and the other Allies landed a lot easier. However I admit it would of took longer to win the war without the US.



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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Americana's took the hardest beaches FNF.

As for sminkeypinkey, are you telling me that the so called "free press" has the right to lie? Because they do it all the time.

If they are lying the way you want them ,it's no bit deal, is it.

Roper



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by Roper
As for sminkeypinkey, are you telling me that the so called "free press" has the right to lie? Because they do it all the time.


- That might even be so in some instances, but most of the time it is not so much lies as agenda and different view, that's the nature of our 'free' press........and who are you going to trust to weed out the lies and the liars, hmmm?
Who gets to say what is an outright lie or just an inconvenient fact, huh?
You? Me?

No thanks......and I think you'll find most taking that view.


If they are lying the way you want them ,it's no bit deal, is it.


- That's the funniest part of this whole 'liberal media' garbage.

Huge swathes of the US media are just about as 'pro-establishment, pro-the status-quo, pro-money and pro-authority' as can possibly be, the part that is genuinely non-aligned, 'radical', 'open' or 'of the left' is tiny.

But like I said, to take the path of attacking and blaming one's problems during a deeply unpopular war on the American free press (along with that other gem about a public that dares maintain democratic control of what actions their own nation takes) - especially when the bulk of that press has been so obviously pro-government, uncritical and supine for much of the time! - is straight out of the 'fascist state 101' book.......

......as well as plainly detached from reality.

[edit on 18-5-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

Huge swathes of the US media are just about as 'pro-establishment, pro-the status-quo, pro-money and pro-authority' as can possibly be, the part that is genuinely non-aligned, 'radical', 'open' or 'of the left' is tiny.

But like I said, to take the path of attacking and blaming one's problems during a deeply unpopular war on the American free press (along with that other gem about a public that dares maintain democratic control of what actions their own nation takes) - especially when the bulk of that press has been so obviously pro-government, uncritical and supine for much of the time! - is straight out of the 'fascist state 101' book.......

......as well as plainly detached from reality.



Well said Sminkey



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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Sminkey is dead on - the US press is so desperately afraid of the "liberal media" BS (not to mention losing access to the White House) that they're little less than cheerleaders, outside of a few scattered editorial pages...

Look how quickly the Haditha massacre story disappeared off the news sites... or how the Downing Street Memo was barely mentioned at all in the US press.

Sminkey, you just earned a WATS vote from me...



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 06:07 PM
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Then I guess the pro govt media wouldnt be publishing the Guantanamo Bay subjects or the Abu Graib prison scandal, etc. Maybe you just aint looking much of the American news or you just have the perception that they are pro govt.



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
Then I guess the pro govt media wouldnt be publishing the Guantanamo Bay subjects or the Abu Graib prison scandal.


- NO, the point is not that they can completely ignore 'bad news', if it gets out widely enough they can't.

But what they can do is choose how to present it and either crowd it out or submerge and minimise it in amongst a host of basically 'pro- government' stories.

The time devoted to the contrary position and the 'angle' taken on it are usually the clincher.

Even Fox do that thing where supposedly 2 sides chew over an issue (note how the slightly less conservative is always a bit goofy or 'weak' and the conservative opinion invariably dominates, to the point of shouting over, even.....as 'goofy' laughs at being shouted down, Balanced and fair? I think not.).
You don't keep all the other side completely out, no-one would ever try that but what you can do is you just manipulate how you show and tell it.

Speaking of which......did you see Fox was compared and contrasted over their hysterically funny 'tribute' to Rummy on the Daily show?
OK now I'll admit Fox is an obvious extreme but it does show you something of what is going on; the grovelling to Rumsfeld was stunningly blatant and the host's clear and obvious hostility when questioning a critic was incredible.

The facts remain, most of the press is owned by 'big money' and operates to a 'big money', pro-establishment, pro-the status-quo, and pro-authority' agenda which is certainly not and has little or no interest in anything genuinely non-aligned, 'radical', 'open' or 'of the left'.

No need to feel defensive of America, it's going on everywhere, in the UK too even if it hasn't 'advanced' quite so much.


[edit on 18-5-2006 by sminkeypinkey]






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