12 former Army captains: The Real Iraq We Knew

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/15/AR2007101500841.html?nav=hcmodule

  2. Interesting article and a growing theme amongst US Troops. Their repeated and lengthy tours are having a huge toll on morale and an army that is normally extremely enthusiastic and loyal to their national leadership is becoming increasingly subversive to their political and military masters!
    Though it does stink of journo input...how often do you hear of 12 x ex-army pax getting together for an article? There is something fishy about it?
    Nonetheless, you can't help but wonder how things like this will turn the next election? And therefore, the knock on effect to our own political situation?
  3. None of these Captains have been in Iraq since the surge this year. One served in 06 and the rest served in the 2003 - 2005 time frame when the situation was iffy. They make valid points for the time frame they were in Iraq which has zero relevancy to the surge and the success that has been achieved this year in 07.
  4. It will be interesting, certainly in the US, there must be some real concern in those nominated to stand and the reception they will face over Iraq.

    But the United Kingdom? Will Iraq feature any more then last time we went to the polls? I doubt it.
  5. So you're saying that their observations about the current situation are totally wrong? Reading the article it seems to me that they they are talking as much about present day Iraq as during their time there, but perhaps you feel that they have made this up and that they have no means of knowing. So what's your own source of information about the current status?

    Maybe the question is also whether the 'success' you mention will be lasting. Do you believe this and, if so, would you care to comment on how that will be maintained when the USA starts drawing down its numbers in the currently saturated areas?
  6. Actually The Surge is pretty much irrelevant to the point that Phil Carter picked up on:
    This is all true. These core problems are structural and societal. Pat Lang describes them as being at an anthropological rather than political.

    I think these guys are dead wrong on some points.

    If anything they've missed the horrendous level of "cleansing" that's gone on since they left. More than 1 in 10 Iraqis have been displaced. Baghdad only has a few Sunni enclaves left. Virtually the entire intelligentsia has fled. The economic hub of the country Basra is a chaotic Mad Max style mess of feuding gas hungry warlords that even the brutal and devious Iranians can't control. The sewage, water and irrigation systems are nearing complete collapse.

    The US could fully commit itself to Iraq; institute a draft, finally install a brutal dictator and still find itself in a no win situation a decade and 20,000 flag draped coffins down the line. That's the sort of strategic patience that would be required here to have a slim chance of a Korean type outcome. The opportunity costs of this level of persistence would have inevitably painful strategic consequences for DC. Scavengers larger and more dangerous than Iran are already positioning themselves to exploit DC's vulnerability.

    Nor is US able to leave as the twelve suggest. This is the worst sort of wishful thinking. DC cannot risk the complete destruction of its regional interests and that's not an improbable outcome. The Jihadis will not follow the US home but the economics inoexorably will. This one isn't Vietnam; we aren't just talking about an easily ignored genocide that'll burn itself out in desert killing fields. Depart hastily (i.e. this decade) and the US Army will be back in the Middle East fighting a bigger bloodier war within a few years. The best outcome DC can hope for is a gradually less burdensome mission that's focused on damage limitation and the wider regional consequences rather than just Iraq itself.

    The small hi-tech all volunteer citizen Army is perhaps a concept that's not proved fit for American purposes. Stop Loss is a cruel draft of a sort. When it breaks stop blubbing. Suck it up and fix it. I'm sure American ingenuity will find a suitable solution in time.
  7. Phil Carter:
    And perhaps there in lies the rub. Launch an unwarranted attack on a country and make huge profits for arms manufacturers and the likes of Blackwater.
    Privatize anything that moves.
    Then get the defeated to pay for their own reconstruction giving more opportunities for American firms to clean up all over again.

    And they wonder why it all went so very wrong.
  8. I'm just amazed that 12 Army Captains managed to RV at the same time and place to write the article.

    The piece seems very serious, I thought 12 x Captains would be talking of how they hung around the female Int Corps, sloped off early for a quick pin gin and had to queue up at the PX for ages to find any decent sunglasses, whilst calling each other by the surnames, quoting Blackadder and hoping that their future job in the City would be boosted by a war-record.