Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Trip_Wire, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Good news for a change?


    March 1, 2007 -- WITH all of the mud-sling ing on Capitol Hill, you could almost forget the gun-slinging in Baghdad.

    As Democrats, Iraqi insurgents and terrorists all struggle to prevent an American win, it's hard to get an accurate sense of Iraq nowadays.
    When in doubt, ask a soldier.

    My best source in Baghdad offered a soberly optimistic assessment at odds with the "Gotcha!" negativity in Washington. He doesn't claim that success is guaranteed. But he believes in his head, heart and soul that we've got a fighting chance.

    And I believe him.

    I took the temperature of other officers, as well. They agree unanimously that the administration made terrible mistakes from which we and the Iraqis are still recovering. But not one of these soldiers is ready to quit.
    Here are the key points I've heard from those I trust:

    * Of the five additional U.S. brigades headed for Baghdad, only one is in place, with the second starting to arrive. Yet the city is already quieter and safer. The terrorists continue to detonate their bombs - with suicidal fanatics targeting the innocent - but sectarian killings (death-squad hits) have dropped from over 50 each night down to single digits.

    * The tactic of stationing U.S. units and their Iraqi counterparts down in the Baghdad 'hoods is already paying off. (It should have been used from the outset - instead of hunkering down on massive bases. But better late than never.) The effort has triggered a flood of intelligence tips: When citizens feel safe, they cooperate. And when they help us, our success compounds.

    * U.S. commanders now have a lot of experience in Iraq. They're not wide-eyed kids at the circus anymore. They understand there are no uniform, easy answers to Iraq's violence and complex allegiances. As a senior officer put it, "Every neighborhood and city is unique, with their own challenges."

    I'll leave it to The New York Times to betray our military secrets, and just say I'm very impressed by the insight shown by our brigade and battalion commanders these days.

    * We hear the bad news from the rest of Iraq, such as this week's monstrous car bombing of children at play on a soccer field in Ramadi, but we don't hear that such attacks by al Qaeda operatives have infuriated mainstream Sunni sheiks and their tribes - who increasingly make common cause with us and their government. And winning over the Sunni "middle" is crucial to Iraq's future.

    * We'll never stop all suicide bombers and car bombers, but our security crackdown has already taken out two major Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) factories. And we took down a huge arms cache late last week.

    * No one's getting any "Mission Accomplished" banners ready to go, but front-line leaders in Iraq are convinced the situation just isn't as hopeless as politicians back home insist. I don't know a single officer in-country who believes the reporting from Iraq gives an honest, balanced picture.
    Of course, there are serious worries:

    * Above all, senior leaders worry that, thanks to political shenanigans back home, they won't be given the time it would take to win. Even with improved tactics, this just isn't easy work.

    Personally, I continue to believe that 2007 is the year of decision - when the Iraqi government and its security forces have to show their mettle. But 2007 has barely begun. Let's not declare defeat for April Fool's Day. The stakes are so high that Iraq merits this last chance.

    * The sectarian violence between Sunni Arabs and the Shia that gathered strength after last year's Golden Mosque bombing has "damaged trust between the two sects enormously," as a U.S. official put it. It's possible that the damage is too deep to be repaired - we just don't know. At best, reconstructing a shared national identity is going to be hard. But many gruesome conflicts have ended in national reconciliation.

    * There's one thing we know won't work: The nutty Pelosi-crat proposal to restrict the mission of U.S. troops to "training Iraqis and defeating al Qaeda." Would our troops have to wait to return fire until they checked the ID cards of their attackers? If they saw a massacre of women and children in progress, would we want them to stand by until they received a legal opinion as to whether the killers were bona fide foreign terrorists?
    This ain't the NFL, where everybody wears a uniform and plays by the rules. Proposals to limit the freedom of action of our troops reflect domestic politics at their shabbiest - and you and I know it. Our troops need fewer restrictions, not more.

    THERE are no guarantees of success. The president's troop surge may not be enough to make a decisive difference; in the end, Iraq may collapse all around us. A sectarian bloodbath could be inevitable.
    But our brave men and women in uniform have new coaches and a new playbook for Iraq. They believe they've got a reasonable chance to cross the goal line - and they've got more at risk than a sports celebrity's salary.

    Yes, the Iraqis have to pick up the ball - but it would be an immoral act of strategic madness to fumble the ball on purpose.

    In the end, we may not win. But you can't win if you walk off the field while the game's still under way. The clock may run out on hope for Iraq. But it hasn't yet.

    Ralph Peters' latest book is "Never Quit The Fight."
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Sorry, mate but conditions set. This is only happening because of the surge. The backlash will be unpleasant.

    Seen and done similar in NI and they weren't a success either.

    You are in a long war and you still believe that you can "win" in 6 months a cry of the much vaunted new COM MNF-I and his oh so bright advisors.

    Hard luck, COIN doesn't work like that.
  3. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    I have a little trouble with comparisons of NI and Iraq. As I recall are not the population of NI UK citizens? There was no invasion of NI was there? (Did I miss it?) You were not an army of occupation were you?

    The IRA and PIRA are/were criminals and/or terrorists; however, they were also citizens of the UK, is that not correct? They did use Guerrilla tactics and urban warfare at times.

    A quote from above:

    "In Northern Ireland the small radical splinter groups, the "Real Irish Republican Army" and "Continuity Irish Republican Army" also consider themselves to be "guerrillas". This is heavily disputed since their popularity levels are extremely low amongst Irish Republicans and Irish Nationalists, they are dwarved in size by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (usually simply refered to as the IRA) and they're "guerrilla tactics" have been less than succesful when compared to the organization they broke with (the Provisional IRA).

    The Continuity IRA has so far failed to kill any of their targets, while the only "succesful" and important strike by the "Real" IRA was the Omagh Bombing of 1998 which left 29 civillians dead with absolutely no harm done to military targets (British army or Loyalist paramilitary)."

    Supposedly, the way I understood it anyway, your Army was there to keep both sides of the troubles there from killing each other, and keep the peace, etc.

    On the other hand we invaded Iraq, helped execute its leader, fired its military, helped set up a new regime and are occuping Iraq at this time. As far as I know the people we are fighting are Iraqis or foreign jihadist, not UK or American citizens.
  4. Well.3 Day ago , B1(Yes!!) flew low over the Big B and dropped bombs.It must have comes thousands of miles to do that.Then with afterburners going,it headed into the dusky sky.155mm being used in CB role against targets in the city.WTF!!!
  5. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Your point?

    What ever it takes! :thumright:
  6. Trippy quoted

    Apparently the inaccuracy comes from the Whitehouse. USAToday reported:

    I have always maintained that for a surge to succeed in Iraq, 50,000 new troops might be needed. But then, we don't have 50,000 new troops. Another testament to the Bush Doctrine.
  7. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    You mean that you really think the media is going to be supporting the Whitehouse? You are truly naive DD.
  8. Naive me? I hate to say that you are the naive one, Trip. You still think Iraq can be won by guns and bombs , don't you? And six or seven special forces bubbas.

    As for the media, I bet you deny the existence of FauxNews.
  9. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    No I don't; however, security for the people of Iraq must be established first before any of the other things needed in that country can be established.

    The surge is about doing just that, establishing security in Bagdad with both American and Iraqi assets. This may not be accomplished; however, I for one will not second guess the Commander of that campaign, nor doom it to failure before it hardly is implemented.

    The Special Forces soldiers in Iraq, have done an excellent job there and will continue to do so. I don't think they need o be called 'bubbas,' by some one hitch clown, like you. Who do you think are training the elite Iraqi units?

    As for Faux news, it sounds like it's right up your ally.
  10. Let me ask you Trip,

    you say you will not second guess the CinC? Even after he has been wrong four years in a row? Tell me one thing he has been right as far as Iraq is concerned. Something of major importance.

    If I had as much faith in politicians as you do, I would be the pope.

    'Nuff said.
  11. Trip

    The comparison between NI and Iraq us initially accurate. NI was not invaded by the British Military (contrary to Republican propaganda) the military were/are there to assist the police enforce the law. The aim being that once the police could deal with the situation they would not require the assistance of the military. This has now been achieved and NI is now viewed as normalised.

    The initial attack on Iraq was just the first phase and was successful with the Iraqi power base defeated.

    NI and Iraq situations are now comparable because surely the aim is to return Iraq to a normalised situation under a democracy. The win in this situation is not so definative.

    Journo's and politicians, especially from your side of the pond, seem to have difficulty grasping this concept.
  12. dingerr said,

    Beg to disagree, ol' boy. Normal in Iraq would be to return the country to a man who can keep it together in relative peace no matter how many people die. By this I mean a Saddam with Western support.

    Ideal would be putting the country in the hands of an affable dictator who brooks no crap from no flank. His success would be measured by how long the center can hold.

    Something we are rapidly failing at today.
  13. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Did I mention the CIC? No I did not! I was talking about Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is the commander of the surge!

    Your opinion of the CIC is yours and you are welcome to it! I have little faith in any politician, especilly Democrats from the new liberal left. Yes, he (CIC) has made some mistake and admits to them. So what! You never made a mistake? We are all human and make mistakes.

    What is your master plan for the GWOT, Iraq and Afganistan ... pull the troops out? Stick your head in the sand and maybe they will go away? Tell me!

    When one looks at the sum total, of all your posts here on ARRSE, one wonders if you have any love or faith in your country, at all. From what I see of your posts here, they are all critical of the USA, its policies and leadership. WTF is your problem? Do you really think leaving Iraq for Iran and Syria and Al Quida is the answer? :pissedoff:

    "In the end, we may not win. But you can't win if you walk off the field while the game's still under way. The clock may run out on hope for Iraq. But it hasn't yet."

  14. The commander ultimately is responsinsible to the CinC and takes his orders from him. The buck stops here. Remember?

    Have I ever made mistakes? Of course I have. But none that have cost my country more the 3,000 lives in blood and treasure because of a so called mistake, which you seem to dismiss with a wave of your hand.

    So what you ask? That saddens me Trip. Really does.

    My master plan for GWOT? Learn from the first rule of holes: When in one, stop digging.

    You, my friend, argue from a position of emotion. I argue from a position of.... what can I say...brains.
  15. DD

    Well thats the normal that the world has been led to believe and expects.

    A dictator, controlled by the West, would be ideal, but would not be acceptable by the wider world.

    Normal as i see it is the government (with its army/police/agencies) has the power to enforce the law without the country falling into civil war every five minutes.