The Battle for Basra

#2
NEO_CON said:
I just posted this article for comment. I nether agree or disagree with it

http://www.americanprowler.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8953

A fair report well written and unbiased. He rightly critisises Blair for lack of action, allowing the city to sink to its current levels of arnachy. The work of the Army over the last 3 years is slowly being undone by lack of action from this weak Government.

God help our military being led by this muppet. Perhaps Rommel was right with his Lions and Donkeys comment.
 
#3
Disagree, strongly disagree.

The situation now has nothing at all to do with the way that we have dealt with the Iraqi people and everything to do with the Iranian influence coming across the border. I might know what I am talking about as I was down town Basra as recently as last week.

We have the right attitude of toning down the "war" footing to a more relaxed look, and if it was not for outside influence, this would be working really well.
 
#4
NEO_CON

What is your point, the Iranian backed Militia belong to Political Parties that have been elected to represent the people of the 4 provinces. As most Iraqi (less the Kurds) do not like the occupation it is not surprising that there have been some attacks. Perhaps the UK is becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Is our softly softly approach working? Since no can define what the UK/US end state is it is difficult to determine who methods are more effective. Plus - the obvious political differences between S Iraq and Central Iraq.

The bottom line is if you let the Genie out of the bottle by invading Iraq and allow free and fair elections then the occupier has no right to choose the government.

What is your take on the situation??
 
#5
I disagree with it.

The writer of the article glosses over the fact that unlike the successful counter-insurgency campaigns that the British Forces have previously undertaken this one is being conducted alongside the US. This in itself a serious problem when trying to bring peace to a populace so enraged by the actions of 'The Great Satan' (although the Iranian influence doesn't help).

Yes the US have lots of guns but unfortunately the 'brains' behind this article has completely missed the point that waving guns in peoples faces and using cluster bombs during operations in built up areas isn't the way to get an unhappy population to see your way of thinking.

Its kind of rich for a commentator from a country with such a poor background in counter-insurgency operations to belittle the hard learnt but well practised doctrine of the UK forces.
 
#6
No doubt an interesting article, but I did not get past the basic factual errors about the recent sequence of events in Basra. Eg, the so-called "storming of the compound" did not precipitate the widely-televised riot, but took place later.
 
#7
NEO_CON

What is your point, the Iranian backed Militia belong to Political Parties that have been elected to represent the people of the 4 provinces. As most Iraqi (less the Kurds) do not like the occupation it is not surprising that there have been some attacks. Perhaps the UK is becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Is our softly softly approach working? Since no can define what the UK/US end state is it is difficult to determine who methods are more effective. Plus - the obvious political differences between S Iraq and Central Iraq.

The bottom line is if you let the Genie out of the bottle by invading Iraq and allow free and fair elections then the occupier has no right to choose the government.

What is your take on the situation??
My take on this subject is , I don't have one . There are people on this site who are far more qualified to comment than I am . I am some what of a Optimist for what that is worth.
 
#9
Jailorinummqasr said:
NEO_CON
What is your point, the Iranian backed Militia belong to Political Parties that have been elected to represent the people of the 4 provinces. As most Iraqi (less the Kurds) do not like the occupation it is not surprising that there have been some attacks. Perhaps the UK is becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Is our softly softly approach working? Since no can define what the UK/US end state is it is difficult to determine who methods are more effective. Plus - the obvious political differences between S Iraq and Central Iraq.

The bottom line is if you let the Genie out of the bottle by invading Iraq and allow free and fair elections then the occupier has no right to choose the government.
I agree with this post. The occupiers relationship with the shias in the south looked lesshostile than with the Sunnis removed from power.

To what extent are the locals maniipulated by Iranians? Or is this local hostility to the occupation in general and us in particular? If we have peedoff the people who have benefited from the occupation then something has gone very wrong indeed.

The original article looks like another piece of complacent US journalism. Discrediting the British hearts and minds approach isn;t working then lets carry on with the Israeli techniques. It does nothing to answer the fundamental issues about objectives.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#10
I'm surprised to see Aden quoted as a COIN success, it was nothing of the sort and, interestingly, we face the same problem in Iraq that we did there. The problem is that everyone knows that we're going, sooner or later, and this makes us irrelevant in the long term: much of the violence now is between factions positioning themselves, militarily and politically, for the post-coalition era. Taking the occasional swipe at the Brits in Basra does wonders for the political prestige of cnuts like Sadr who would still be sitting in Qom were it not for the Coalition.

We're making the mistake of trying to be an honest broker when we might be much better off identifying groups whose long-term interests aren't entirely inimicable to ours and giving them all the help we can, in as robust a style as possible. The reality is that our 'footprint' in southern Iraq is so light that we aren't in a position to maintain security if everyone is against us and my view is that it is certainly better to have some of the militias on board than to go for the all or nothing approach which the US seems to favour.

The American Spectator article is a juvenile piece really: it ignores the fact that the US sets the political targets and ignores the realities of British operations on the ground. The idea that we don't often leave our compounds is absolutely ludicrous, for example.
 
#11
Casualty rates for US and UK forces in Iraq are about the same. The relatively lower lever (for now) of general violence in SE Iraq is due (IMHO) to the relatively homogenous nature of the population there (i.e. all Shia) rather than any particular difference in approach of the respective occupiers.
 
#12
Ok here's a Question.

If the US where Gunning down the locals in Basra, and the Brits where being nice and cuddly in central Iraq, would the situation be any different?
 
#13
That is indeed a question. As for an answer, who knows.

Hypothetical situations are all well and good but hypothetically the Iranians should be thanking us for removing the leader of a regime that they were at war with for so many years, not providing weapons and training to Saddam's mates.
 
#14
TheHelpfulStacker said:
hypothetically the Iranians should be thanking us for removing the leader of a regime that they were at war with for so many years, not providing weapons and training to Saddam's mates.
This is because they have a new enemy--non-muslims.

I give it 5 years MAX before we're at war with Iran.
 
#15
This blog talks a little bit about the politics of the south

A few days ago, the united alliance (the religious Sheat slate) revealed its platform which has the formation of the federal south as its core theme. The idea and the expected benefits were emphasized by Abdul Aziz al-Hakeem during a press conference last week.
This shows a will on the part of the SCIRI and allies to form an Iran-like state in the southern provinces of Iraq. This, even if not publicly stated but shows clear from the exclusively religious composition of this alliance after moderate/liberal elements like Chalabi, Bahril Iloom (the oil minster) and Ali al-Dabbagh departed the alliance and are now going to enter the election in separate slates.

At the same time, the Sadr trend-which is now the 2nd biggest component of the Sheat alliance after the SCIRI-based their campaign on the issue of ending the presence of “occupation forces”, reactivating the deba’athification process and halting any attempt to build peace with the “Zionist entity” without a word about the federal state idea endorsed by the SCIRI.
Moreover, some Sadr spokesmen occasionally continue to criticize the new constitution and its writers, perhaps they forgot that it was their allies in the SCIRI and Dawa who had the biggest role in writing the draft!

So, apparently the united alliance is not in its best shape nowadays and this is evident from the lack of harmony between the major elements and the widely differing declared policies and goals, actually there’s one incident that became a joke in the streets; the spokesman of Fadheela party said when he announced that the party joined the alliance “We were planning to enter in a separate list but since the deadline was yesterday, we decided-with reservations-to go back to the united alliance”!! The joke here goes like “is this an invitation to elect them with reservations??”.
The reputation of the alliance is being further damaged by reports of campaign posters of secular parties like Mithal’s Allawi’s and Chalabi’s being torn off the walls in cities like Najaf and Kerbala where followers of Sadr and the SCIRI predominate. This of course is against the regulations of the IECI and it won’t be a surprise if we hear soon about charges raised against the alliance.
.....What I wanted to say is that, according to the current findings and observations, I think that next government will be formed from two blocs at least and maybe three or even four but there will be also a more pronounced and active opposition inside the parliament unlike what we have now because this time I expect to see a wider variety of trends and opinions with more small-to-mid-sized blocs winning several seats in the parliament and this will prevent the monopoly of decision making and eventually people will no longer feel they're being unjustly silenced or marginalized
.

This would indicate that the soft approch didn't nessarly harm the south.

http://www.iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/
 

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