Victory in Iraq prior to end of 2008?

#1
Michael Yon, which many of you know and respect has suggested that the war in Iraq could actually be called a "Victory" by the end of 2008.

Normally if I didn't follow this man for a couple years I would think he was bonkers. But with all due respect, he was also the first person to call it an insurgency, and subsequently a civil war.

I have reason to believe his words may have some merit.

Anyway, he has an open invitation to the presidential hopefuls and any senators to tour Iraq and talk with the troops on the ground about the progress made.

One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth. For instance, we went into Iraq with shoddy intelligence (at best), no reconstruction plan, and perhaps half as many troops as were required. We refused to admit that an insurgency was growing, until the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war. Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence and are getting beaten back or co-opted. Shia, Sunni and Kurds are coming together -- although with various stresses -- under the national government. If progress continues at this rate, it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say "the war has ended." Yes, likely there still will be some American casualties, but if the violence continues to drop and the Iraqi government consolidates its gains, we will be able, in good conscience, to begin bringing more of our people home. I will be paying very close attention to the words of Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, who is replacing General Petraeus as the overall commander in Iraq.

Whatever we do in Iraq from here forward, we must strive to make better decisions than those made between 2003 and 2006. And one way to achieve that is by making certain that our civilian leaders are fully informed. All three candidates for President are extremely intelligent, but that doesn't mean that all three are tracking the truth on the ground in Iraq. Anyone who wants to be President of the United States needs to see Iraq without the distorting lenses of the media or partisan politics. I would be honored to visit Iraq with Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, Senator McCain or any of their Senate colleagues.

I hereby offer to accompany any Senator to Iraq, whether they are pro-or anti-war, Democrat or Republican. I will make this offer personally to a few select Senators as well. Our conversations during the visit would be on- or off-record, as they wish. Touring Iraq with me, as well as briefings by U.S. officers and meetings with Iraqis, would provide an accurate and nuanced account of the progress and challenges ahead, so that the Senators might have a highly informed perspective on this most critical issue. Our civilian leaders need to make decisions based on the best information available. The only way to learn what is really going on in Iraq is to go there and listen to our ground commanders, who know what they are doing. Generals Petraeus and Odierno have years of experience in Iraq, and vast knowledge of our efforts there. But the young soldiers who have done multiple tours in Iraq also have unique and invaluable perspectives as well. These young soldiers have personally witnessed the trajectory of the war shift dramatically, and can articulate those changes in concrete and specific terms. It doesn’t matter if a soldier is only twenty-something. If he or she spent two or three years in the war, that person is likely to have valuable insights. The best way to understand what is really going on is to listen closely to a wide range of service members who have done multiple tours in Iraq. Some will be negative, some will be positive, but overall I am certain that the vast majority of multi-tour Iraq veterans will testify that there has been great progress, and now there is hope. Combat veterans don’t tolerate happy talk or wishful thinking. They’ll tell you the raw truth as they see it.

Whether any Senators take advantage of my offer, I do hope that the presidential candidates visit Iraq, not just for a photo opportunity, but to spend time with our commanders and combat veterans, who know the truth and are not afraid to speak it.

Interested to hear what our fair skinned cousins cross the pond have to say about this.
 
#2
Recent events in Iraq would seem to suggest this article is correct.

The recent surge in US troop numbers has seen violence drop considerably across Iraq.

The prospect of an unconditional pull-out of US troops by the Democratic Party may in light of the above,IMHO, be counter-productive.
 
#3
Ghost, no matter what happens in Iraq, all you'll get here from most will be along the lines of

"blah blah blah shrub, blah blah blah bliar, blah blah blah Iran really won, blah blah blah oil, etc.
 
#4
Ghost, no matter what happens in Iraq, all you'll get here from most will be along the lines of

"blah blah blah shrub, blah blah blah bliar, blah blah blah Iran really won, blah blah blah oil, etc.
Really? You have read this forum , and all the Iraq threads haven't you?
 
#6
Well it would be nice if Yon is correct, but I won't be holding my breath. That's not through any particular insight into the Iraqi insurgent mindset, or knowledge of the effectiveness of the cousins, but due to my own cynicism formed by bitter experience. Like I say, I hope he's right, but until we know who the next US President is I won't putting any money on the result.

Edited to add: mlarr shrub oil wmd tinfoil mlarr etc. (just for parapauk)
 
#7
Edited to add: mlarr shrub oil wmd tinfoil mlarr etc. (just for parapauk)
You forgot Iran :D

Back on thread though, I think it will be clear after the Iraqi local elections in November.

To Obama's credit, he isn't planning to bail. A phased withdrawal over 16-24 months, leaving behind SF and force protection units, sounds both sensible given the progress made, and neccessery for a very tired US Army.
 
#8
parapauk said:
Edited to add: mlarr shrub oil wmd tinfoil mlarr etc. (just for parapauk)
You forgot Iran :D

Back on thread though, I think it will be clear after the Iraqi local elections in November.

To Obama's credit, he isn't planning to bail. A phased withdrawal over 16-24 months, leaving behind SF and force protection units, sounds both sensible given the progress made, and neccessery for a very tired US Army.
Even if he called for an immediate withdrawal it would still take around 16 - 24 months. The logistical operation would be time consuming and very expensive. Think D Day in reverse and multiply by about five.
 
#9
EthanEdwards11 said:
parapauk said:
Edited to add: mlarr shrub oil wmd tinfoil mlarr etc. (just for parapauk)
You forgot Iran :D

Back on thread though, I think it will be clear after the Iraqi local elections in November.

To Obama's credit, he isn't planning to bail. A phased withdrawal over 16-24 months, leaving behind SF and force protection units, sounds both sensible given the progress made, and neccessery for a very tired US Army.
Even if he called for an immediate withdrawal it would still take around 16 - 24 months. The logistical operation would be time consuming and very expensive. Think D Day in reverse and multiply by about five.
Somehow I don't think we'll be leaving with as many troops as we came with if you catch my drift.

I didn't agree with why we were there, but the reality is we are there, and both British and American troops have died for it. I hope at the very least something comes of this. I agree with leaving some sort of QRF there although if they all hunker into a big palace they risk returning to a 2003 perception of being out of touch with the locals.

I guess it's really a catch 22. We don't want to be there, and they may or may not want us there, but we cannot leave Iraq on it's own accord anytime soon. We have to protect our "investment" until it is no longer threatened.
 
#10
This depends how you define "victory". If it's about soon having a slim prospect of greatly poorer and shrunken DC being able to retreat with some dignity in 2018, oh happy day, that may be within the margins of probability. Even on these shaky grounds I'd not be stocking up on ticker tape just yet.

On the other hand if winning is about attaining strategic objectives Cordesman's sober 06 assessment still stands:
Objective One: Get Rid of Iraqi WMD Threat: Happened before the war. The main stated objective of the war was pointless.

Objective Two: Liberate Iraq: Security for the average Iraq is now worse, and the new political freedom is essentially freedom to vote for sectarian and ethnic divisions. Some progress to be sure, but much more limited than the Administration claims. It will be 2007-2008 at the earliest before stability can be established -- if it can. We essentially used a bull to liberate a china shop, without any meaningful plan to deal with the consequences. We have tried to fix the resulting problems, but we still don't know whether we can salvage our early mistakes.

Objective Three: End the Terrorist Threat in Iraq: There was no meaningful threat in the first place. Neo-Salafi terrorism now dominates the insurgency and is a far worse threat. Al Qaida now has serious involvement in Iraq. The impact on the region has alienated many Arabs and Muslims and has aided extremists. It has given Iran leverage that has added a new risk of Shi'ite extremism.

Objective Four: Stabilize the Gulf Region and Middle East: The war has been extremely divisive. It has created a major new source of anger against the US and new tensions over the US presence. Iran, Turkey, and neighboring Arab states have all become involved in destabilizing ways.

Objective Five: Ensure Secure Energy Exports: There have been consistently lower Iraqi exports than under Saddam. The predicted increases in Iraqi production have never occurred, and will not for years to come. There has been no meaningful renovation of oil fields and export facilities and serious further wartime disruption. The previous problems have spilled over into the other Gulf exporting states.

Objective Six: Make Iraq a Democratic Example that Transforms the Middle East: Iraq is not a model of anything. Public opinion polls in region show that our efforts at reform to date have created new Arab fears of US, and distrust of US efforts at reform in other countries.

Objective Seven: Help Iraq Become a Modern Economy: The flood of wartime, oil for food, and aid money has put tens of billions of dollars into the Iraqi economy and raised the GDP and per capita income on paper. So have record oil revenues. Even the latest US quarterly report, however, has oil not only dominating the GDP, but rising as a percentage in the future. Most new businesses are shells, starts ups or war related. Youth unemployment easily averages more than 30% nationwide and is 40-60% in the trouble Sunni areas. As yet, no meaningful sectoral reform in agriculture, state industries, or the energy sector. A shift to focused short term aid and letting the Iraqis manage more of the money may help, but largely a wasteful, highly ideological and bureaucratic failure.

In short, being a superpower is not enough. Fighting wars requires both a realistic grand strategy and the ability to implement it.

We may salvage the Iraq War on a national level, but there is little or no chance of salvaging the war in terms of our broader strategic objectives.
It's telling that it requires a good deal of well informed conjecture to even frame a coherent set of objectives.

Objective #2 on it's way? I'd hope so. After a long procession of much trumpeted tipping points I'm not filled with confidence. The deluded belief it will be achieved in the short term will only ensure disaster. A good outcome depends less on the US Millitary than the locals. I include not just the still fractious Iraqi Arabs but the Kurds, ruthless Ankara, wily Qom and stubborn Riyadh in that.
 
#11
parapauk said:
Ghost, no matter what happens in Iraq, all you'll get here from most will be along the lines of

"blah blah blah shrub, blah blah blah bliar, blah blah blah Iran really won, blah blah blah oil, etc.
You mean things like blah blah, concrete walls separating areas of cities and towns, blah blah blah, bans on using cars, blah blah blah, no fekker dare step outside blah blah blah sectarian 'cleansing' blah blah returning displaced Iraqis that find their former homes to be a 'cleansed area' and having to find somewhere else to live.....
That sort of stuff?
This drop in fatalities, as much as it's welcome, is mere window-dressing in my ever-so humble opinion.
 
#12
You mean things like blah blah, concrete walls separating areas of cities and towns, blah blah blah, bans on using cars, blah blah blah, no fekker dare step outside blah blah blah sectarian 'cleansing' blah blah returning displaced Iraqis that find their former homes to be a 'cleansed area' and having to find somewhere else to live.....
That sort of stuff?
No, because these are important issues on the ground that need addressing. The kind of bitching I'm talking about is either dogmatic, false, or would require a time machine to fix.
 
#13
http://michaelyon-online.com/

One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth.
It's not a specific problem connected to Iraqi war. Politics always triumphes over the truth (and not only in the USA).

Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated
Al Qaeda in Iraq is a fruit of imagination of American propaganda. The main force here are Iraqi nationalists.

...and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence...
Wrong, the militias are prepareing for future battles for power after inevitable withdrawal of American troops. So they don't waste resources to fight against those who is packing their luggage.

...it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say "the war has ended."
By the way the war in Vietnam had ended long ago (and 'violence' was reduced significantly some years before the end). And later or sooner Iraqi war will end as well.
 
#14
Wrong, the militias are prepareing for future battles for power after inevitable withdrawal of American troops. So they don't waste resources to fight against those who is packing their luggage.
Your logic is flawed - the last thing the militias should be doing now to expidite a US withdrawal is tone down their attacks. The more they do that, the less of a liability Iraq becomes to McCain, and if he win the insurgents will pretty much have to sit on their hands for the next four to eight years if your 'preperations for future battles' theory is anything to go by. McCain won't have any hesitation in stopping or even reversing a US withdrawal is things begin to get worse, no matter how unpopular.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#15
KGB_resident said:
http://michaelyon-online.com/

One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth.
It's not a specific problem connected to Iraqi war. Politics always triumphes over the truth (and not only in the USA).

Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated
Al Qaeda in Iraq is a fruit of imagination of American propaganda. The main force here are Iraqi nationalists.

...and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence...
Wrong, the militias are prepareing for future battles for power after inevitable withdrawal of American troops. So they don't waste resources to fight against those who is packing their luggage.

...it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say "the war has ended."
By the way the war in Vietnam had ended long ago (and 'violence' was reduced significantly some years before the end). And later or sooner Iraqi war will end as well.
Shrewd and accurate observations Sergei..
 
#16
First, I want to say I didn't post this as a propaganda component although I would concede it may have value in that respect.

I respect what some on this forum have to say and the alternative views that many have. There is a genuine curiosity as to what is thought about this being viable or not.


KGB_resident said:
It's not a specific problem connected to Iraqi war. Politics always triumphes over the truth (and not only in the USA).
Agreed. This is not something only specific to the US.


KGB_resident said:
Al Qaeda in Iraq is a fruit of imagination of American propaganda. The main force here are Iraqi nationalists.
So what your saying is all the film clips of guys getting their heads hacked off, and/or paraded and shot are American Propaganda? Sorry Sergie, but if you truly believe that you are apparently severely blinded by your own country's propaganda.

AQI and the Militias are two completely different issues. Most militias are pro-Iraqi while AQI has ties to no border, country, or really anything else other than a radical Islamic view and a will to impose that on everyone else.

KGB_resident said:
Wrong, the militias are prepareing for future battles for power after inevitable withdrawal of American troops. So they don't waste resources to fight against those who is packing their luggage.
While I would concede that some of the terrorists have left Iraq and gone elsewhere. I would think they are the smart ones because they know at this point Iraq for them is a lost cause.

I'm sure there will be power struggles amongst the various dozens of militias throughout Iraq. However, If they are waiting, they are going to be waiting a very long time.

Americans will not be fully disengaged from Iraq anytime in the next 20 years. I would bet good money on that.


KGB_resident said:
By the way the war in Vietnam had ended long ago (and 'violence' was reduced significantly some years before the end). And later or sooner Iraqi war will end as well.
This is a very oblique attempt to say it would be a pull out under some sort of political loss. Hardly the case as hard as everyone tries to make it look otherwise I'm afraid.

Very much unlike the vietnam war most likely you will see at least 50,000 to 100,000 US Troops posted INSIDE Iraq for at least the next decade if not longer. Iraq will become a regular overseas tour of duty most likely similar to a tour in Korea. Which I have done myself.

The militias that try to come to power will be facing an American augmented Iraqi army and most likely a hard crack down. Time is definitely not on their side in this.

The more comfortable Iraqis become as infrastructure, services, and security continue to get better the harder it will be for the militias to get average Iraqis on their side.
 
#17
ghost_us said:
KGB_resident said:
Al Qaeda in Iraq is a fruit of imagination of American propaganda. The main force here are Iraqi nationalists.
So what your saying is all the film clips of guys getting their heads hacked off, and/or paraded and shot are American Propaganda? Sorry Sergie, but if you truly believe that you are apparently severely blinded by your own country's propaganda.

AQI and the Militias are two completely different issues. Most militias are pro-Iraqi while AQI has ties to no border, country, or really anything else other than a radical Islamic view and a will to impose that on everyone else.
Ghost, I don't see any firm evidences that Al Qaeda ever operates in Iraq. How many AQ operatives were captured in Iraq exactly? I fancy that the true number is ZERO.

There are tiny number of foregn fighters in Iraq. But it would be wrong automatically brand them as AQ members.

I repeat my point. The vast majority of anti-American forces in Iraq are namely Iraqis and they are namely Iraqi nationalists. American leadership (for political reasons - to triumph over the truth) tries to present the fight against Iraqi nationalists as war against AQ. So free American press is mentioning AQI on daily basis without any facts on hands.

ghost_us said:
KGB_resident said:
Wrong, the militias are prepareing for future battles for power after inevitable withdrawal of American troops. So they don't waste resources to fight against those who is packing their luggage.
While I would concede that some of the terrorists have left Iraq and gone elsewhere. I would think they are the smart ones because they know at this point Iraq for them is a lost cause.
It is a hard task to catch a black cat in a dark room especially if there is no any cat in the room.

Some Iraqi nationalists are using terrorist methods. On their soil they have right for it. They are fighting against foreign invaders, so they have right to use any means.

As for international terrorists then if they target American troops in Iraq then it would be logical to suggest that they would target American troops arounfd the Globe as well. But we don't see such attacks. It proves that there are too few (if any) foreign terrorists in Iraq.

ghost_us said:
I'm sure there will be power struggles amongst the various dozens of militias throughout Iraq. However, If they are waiting, they are going to be waiting a very long time.

Americans will not be fully disengaged from Iraq anytime in the next 20 years. I would bet good money on that.
20 years? 20 years is too big time interval to make any predictions.

Once Hidja Nasreddin promissed to Shah to teach his donkey to read Quran during 20 years. If he fails then he would be beheaded. People say: poor Hidja. But he answered: during 20 years the Shah or the donkey or me likely would die. So it is absolutely safe to make such promisses.

If mr.McCain would win or mr.Obama would 'forget' about his promiss then be sure the attack against American troops would restart with new force.

The insurgents are not idiots. They also are well aware about political situation in the USA. Their resistance has played its role. Suppose that they would do more attacks. Would it change position of mr.McCain? No of course. So new attack against American troops are semseless until the presidential elections.

ghost_us said:
KGB_resident said:
By the way the war in Vietnam had ended long ago (and 'violence' was reduced significantly some years before the end). And later or sooner Iraqi war will end as well.
This is a very oblique attempt to say it would be a pull out under some sort of political loss. Hardly the case as hard as everyone tries to make it look otherwise I'm afraid.

Very much unlike the vietnam war most likely you will see at least 50,000 to 100,000 US Troops posted INSIDE Iraq for at least the next decade if not longer. Iraq will become a regular overseas tour of duty most likely similar to a tour in Korea. Which I have done myself.
Of course it is possible but in this case (as I have said before) powerfull attack against American troops in Iraq would continue and the war would be more and more unpopular in the USA.

ghost_us said:
The militias that try to come to power will be facing an American augmented Iraqi army and most likely a hard crack down. Time is definitely not on their side in this.
Iraqi army? It could vanish in few days (as Saddams army vanished). The army and the police are overcrowded by members of the militias.

ghost_us said:
The more comfortable Iraqis become as infrastructure, services, and security continue to get better the harder it will be for the militias to get average Iraqis on their side.
If American troops killed your Father (and huge number of Iraqi children are in this position) then no matter how many roads, pipelines would be built - there are tens and even hundreds of thousand potential revengers.

Also take into account religious factor. The American are infidels for the Iraqis.
 
#18
Suppose that they would do more attacks. Would it change position of mr.McCain? No of course
No they wouldn't, but they would DECREASE the probability of him winning. If they had any brains, they'd throw everything they could at the US between now and November, even at the cost of being less effective for a period post election, because they would have achived a strategic goal of changing US policy to one of fairly rapid withdrawal. After that, they could (if you buy into the idea of the Iraqi army being useless, which I don't), re-generate and re-commence the fight at their leasure.
 
#19
Sergey,

The observations from Mr Yon are due to his being on the ground in Iraq since damn near day one.

How many days have you spent in Iraq? How concrete is the proof that you are refuting what he says or is it simply based on bias and conjecture with a hint of faulty logic?

I wouldn't trust the Iraqi police at all and I think you're right about them but the Iraqi army is another thing.

Why would an Iraqi army commander want to give up power and control to a militia?

One of the largest and most powerful militias in Iraq is working with US forces (1920's Brigade) to root out foreign fighters (if you don't like AQI)

Also, more civilians have been killed by the militias and foreign fighters than the multinational force. What you said about revenge is true, but it's not against the US that they are seeking it.

If the main force opposing the US in Iraq is now Iraqi militias, that is because the allied forces have been successful in making is so and taking AQI or foreign insurgents out of the picture.

I think it's irresponsible to say that Al Queda in Iraq is American created propaganda and then complain about all the Saudis, Jordanians, Algerians, etc captured in Iraq and locked away in Guantanamo. That's playing both sides of the propaganda fence there.

Where did they come from? Hapless foreigners vacationing in Iraq no doubt.

Mr Yon has years on the ground in Iraq. He knows the people, the troops, and the situation.

You and I only know the news that we read second hand.

I trust what he has to say, because what he has to say hasn't always been good, or good news.

What solid source do you get your factual information from or are you just throwing out opinions based on various news articles you read?


edit: Just read this article which substantiates what I claimed previously. The US will be there a very long time.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24967046/

Supporters believe the deal would help assure Iraq's Arab neighbors, notably Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, that Iraq's Shiite-led government would not become a satellite of Shiite-dominated Iran as American military role here fades.

But public critics in Iraq worry the deal will lock in American military, economic and political domination of the country. Some Iraqi politicians have attacked the deal, especially those loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric whose militiamen fought U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad until a May truce ended seven weeks of fighting.

Invasion fears
The agreement is likely to be among the issues discussed this weekend when Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is due to visit Iran — his second trip there in a year. Ahead of the visit, his party sought to calm worries by insisting that the deal would not allow foreign troops to use Iraq as a ground to invade another country — a reference to Iranian fears of a U.S. attack.
 
#20
ghost_us said:
Sergey,

The observations from Mr Yon are due to his being on the ground in Iraq since damn near day one.

How many days have you spent in Iraq? How concrete is the proof that you are refuting what he says or is it simply based on bias and conjecture with a hint of faulty logic?
Of course I have never been to Iraq. But rather I support opinion expressed by John Simpson

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7303985.stm

Iraq war shows limits of US power

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 I have spent almost a year of my life here, reporting on the conflict.

It is clear the United States can only manage to fight two small wars at a time.
...
Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the US armed forces almost to breaking point. America after the invasion of Iraq is no longer the superpower it was before.
...
Now, the American forces are engaged in fighting a rearguard action, winning time during which the long-term decisions can be taken...
...
...Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate for the White House - will no doubt call this rearguard action a success. He may even be tempted to call it a victory.

Yet at present it is hard to think of it as particularly successful.

On Monday, Vice-President Dick Cheney came to Baghdad and talked about "the phenomenal improvement in security". That day more than 60 Iraqis were killed in bomb attacks.

He had to travel with unprecedented numbers of bodyguards, even though he never left the heavily defended Green Zone. Two mortar rounds hit the Zone while he was there.

None of this feels like a phenomenal improvement in security.
...
Germany's 19th-Century Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, said that great powers had to be very careful when they put their military strength to the test. Unless they are overwhelmingly successful, he meant, the perception will be that they have been defeated.

In spite of the new successes on the ground here, that is the long-term danger America faces.
...
...damage which the war has done to America's reputation. The US state department finds it much harder nowadays to be taken seriously when it criticises other countries for their use of torture and arbitrary arrest.

People the world over have been repelled by things that have been done here: things that are now associated with place-names like Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and Falluja.
ghost_us said:
I wouldn't trust the Iraqi police at all and I think you're right about them but the Iraqi army is another thing.

Why would an Iraqi army commander want to give up power and control to a militia?

One of the largest and most powerful militias in Iraq is working with US forces (1920's Brigade) to root out foreign fighters (if you don't like AQI)
Foreign fighters in Iraq? The vast majority of them are ... Americans.
Now and before number of anti-Coalition foreign fighters is (was) insignificant.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0923/dailyUpdate.html

The 'myth' of Iraq's foreign fighters

Report by US think tank says only '4 to 10' percent of insurgents are foreigners.
...
CSIS says "Algerians are the largest group (20 percent), followed by Syrians (18 percent), Yemenis (17 percent), Sudanese (15 percent), Egyptians (13 percent), Saudis (12 percent) and those from other states (5 percent)."
And note that the Arabs regard themselves as one big super-nation. So even these foreigners are not 'absolutely foreign'.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/middleeast/22fighters.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

The records also underscore how the insurgency in Iraq remains both overwhelmingly Iraqi and Sunni.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0107/p02s01-usmi.html

Little has been known about so-called foreign fighters in Iraq, other than that they are typically motivated by ideology and are usually smuggled in through Syria in small numbers.
ghost_us said:
Also, more civilians have been killed by the militias and foreign fighters than the multinational force. What you said about revenge is true, but it's not against the US that they are seeking it.

If the main force opposing the US in Iraq is now Iraqi militias, that is because the allied forces have been successful in making is so and taking AQI or foreign insurgents out of the picture.

I think it's irresponsible to say that Al Queda in Iraq is American created propaganda and then complain about all the Saudis, Jordanians, Algerians, etc captured in Iraq and locked away in Guantanamo. That's playing both sides of the propaganda fence there.
Resposible, irresposible... I don't understand your logic. I claim that so called AQI hardly ever exists because I don't see any evidences of its existence. Instead of the proof of its existence you say that it is 'irresponsible' to make such claims. Irresponsible for whom?

Try to answer one simple question. How many foreign fighters (with weapons in hands) were captured in Iraq by coalition forces during last 5 years. I don't know answer to this question. Do you?

ghost_us said:
Where did they come from? Hapless foreigners vacationing in Iraq no doubt.

Mr Yon has years on the ground in Iraq. He knows the people, the troops, and the situation.

You and I only know the news that we read second hand.
Well, how many foreign fighter has mr.Yon seen. 2, 1 or zero?

ghost_us said:
I trust what he has to say, because what he has to say hasn't always been good, or good news.
I respect you right to have own opinion.

ghost_us said:
What solid source do you get your factual information from or are you just throwing out opinions based on various news articles you read?
Any opinion is just an opinion. As for facts then they could and should be checked. And there is a big difference in claims that something exists or doesn't exist.

Those that think that something doesn't exist have nothing to prove.
By contrast those that claim that something exist have to present proof, evidences and so on.

ghost_us said:
edit: Just read this article which substantiates what I claimed previously. The US will be there a very long time.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24967046/

Supporters believe the deal would help assure Iraq's Arab neighbors, notably Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, that Iraq's Shiite-led government would not become a satellite of Shiite-dominated Iran as American military role here fades.

But public critics in Iraq worry the deal will lock in American military, economic and political domination of the country. Some Iraqi politicians have attacked the deal, especially those loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric whose militiamen fought U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad until a May truce ended seven weeks of fighting.

Invasion fears
The agreement is likely to be among the issues discussed this weekend when Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is due to visit Iran — his second trip there in a year. Ahead of the visit, his party sought to calm worries by insisting that the deal would not allow foreign troops to use Iraq as a ground to invade another country — a reference to Iranian fears of a U.S. attack.
Well, of course it is possible that American troops will stay in Iraq for decades. But I doubt that the agreement between outgoing Bush's administration and American puppets in Iraq worth more that paper on witch it has been written.
 

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