Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whitecity, May 7, 2006.
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Top post, Merkator! And I agree, very interesting. Let's just hope it opens the floodgates to more overt dissent and, ultimately, to a more realistic approach to the problem.
Can we get some clarification here?
Iraq wasn't a mistake. The conduct of the immediate post-warfighting phase was a mistake. Are we saying that it was such a big mistake that it invalidates the entire enterprise?
If we are I'm not quite there yet myself.
General Newbold's argument is that the initial invasion was a mistake in itself, followed by the calamity of occupation.
He says, "From 2000 until October 2002, I was a Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense."
Getting rid of saddam good idea . Invading iraq to do it bad idea .
Who are we (and by we I mean America with The UK doing whatever they say) to decide how someone runs their country?
Who made us the World's police force, thought that was kinda the UNs job....
And wheres next?
Vegetius, you are completely right in what you are saying we fought a very clean and effective war, however when we won that war, I believe that is when the shit hit the fan.
Both the US and UK governments didnât have a fcuking clue what to do next. They simply hoped they could fire in their puppet government and the Iraqi people would just crack on.
And instead of dealing with the problems they must have know in there heart of hearts where going to occur in post war Iraq, they have just bungled from one fcuk up to another, with no real tangible improvemts to the lives of ordinary Iraqiâs.
I can imagine most of the ordinary people of Iraq donât want the insurgency, as they are suffering more than even the Coalition troops. They know the longer we are there, making a mess of things âThe Government Not Our Troopsâ the longer they will have to suffer.
However as I have said in another thread if they want to solve this problem they have to have the confidence to work and trust their own Police and Defence forces, as well as Coalition forces.
Otherwise this will truly be a wasted effort and, the war that was fought and won in such way as to minimise destruction to the infrastructure of Iraq and rid them of such an oppressive regime will be forgotten, to only to be remembered for the cluster fcuk we see at the moment.
And Higround I agree with you also, but apparently we perceived a threat from the regime of Iraq, and not its people in general. Which is why we are in such a tight spot now.
Whatâs done is done, good intentions or bad judgment.
The UN. With its history of making such a good job of stopping bloodshed in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur......
As for next ? - Zimbabwe ? That, like Iraq, is a bit of our imperial history that we left unfinished.
Answer is Yes.
Please allow me to ask a couple of questions to help guide your thinking on the matter.
1. What were the reasons for going to war?
2. Among those reasons given, which ones presented either a "supreme emergency" in national or even human security terms for the US/UK or international community?
3. Of those reasons given, how many have now been revealed to be critical misjudgments at best, and downright deceitful at worst?
4. Whose interests were served by the war?
5. After three years and the descent into civil war, who (apart from Halliburton and Bechtel stockholders) is better off for the war being fought?
My boss summed up the idea of Just War in five neat bullet points, back in Oct 2002:
The principles that define a just war include the following:
How is it going by these measures?
Where do you get the idea that the UN as an organisation that was responsible for these failures? It's the unwillingness to act by some or all of the Permanent 5 members of the Security Council that was at the root of most, if not all, of the crises you mention. Just good, old-fashioned national interests trumping all else.
I love the self denial that we force on ourselves in places like Iraq and AF. At risk of being accused of a retrospective 'I told you so', the comedy of the current situation is that it was entirely predictable and well documented doctrinally. But even if it wasn't, why do we refuse to accept that there are (possibly low-level) insurgencies occuring in both theatres? It's as if we're afraid of the word.
In AF, the refusal to admit an insurgency resulted in an almost total refusal to follow COIN doctrine, or at least link it to PSO work and try and educate our IC friends. As a result, we are watching the situation deteriorate.
Take the current quotes from Iraq:
"This isn't an insurgency, this is a mixture of crime, militias, the search for political power which has always happened in Iraq through the use of violence and it's just happening again," said Col Johnny Bowren of the Light Infantry.
I haven't got the pam on me, but I know that the Army's definition of insurgent activity matches the situation over there even more closely than the dictionary version (insurgency: an organized rebellion aimed at overthrowing a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict) in that it also includes militias and inherent crime, and breaks down insurgent activity into a number of different levels/grades.
I also can't help but think that it is symptomatic of the 'not quite enough, just too late' approach to training (at staff level as much, if not more so than anywhere else) that our enemies can still say, 'the British have the best doctrine in the world, thank God they don't use it'.
Just the search for political power through the use of violence... no insurgency here guv... just us and that dude with the RPG... 30 years, man and boy... Oldest trick in the book...
Yeah because it has done a good job so far, Rwanda, Darfur.................
'For fundamental human rights are rights superior to the law of the sovereign state' H. Lauterpacht, International Law and Human Rights (1950)
The UN is now as much use as a 'paper tiger' for these issues. Initially when it was set up it was meant to have its own army. Due to the cold war and other events this never materiallised.
Decisions such as this now depend on the political will of the Security Council. Not only does it take a lot of time but most of the time it doesn't happen. Generally it needs to be close to home for them to intervene ie Yugoslavia.
Destroying an Iraqi military gutted by 12 years of sanctions, composed mostly of conscripts who did not want to die for Saddam was never going to unduly tax the planets only military superpower. And it was never the difficult part.
The post-warfighting phase was the only phase that mattered and we screwed it up royally. The fact that we fought a good war means nothing when the aftermath installs an Iranian influenced islamic state in the south, forces Turkey and Iran to cooperate keeping the Kurds down and destabilises Iraq's neighbours - the ones with the oil. And every hike in the oil price damages the US.
There was a reason Saddam was allowed to survive GW1, it's a shame GWB didn't ask his Dad about it.
All this I told you so smugness is not really much help. It's funny that General Newbold's full of zeal against the war now and claims to have always been but his views were not well aired at the time. I am sure that there were plenty of anti war press agencies who would have loved to have him on the front page during the war.
Why we did it and whose fault is it is an argument for when we are out of Iraq what is important now is what we do with the situation in place. We have a choice either slog it out with the hope that as the oil industry improves that greater employment creates stability and that the new found taste of democracy turn people away from violence or do we simply cut our loss's and bug out leaving them to it.
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