I didn't find anything in the first two pages to resurrect, and likely it wouldn't be worth it anyway. So we'll just start fresh. Mainly just wanted to stop derailing the Iran thread.
So here's the last post from there.
True to a point - leaving would motivate them to work a little harder on their own defense, but it would also leave a rather unprepared Iraq government and army to the hands of anyone with a little bit of will. Obviously our government is there trying to get the people they want in power stabalized, they would have already left if they were; leave now and the people we worked to put in power will be overthrown, and Iraq will more than likely move through years of civil war, ending up with another dictator.
There's no guarantee this won't happen no matter when we leave. Even apparently relatively stable governments get overthrown from time to time.
As for the last part...well, I saw little the government was doing from stateside that was preventing us from doing our jobs.
Excuse my writing, I meant to convey the jobs the men and women of our army are doing. I'm an 11B - Infantry soldier.
I'm an ex-19K (armor crewman) and deployed as a 31U (signal support) in an infantry battalion. Howdy. So yeah, I meant the same "us" you did, unless you were only referring to infantrymen.
Do you know the current rules of engagment? For a while they changed every day but they've more or less stabalized for now.
To put it simply we're handicapped. Completely and totally tied up, unable to perform the jobs we are meant to do, all because the polaticians on capitol hill, the people who started this war, beleive that the way it should, and needs to be fouhgt - not simply for victory, but also for the protection of our soldiers, is to barbaric and below the us.
Well, considering we aren't so much fighting a "war" (though it can be a convenient term, and Iraq is very much a warzone), but rather trying to stabilize a country. They require different tactics. The latter isn't even particularly easy to do, or a mission a military force is always well-suited to accomplish.
Take for instance MOUT (Military operation in urban terrain - ground warfare inside of buildings and in city areas). The rules for MOUT have modified and adjusted from a practical stance, one where we would be protected, where our best interest are, to a political stance - one that creates dangerous positions for ground troops. Clearing a room used to be toss in a grenade, then move in and pick off anyone still twitching; it's devolved to running head first into what may be a fortified enemy position. Have you ever run straight into the path of a firing machine gun? I'll tell you what, body arm is a gift beyond any measure, but it's not always good enough. Three rounds from a 7.62 and the plate crumbles - that's if your lucky. I had one crack when I was hit by a 5.56 - friendly fire. I've seen people cut down, men split apart, because we were unable to do our jobs the way they should be done.
The "toss in a grenade and go in to pick up the pieces" method isn't particularly helpful when you could be facing innocent civilians. Every non-insurgent you kill just creates a family full of insurgents. Yes, this means our guys end up in more danger than they need to be. Personally I'd rather see our guys gone; as it is more dead civilians isn't going to accomplish the mission.
METTTC - it used to be only METTT. It's an acronym, standing for Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops, Time available and Civilian conciderations. War is not a cilican concideration. In WWII we razed cities to the ground, civilians who were in the way got messed up, it's sad. Honestly it's a horrible thing, but the first time it happens others decide they want to get the fuck out of the way of oncoming troops. Our government is handicapping us to a point where people in Iraq simply aren't afraid of us. We show demonstrations of force with our finest weapons - the M2 .50 cal, the AT4, our howitzers, our machine guns, our tanks, they don't care anymore, we have no shocking effect because they know they can get to us, and we can't do anything.
I know the acronym. And we aren't fighting a conventional "war," we're trying to keep the peace and stabilize a country. In theory the entire point of our being there is for the benefit of the civilian populace, so it would make sense that civilian considerations be taken into account during operations. Ignoring civilian considerations makes some level of sense when you're fighting and attempting to push back an opposing military force, such as in WWII...but this is not WWII. There is no army we are fighting, no line we are trying to move back, no government we are trying to topple. Razing cities (or even less extreme "strong-arm" tactics) here just leaves dead people with angry families who now want to kill us.
Convoy's can't shoot down oncoming trucks until it's too late, our foot soldiers can't open fire on until they fire first, and they don't use conventional weapons, so that's usually to late for anyone within 20 meters. We could utterly destroy them, we could end this war in three week - three fucking weeks, if our military were simply left to it's devices.
Sure. I guess we could clear out 25 million Iraqis or so in three weeks. It'd require nukes, but we've got them. Nothing short of that will "end" this war...if we left our military to its devices, they'd just kill more people creating more insurgents and more violence. You've already pointed out that they're using nonconventional warfare...so it isn't as if there are opposing infantry regiments that we simply need to kill or capture. All you'd have left after three weeks is more dead people on both sides, along with a more pissed off populace. Yeah, some victory.
Smarter men than I most assueredly have thought over these issues, but those men haven't been there. Polaticians do not know how to wage war, they do not know what is best for the soldier; they most certainly have proven they don't have my, or my fellow soldiers, best interests in mind.
Your having been there does not make you an expert on such matters, nor does it mean suddenly you know the key strategy that all the jackasses back in Washington are missing to win this thing. A politician, or general, need not have spent one day in Iraq in order to have some insight on how best to run the occupation of Iraq.
And I'll remind you again; our goal in Iraq is not to create dead Iraqis. Trying to stabilize a nation requires more than racking up a body count, and unfortunately it seems to require putting our guys (including you and I) in more dangerous situations than good old-fashioned "kill the enemy" warfare. Again, this meme worked better in Vietnam.
This is not to say that the boys in Washington have had our best interests in mind; I agree with you there. I think there are many decisions along the line that could have been made to save life and limb of our soldiers. I also happen to be of the opinion that our continued presence there in general is not in the best interests of our soldiers, since the chance of a favorable outcome is slim and the price is high...though I'm guessing we disagree on that one.
EDIT: Unfortunately, I may also be popping in and out...homework to do.