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Iraq War now longer than World War II for U.S

mccmcc glitchRegistered User, ClubPA regular
edited December 2006 in Debate and/or Discourse
As of tomorrow morning, America's involvement in the Iraq War will have exceeded in length that of World War II.
The war in Iraq has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in the war that President Bush's father fought in, World War II.

As of Sunday, the conflict in Iraq has raged for three years and just over eight months.

Only the Vietnam War (eight years, five months), the Revolutionary War (six years, nine months), and the Civil War (four years), have engaged America longer.

Fighting in Afghanistan, which may or may not be a full-fledged war depending on who is keeping track, has gone on for five years, one month. It continues as the ousted Taliban resurges and the central government is challenged.

In relation to that last bit, of course, it may or may not be fair for me to wonder at this point whether Afghanistan would still be a hot war if it we hadn't had the Iraq distraction to deal with...
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 22, 2004; Page A01

In the second half of March 2002, as the Bush administration mapped its next steps against al Qaeda, Deputy CIA Director John E. McLaughlin brought an unexpected message to the White House Situation Room. According to two people with firsthand knowledge, he told senior members of the president's national security team that the CIA was scaling back operations in Afghanistan.

That announcement marked a year-long drawdown of specialized military and intelligence resources from the geographic center of combat with Osama bin Laden. As jihadist enemies reorganized, slipping back and forth from Pakistan and Iran, the CIA closed forward bases in the cities of Herat, Mazar-e Sharif and Kandahar. The agency put off an $80 million plan to train and equip a friendly intelligence service for the new U.S.-installed Afghan government. Replacements did not keep pace with departures as case officers finished six-week tours. And Task Force 5 -- a covert commando team that led the hunt for bin Laden and his lieutenants in the border region -- lost more than two-thirds of its fighting strength.

The commandos, their high-tech surveillance equipment and other assets would instead surge toward Iraq through 2002 and early 2003, as President Bush prepared for the March invasion that would extend the field of battle in the nation's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

mcc on
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    SuperunknownSuperunknown Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Umm... World War II was 6 years.

    EDIT: Oh right, I didn't know you were only referring to America's involvement, my mistake.

    Superunknown on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Umm... World War II was 6 years.

    America's involvement in it was shorter than that.

    ege02 on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    "America's involvement in the Iraq War now greater than that of World War II" doesn't fit in the title box :P

    mcc on
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    fjafjanfjafjan Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    But not the actual war, it's not like it "officially started" when america joined.

    fjafjan on
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    Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    He never said it did. He's saying
    mcc wrote:
    As of tomorrow morning, America's involvement in the Iraq War will have exceeded in length that of [America's involvement in] World War II.

    Aroused Bull on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    He never said it did. He's saying
    mcc wrote:
    As of tomorrow morning, America's involvement in the Iraq War will have exceeded in length that of World War II.
    I think they're referring to the topic title.

    Here, I added a "for U.S". It barely fits

    mcc on
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    RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    mcc wrote:
    He never said it did. He's saying
    mcc wrote:
    As of tomorrow morning, America's involvement in the Iraq War will have exceeded in length that of World War II.
    I think they're referring to the topic title.

    Here, I added a "for U.S". It barely fits

    You could have said WW2 instead of World War II, and saved nine precious characters.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Richy wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    He never said it did. He's saying
    mcc wrote:
    As of tomorrow morning, America's involvement in the Iraq War will have exceeded in length that of World War II.
    I think they're referring to the topic title.

    Here, I added a "for U.S". It barely fits

    You could have said WW2 instead of World War II, and saved nine precious characters.

    Damn. You're right.

    mcc on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Maybe I should have tried text message speak. Irq Wr nw longer thn WWII 4 US!

    mcc on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    mcc wrote:
    Maybe I should have tried text message speak. Irq Wr nw longer thn WWII 4 US!
    zomg wtf bbq

    Senjutsu on
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    TheRussianRouletteerTheRussianRouletteer Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ah. Text talk. Only way to talk in the 21st century. But seriously! More thn ww2! Thats amazing. I thought we'd have won it by now. But if you want to get technical, the war stopped roundabouts when we caught Saddam. So we are in Iraq, though TECHNICALLY, there is no war going on. Weird..

    TheRussianRouletteer on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ah. Text talk. Only way to talk in the 21st century. But seriously! More thn ww2! Thats amazing. I thought we'd have won it by now. But if you want to get technical, the war stopped roundabouts when we caught Saddam. So we are in Iraq, though TECHNICALLY, there is no war going on. Weird..
    Technically, there has never been a war in Iraq, because Congress has never declared one.

    Thanatos on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    Charlie_Foxtrot2Charlie_Foxtrot2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Ah. Text talk. Only way to talk in the 21st century. But seriously! More thn ww2! Thats amazing. I thought we'd have won it by now. But if you want to get technical, the war stopped roundabouts when we caught Saddam. So we are in Iraq, though TECHNICALLY, there is no war going on. Weird..
    Technically, there has never been a war in Iraq, because Congress has never declared one.

    Really? Someone should look into that.

    Charlie_Foxtrot2 on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(
    To be perfectly frank, while the lives being lost are unequivocally a waste (and really, there's plenty more people dying than just those US soldiers), it's the absolute waste of fucking money that we don't have that really pisses me off. People die in conflict all the time, but this money we're just shitting away is going to be accounted for and levied against me for the rest of my life. It's ridiculous.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Athenor wrote:
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(
    To be perfectly frank, while the lives being lost are unequivocally a waste (and really, there's plenty more people dying than just those US soldiers), it's the absolute waste of fucking money that we don't have that really pisses me off. People die in conflict all the time, but this money we're just shitting away is going to be accounted for and levied against me for the rest of my life. It's ridiculous.

    :|

    Mahnmut on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Ah. Text talk. Only way to talk in the 21st century. But seriously! More thn ww2! Thats amazing. I thought we'd have won it by now. But if you want to get technical, the war stopped roundabouts when we caught Saddam. So we are in Iraq, though TECHNICALLY, there is no war going on. Weird..
    Technically, there has never been a war in Iraq, because Congress has never declared one.

    Really? Someone should look into that.
    America hasn't declared war since World War II.

    Everything we've done since then has been a congressionally authorized extended military engagement.

    mcc on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Mahnmut wrote:
    celery77 wrote:
    To be perfectly frank, while the lives being lost are unequivocally a waste (and really, there's plenty more people dying than just those US soldiers), it's the absolute waste of fucking money that we don't have that really pisses me off. People die in conflict all the time, but this money we're just shitting away is going to be accounted for and levied against me for the rest of my life. It's ridiculous.

    :|
    Come on man, this is "debate and discourse" not "look, I can use emoticons." If you have something to say, please say it.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Mahnmut wrote:
    celery77 wrote:
    To be perfectly frank, while the lives being lost are unequivocally a waste (and really, there's plenty more people dying than just those US soldiers), it's the absolute waste of fucking money that we don't have that really pisses me off. People die in conflict all the time, but this money we're just shitting away is going to be accounted for and levied against me for the rest of my life. It's ridiculous.

    :|
    Come on man, this is "debate and discourse" not "look, I can use emoticons." If you have something to say, please say it.
    Unfortunately I actually agree with you kind of a disturbing amount. But then again I look at Iraq and think "if people would just stop blowing everything the fuck up maybe we could build some shit for you".

    Of course, it's not that simple, because it's never that simple. What I do think however is that the major problem is the US is too committed to not being bad guys that they actually come off worse in this as a result - because they won't take the hard measures needed to secure the place, you wind up with frustrated soldiers committing atrocities anyway.

    electricitylikesme on
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    JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    People may be bombing things because the things the US builds there are shit.

    I cannot find the article because I am not looking v. hard but the Police Academy there, built by US contractors, is absolutely atrocious. There is, literally, shit dripping from the ceilings, floors that break and crack up (such that there is a hole in the floor), etc, etc.

    Even though over $75 million was spent on it.

    Jinnigan on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jinnigan wrote:
    People may be bombing things because the things the US builds there are shit.

    I cannot find the article because I am not looking v. hard but the Police Academy there, built by US contractors, is absolutely atrocious. There is, literally, shit dripping from the ceilings, floors that break and crack up (such that there is a hole in the floor), etc, etc.

    Even though over $75 million was spent on it.

    So then the question goes, who was contracted to do what? I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the actual reconstruction was done by local subcontractors, who probably aren't the most skilled bunch out there. Yes, there is fault across the whole system, and money skimming.. But this is all that world has known for decades.

    And let's be honest here: The United States didn't make the masques. I'm frankly appalled at that aspect of the war -- all it does is incite sectarian violence, and there isn't a ton we can do to prevent it. I'm sure the people in Iraq see this is the case as well, but that feeling of helplessness is still there.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(
    Why would removing Saddam in '91 be any less of a disaster than removing Saddam in 2003? The problem with removing Saddam wasn't timing, it was the idea and its execution.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Elkamil wrote:
    Athenor wrote:
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(
    Why would removing Saddam in '91 be any less of a disaster than removing Saddam in 2003? The problem with removing Saddam wasn't timing, it was the idea and its execution.

    See, I would argue against this.

    In my opinion, if we would've gotten rid of Saddam in '91, I personally do not believe that the escallation in tensions in the Middle East would have been as extreme. Regardless of what moved in to replace him, removing him as a known quantity would've turned the attentions of the radical factions intwards, instead of looking outwards. Now, I am not saying that taking out Saddam would've prevented 9/11... But I do think the sequence of events would've played out differently.


    Then again, this is the great hindsight debate: If you were to take out any fascist dictator before he committed his crimes, how would the flow of history have been altered? The fact that most who argue against the Iraq war seem to forget was that Saddam was an evil in the Middle East that was unparalleled... and his own people couldn't find a way to remove him. *shrug* We went about it the wrong way, but our goals were noble, IMHO.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    TheRussianRouletteerTheRussianRouletteer Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    mcc wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    Ah. Text talk. Only way to talk in the 21st century. But seriously! More thn ww2! Thats amazing. I thought we'd have won it by now. But if you want to get technical, the war stopped roundabouts when we caught Saddam. So we are in Iraq, though TECHNICALLY, there is no war going on. Weird..
    Technically, there has never been a war in Iraq, because Congress has never declared one.

    Really? Someone should look into that.
    America hasn't declared war since World War II.

    Everything we've done since then has been a congressionally authorized extended military engagement.

    So we are World Police? Because thats what it seems like. We just jumped into this conflict really. But.. If its a Congressionally Authorized extended military engagement, why are they calling it the WAR IN IRAQ? And why did congress authorize an extended military engagement, but not a war? Are they not the same thing? Is an engagement a skirmish, or are we playing the MP's in this conflict.

    TheRussianRouletteer on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Of course, it's not that simple, because it's never that simple. What I do think however is that the major problem is the US is too committed to not being bad guys that they actually come off worse in this as a result - because they won't take the hard measures needed to secure the place, you wind up with frustrated soldiers committing atrocities anyway.
    Heh. The US just doesn't have enough soldiers to control anything. It has nothing to do with not wanting to be the "bad guys."

    Elki on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I do believe Congress gave War authorization, but a formal declaration was never made. The Gov't position has always been against the old Iraqi regime, and not its people -- declaring War is to declare against the people. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no democratically elected government has ever gone to war with another democratically elected government. (Democratically, not "democratically" as in Saddam's 100% of the votes, 100% attendance).

    Oh, and we've been the World Police since the Monroe Doctrine. That's part of why people wanted to stay out of WWII -- our World Police helping with WWI was still fresh on people's minds.

    Edit: Elkamil, I disagree with the mentality that we don't have enough soldiers. Then again, I'm on the side of the debate that says 1 well trained, motivated, well geared soldier is worth dozens, if not hundreds of untrained masses. Hell.. isn't the average insurgant to US soldier ratio in Iraq something like 10-15 to 1? That's a lot better than it was in previous wars.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    But.. If its a Congressionally Authorized extended military engagement, why are they calling it the WAR IN IRAQ?

    Because they lie
    And why did congress authorize an extended military engagement, but not a war? Are they not the same thing?

    There are a wide variety of legal differences which I can't remember any of.

    mcc on
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    TiemlerTiemler Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Not defending anyone here, but this is a really stupid comparison. The US commitment in men and materials in WWII was staggering, dwarfing the entire poorly-run 'War on Terror' many times over.

    Also, the number of Americans in uniform doing battle with the Axis was probably already larger than the current troop commitment in Iraq by the time of the Pearl Harbor attacks. The merchant marines were already suffering massive losses in the Battle of the Atlantic, for instance.

    Tiemler on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    Elkamil wrote:
    Athenor wrote:
    *shrugs* Personally? I still feel that 3,000 casualties isn't a ton in the scheme of United States warmaking. That's not to say it is good.. But not having a sense of proportion is a bad thing. Time-wise, yes, we've been comitted longer. But we haven't applied nearly the force, over nearly as large an area. Nor have we had nearly the casualties, on either side of the conflict.

    That said? Even I'm getting sick of this. Not because I think it is wrong -- we should've gotten Saddam in '91. Rather, I'm getting sick of it due to the positions people are taking, and how stupid people are being about this war. I want Iraq to stand up for itself, for Iran and Syria to stop interfering, and for the corruption to be taken care of...

    A pipe dream, I know. =(
    Why would removing Saddam in '91 be any less of a disaster than removing Saddam in 2003? The problem with removing Saddam wasn't timing, it was the idea and its execution.

    See, I would argue against this.

    In my opinion, if we would've gotten rid of Saddam in '91, I personally do not believe that the escallation in tensions in the Middle East would have been as extreme. Regardless of what moved in to replace him, removing him as a known quantity would've turned the attentions of the radical factions intwards, instead of looking outwards. Now, I am not saying that taking out Saddam would've prevented 9/11... But I do think the sequence of events would've played out differently.


    Then again, this is the great hindsight debate: If you were to take out any fascist dictator before he committed his crimes, how would the flow of history have been altered? The fact that most who argue against the Iraq war seem to forget was that Saddam was an evil in the Middle East that was unparalleled... and his own people couldn't find a way to remove him. *shrug* We went about it the wrong way, but our goals were noble, IMHO.
    O_o

    In '91 when Israel wasn't in Lebanon, and Arabs didn't mind if the US invaded Iraq? You know there were widespread riots when the US was just pushing Saddam back from Kuwait, right? And the Saudis allowing the US to put bases on its soil was one of Al Qaeda's big recruiting helpers. Now, this would improve if the US went ahead and invaded Iraq, and overthrew Saddam? Are you insane?

    Elki on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    The Gov't position has always been against the old Iraqi regime, and not its people -- declaring War is to declare against the people.
    Yet, oddly enough, it's the people we've been spending the last three years fighting, not the regime. Funny how that works, isn't it?
    I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no democratically elected government has ever gone to war with another democratically elected government. (Democratically, not "democratically" as in Saddam's 100% of the votes, 100% attendance).

    Basically wrong.

    mcc on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I stand corrected, mcc.

    And Elk, I'm sorry, but from what I can tell the arab people in fundamentalist countries riot at -anything-.. Sometimes with a gun to their back, sometimes without. But your point is taken. I personally believe our backing out anytime force has been shown in the last 15 years has been a much bigger recruiter than those times when we actually showed a backbone against a dictator.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    Elkamil, I disagree with the mentality that we don't have enough soldiers. Then again, I'm on the side of the debate that says 1 well trained, motivated, well geared soldier is worth dozens, if not hundreds of untrained masses. Hell.. isn't the average insurgant to US soldier ratio in Iraq something like 10-15 to 1? That's a lot better than it was in previous wars.
    Well, I'm assuming the goal is to control the country, not maintain 10-1 soldier to insurgent ratio. The insurgents' main goal is to keep the country in chaos, and hang around. They seem to be doing both pretty well; pretty good for a few dead-enders.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Elkamil wrote:
    Of course, it's not that simple, because it's never that simple. What I do think however is that the major problem is the US is too committed to not being bad guys that they actually come off worse in this as a result - because they won't take the hard measures needed to secure the place, you wind up with frustrated soldiers committing atrocities anyway.
    Heh. The US just doesn't have enough soldiers to control anything. It has nothing to do with not wanting to be the "bad guys."
    If only the U.S. had had the guts to torture all of their prisoners and not just some of them, we might have won at whatever it is we're trying to achieve by now!!!

    Anyway, I think the problem isn't even so much the number of soldiers as the fact we're sending soldiers to solve a problem that fundamentally is not best solved by soldiers. The thing we've trained our troops to do isn't the thing that needs to be done in Iraq right now. Iraq doesn't need soldiers, they need, like... a government. Like, police and stuff.

    With the understanding that I'm saying this in happy imaginary hypothetical internet message board land and there are no real-world consequences for me making an arrogant statement like this, what it honestly almost seems like to me is we need to start forming some kind of entirely separate special forces who are not so much trained and equipped to fight conventional battles as they are to basically act as a drop-in police force for unconventional-warfare disaster zones like Iraq. It's probably too late to get something like this in place in Iraq itself, of course, but at least we can be ready for the next anthill we step in. If we're going to have to act as the world's policemen, we might as well be prepared to do so.

    mcc on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    And how am I supposed to respond to that one, Elk? Overwhelming force would involve massive civillian casualties, and complete and utter hatred and condemnation. A reduction in troop levels would spur the insurgents on to more violence. At our current levels, the chaos continues, in some sort of weird, sick stalemate, while opinion erodes.

    -We- will never control Iraq. Not only is it not our goal, but even if it were it is completely impossible at this point. Now, the international community might be able to control Iraq, but that would create an "Us vs. Them" unless the Middle East leads it. That leaves Iraqis controlling Iraq.. And at the moment, the insurgents seem to be dead-set against that path as well.

    Edit: Mcc... that is an amazing idea.. and an exceedingly, massively frightening one at the same time.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    I stand corrected, mcc.

    And Elk, I'm sorry, but from what I can tell the arab people in fundamentalist countries riot at -anything-.. Sometimes with a gun to their back, sometimes without. But your point is taken. I personally believe our backing out anytime force has been shown in the last 15 years has been a much bigger recruiter than those times when we actually showed a backbone against a dictator.
    You really think that "backing out" is a bigger recruiter than starting a war where hundreds of thousands die? I've heard a lot of complaints about America out of the Middle East, and being "pussies" was never one of them. It's just one of those things right-wingers kept repeating when they were selling the war.

    Elki on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Bin Laden specifically recruited on the basis that America was a weak pussy of a country that would back down as soon as you bared your teeth. To claim that is a "right wing" selling point is as bad as me saying liberals are on the side of the terrorists (Which -IS- a right wing selling point that always disgusted me).

    But hey. Let's be honest here. They recruit more when we attack, and they recruit more when we pull out. Why? Because the insurgency represents power.. Power that many in the Middle East don't feel they have (when they do, but the governments there control it). This was the President's mindset in his post-war strategy -- to put the power of the region into the hands of the people, and shepherd them in how to use it. Unfortunately, this noble goal fell well short of its intentions, thanks to people attacking it on all sides for various reasons... And now, the Prez is torn between staying true to his ideal vision for the region, and facing the reality that such a vision won't happen as long as greed and ideologies continue to interfere. That's why he's been so indecisive and looked flabbergasted.. It's because he's trying to save his dream while it slips through his fingers.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    And how am I supposed to respond to that one, Elk? Overwhelming force would involve massive civillian casualties, and complete and utter hatred and condemnation. A reduction in troop levels would spur the insurgents on to more violence. At our current levels, the chaos continues, in some sort of weird, sick stalemate, while opinion erodes.

    -We- will never control Iraq. Not only is it not our goal, but even if it were it is completely impossible at this point. Now, the international community might be able to control Iraq, but that would create an "Us vs. Them" unless the Middle East leads it. That leaves Iraqis controlling Iraq.. And at the moment, the insurgents seem to be dead-set against that path as well.
    You don't have more soldiers over there, because you don't have any to send, not because of a fear of lashback. More soldiers != overwhelming force. The US is not fighting a conventional army.

    The military has done those weapon-sweeping operations in Baghdad a few times, but only in some parts of it, and never could keep enough soldiers in same area for long enough to keep it secure. You just don't have enough soldiers. Also, people in charge are/were politically retarded.

    Elki on
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Agree on the people in charge being retarded part. I've been calling for Rummy's resignation for a year.

    On the available soldier base, I know our recruiting is down, but I don't think we have a lack of soldiers in the military as a whole. We have a lot more than people think, it's just a lot of them are tied up in treaty duty with our allies, maintaining foreign bases, and the National Guard. What we do have a problem with is this constant drumbeat for withdrawl since day 1 of the war, which has led to the Pentagon pulling out forces from the region (and Afghanistan) prematurely. I personally believe the current in the gov't to increase troop levels in Iraq is going to go through.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    TiemlerTiemler Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    -We- will never control Iraq. Not only is it not our goal, but even if it were it is completely impossible at this point. Now, the international community might be able to control Iraq, but that would create an "Us vs. Them" unless the Middle East leads it. That leaves Iraqis controlling Iraq.. And at the moment, the insurgents seem to be dead-set against that path as well.

    Unfortunately, Iraq is heading toward a fate similar to Somalia, with a civil war fragmenting the country into a few isolated areas influenced primarily by the weakening government in Baghdad, lawless zones where no one can live and work in peace, and sectarian militia strongholds where the laws are handed down by Islamic courts.

    I'm not saying this outcome is, or always was, inevitable. But I know terrifying momentum when I see it.

    The US role? Well, probably a reduced commitment of troops, who merely shore up the government and occasionally sortie to try and take out a rival. Until something happens (like the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia) which puts Iraq back in the headlines, upsetting the public that had been told we had "basically" pulled out. Then the rest of the troops get called home, and we watch the rest unfold on TV.

    Some militia manages to become the dominant power in the country, making a deal with the leaders in Baghdad to "go legitimate" in exchange for a promise not to impose strict, fundamentalist Islamic rule. This promise is quickly broken, and Iraq becomes Iran West.

    That sucks, but I'm honestly more concerned about the way civil liberties have already been, and continue to be curtailed in the so-called free world.

    Tiemler on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2006
    Athenor wrote:
    Bin Laden specifically recruited on the basis that America was a weak pussy of a country that would back down as soon as you bared your teeth. To claim that is a "right wing" selling point is as bad as me saying liberals are on the side of the terrorists (Which -IS- a right wing selling point that always disgusted me).
    Bin Laden didn't recruit on the basis that the US was weak. Bin Laden said he'd win because the US was weak. And it is a right wing selling point. Or maybe something right wingers believe. I think Bernard Lewis was selling the "fancier" version, where the only thing Arabs understood was force, and it was therefore necessary.
    Athenor wrote:
    But hey. Let's be honest here. They recruit more when we attack, and they recruit more when we pull out. Why? Because the insurgency represents power.. Power that many in the Middle East don't feel they have (when they do, but the governments there control it). This was the President's mindset in his post-war strategy -- to put the power of the region into the hands of the people, and shepherd them in how to use it. Unfortunately, this noble goal fell well short of its intentions, thanks to people attacking it on all sides for various reasons... And now, the Prez is torn between staying true to his ideal vision for the region, and facing the reality that such a vision won't happen as long as greed and ideologies continue to interfere. That's why he's been so indecisive and looked flabbergasted.. It's because he's trying to save his dream while it slips through his fingers.
    They recruit after you pullout, but not because you pullout. It's because of different issues, like Palestine, troops being station in Saudi Arabia, oil, etc.

    And Bush's plan didn't work, because he thought Iraqis would just accept the people coming in the invading force (Chalabi). They weren't planning on having any elections as soon as they did; Sistani forced that. The original Chalabi plan was doomed before it started, and anyone who wasn't an ignoramus regarding the middle east would've understood that.

    He's looking flabbergasted because his dream wasn't exactly his dream.

    Elki on
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