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View Full Version : What is the bottom line?



SoiCowboy
05-03-2007, 09:53 PM
Six years on since the war on terror began, I think we have achieved some similarities with Vietnam. Like then, it has taken the military a few years to get to grips with the type of war being fought. Finally it has and has started the new campaign with the experience of the past informing the decisions made. The problem is that getting to this point the military has wore itself out materially and physically and by this point popular support (that key center of gravity for Western countries) is divided and falling over time. Like it or not, Petraus is on a timer and I think he only got the gig after everything else failed and that it provides a win/win for the old conventional guard. If he loses, see all that COIN is a load of crap, if he wins, well we thought of it all along. (Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan).

Two questions.

What happens when that timer runs out?

I think withdrawal of American troops from Iraq beyond advisory level and Special Forces going back to Afghanistan and once again Americaís grand narrative will continue to be split between those who see whatever America does as embarrassing/shameful/wrong and those who see it as necessary, if not the right thing to do.

What will the war in Iraq have achieved in the grand scale of things?

1) The toppling, trial and execution of Saddam Ė which at least must run a shiver of fear down the tyrants of the region.
2) The reconfirmation of Arab conspiracy theories that the West (under the ZOG machine of course) is only after oil and that they are weak and that the Americans left was thanks to those gosh darn heroic insurgent heroes because the Internet and rumour mill says so.
3) That Al-Qaeda get one hell of a whooping from the Tribes who donít want to put up with them anymore.
4) That Iraq has provided effective combat training and how to manuals for the next generation of insurgents, and like the Afghans before them, will lead to insurgents looking for the next war. I have to remember the exact place I read it but I really do think the comparison between global Islamic jihad and a military industrial complex is an apt one.
5) That any near term future US military actions will be repeats of Panama and Grenada and the limited interventions that characterised post Vietnam wars.

What do you think?

jcustis
05-03-2007, 10:23 PM
Concur with 1-4. My jury's out on #5.

Stu-6
05-04-2007, 05:28 PM
What happens when that timer runs out?

See Somalia or Lebanon or Afghanistan; Iraq will become a very weak state with substantial sub-state actors holding the real power. Itís the old Humpty-Dumpty problem, breaking Iraq was easy putting it back together . . .



What will the war in Iraq have achieved in the grand scale of things?

1) The toppling, trial and execution of Saddam Ė which at least must run a shiver of fear down the tyrants of the region.
2) The reconfirmation of Arab conspiracy theories that the West (under the ZOG machine of course) is only after oil and that they are weak and that the Americans left was thanks to those gosh darn heroic insurgent heroes because the Internet and rumour mill says so.
3) That Al-Qaeda get one hell of a whooping from the Tribes who donít want to put up with them anymore.
4) That Iraq has provided effective combat training and how to manuals for the next generation of insurgents, and like the Afghans before them, will lead to insurgents looking for the next war. I have to remember the exact place I read it but I really do think the comparison between global Islamic jihad and a military industrial complex is an apt one.
5) That any near term future US military actions will be repeats of Panama and Grenada and the limited interventions that characterised post Vietnam wars.

Numbers 2 and 4, maybe 5.