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    Razor's Edge. To Backwards Observer's...

    Razor's Edge.

    To Backwards Observer's selection, I am on my third lifetime read of this book.

    Curious provenance that I think is accurate. Christopher Isherwood was in Berlin (He was the...
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    Ciurmudgeon: Thanks to Joel Wing (Musings on...

    Ciurmudgeon:

    Thanks to Joel Wing (Musings on Iraq), I was just re-reading his re-pubs of the SIGIR stuff on the planning for war part of Iraq. Everyone had a different picture, some had facts...
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    Bob: Right across the Board. Options: Take...

    Bob:

    Right across the Board.

    Options: Take out Saddam and his main deck of cards, and you are actually left with a mixed army including Kurds.

    Kurds, however, were only one possible leverage...
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    I, for one, enjoyed flipping the turrets off of...

    I, for one, enjoyed flipping the turrets off of all of those little tanks with 105s and 152s (M60A1s and A2s) at Hohenfels.

    Another Old Guy, I guess.
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    Ken: Used to hear folks talking about the...

    Ken:

    Used to hear folks talking about the books they were gonna write about Iraq when it was over. Always wondered who they were going to sell these books to. Iraqis---the real target...
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    PS: Bear in mind that when the money dries up,...

    PS:

    Bear in mind that when the money dries up, so to does the influence.

    Why call you if you aren't going to "fix it?"

    Where does that take you?
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    SFAT: This is ditto Iraq c. 2008. As long...

    SFAT:

    This is ditto Iraq c. 2008.

    As long as we are there, we impede their own sense of self-responsibility.

    It has to go the way of getting the US out of the business of running...
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    Dahuyan: Agree with the BIG insight: Planning...

    Dahuyan:

    Agree with the BIG insight: Planning better was not the problem, nor the route to the "if only we would have...." solution.

    First, planning better should have materially changed the...
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    Slap: Right. The pathways are there but they...

    Slap:

    Right. The pathways are there but they never meet in the operational plan.

    The one thing myself and other keep coming to is: How to engage the actual people that are the focus of all of...
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    Curmudgeon: The immortal and heartfelt words...

    Curmudgeon:

    The immortal and heartfelt words of Jack Nicholas in Mars Attacks: "Can't we all just----get along?"

    As Dahyan says: Who is the WE?

    Steve
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    Mike: The brutality of Iraq for the twenty...

    Mike:

    The brutality of Iraq for the twenty years before 2003 was unprecedented, systematic, institutionalized, long before we came along...

    The idea that we missed in our Light Brigade mission...
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    Ticker Tape Parade?

    Salt Lake Tribune article provides the following quotes from NYC:



    But the story goes on to say 'don't hold your breathe.'
    ...
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    The Real Legacy & Context

    Kansas City Star provides a good recap of the importance of the Iraq mission---the mass graves for 400,000 Shias and political opponents, and 180,000 Kurds:
    ...
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    Musings on Iraq has this recap: ...

    Musings on Iraq has this recap:

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2011/12/premier-maliki-lashes-out-at-his.html
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    The latest from Christian Science Monitor on...

    The latest from Christian Science Monitor on post-withdrawal Iraq:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2011/1220/Could-Iraq-descend-into-a-civil-war-again
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    PS: The UN Inspectors were right: There were...

    PS:

    The UN Inspectors were right: There were no WMDs.

    But that was not the point.

    Every week, the present Iraqi government goes out into the desert, turns a shovel and finds another mass...
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    Mike: I have a little different perspective. ...

    Mike:

    I have a little different perspective.

    Having assessed the infrastructure and essential public services systems in the North in 2008, two things were immediately evident:

    1. A feather...
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    Mike: As you know, I have been involved in the...

    Mike:

    As you know, I have been involved in the COIN debate through the recent FP articles, and would love to see a credible and exhaustive review of COIN and the issues raised their (maybe we...
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    The Daily Mail carries a picture of the...

    The Daily Mail carries a picture of the Iraq-Kuwait gate being closed after the last convoy arrives.
    ...
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    Jcustis and Bill: Sometimes, we should just...

    Jcustis and Bill:

    Sometimes, we should just let well enough alone.

    My preference, as the one who started this thread, would be happy just to leave it with your last two hauntingly eloquent and...
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    Dayuhan: The roofs are very heavily reinforced...

    Dayuhan:

    The roofs are very heavily reinforced for routine mortaring (and sealable for gas attacks), but there are plenty of helo landing points on site below the exterior wall elevation.
    ...
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    David: No, there is a marine contingent, but...

    David:

    No, there is a marine contingent, but half are embassy staff and half private security (the thing Iraqis objected to the most).
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    Ken: Nothing more telling than to see it from...

    Ken:

    Nothing more telling than to see it from the other side of the Tigris (the Red Zone).

    It is, with all portents, a broad and highly visible edifice.

    Steve
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    Dayuhan: Like Ken says, Tank Thinkers like Mr....

    Dayuhan:

    Like Ken says, Tank Thinkers like Mr. Cordesman should very much no better than to be pushing/blaming Obama for all the SOFA deficiencies (in his opinion) and past Iraq issues which were...
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    Dayuhan: That was good enough to earn a...

    Dayuhan:

    That was good enough to earn a writer's slot on John Stewart, Steven Colbert....
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