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Thread: Iraq: The Five Wars

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default Iraq: The Five Wars

    24 September Washington Times commentary - Our Five Iraq Wars by James jay Carafano.

    America has fought five wars in Iraq -- not merely one. And we've won or are winning four of them. Winning the last war, however, is all that counts. To cut and run now would leave America less safe than when we started.

    War 1: Battling Saddam. The United States waged war in Iraq for one reason -- to remove Saddam from power. This was really a continuation of Desert Storm...

    War 2: Combating chaos. Despite the scenes of rioting when the regime collapsed, America and its coalition partners managed to quickly avert a wide-scale humanitarian crisis...

    War Three: Confronting al Qaeda. In the wake of the war, lacking any real success elsewhere in the world, transnational terrorists leaped into the vacuum in Iraq...

    War 4: The Sunni insurgency. The Sunni minority in Iraq largely abstained from the political process established to form a legitimate government. Democracy went on without them...

    War 5: Fighting the proxy war. Unfortunately for the United States, the wavering of the Sunni insurgency coincided with a decided increase in attacks by Shi'ite militias. These provocations have resulted in an increasingly cycle of retaliatory sectarian strikes between Sunnis and Shi'ites, as well as concerted efforts to kill more American soldiers using more deadly and accurate improvised explosive devices. This latest war may be the toughest to win because its principle authors are probably not inside Iraq. They are in Iran...

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Largo, Florida

    Default Another Sunday Op-Ed

    24 September Los Angeles Times - Dividing Iraq Would Just Mean More Threats by Amb. W. Robert Pearson.

    Prominent experts have begun to argue that dividing Iraq into three parts Sunni, Shiite and Kurd is more viable than trying to build a single, central Iraqi state. They reason that the only solution to sectarian violence is for Sunnis and Shiites to live apart. The Kurds, they argue, have demonstrated their ability to live autonomously since 1990. Nothing else has worked, so why not let the pieces fall where they may? But this is not a plan; it is a destabilizing default strategy.

    Thoughtful observers, such as Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, have argued for a federated Iraqi with near-statehood status for the three regions and an agreement on dividing the oil money. If such a deal could be struck, and if the breakup could be halted there, Iraq might see greater stability. But the more likely outcome is a loose federation plagued by conflict, with one or more parties trying to win full independence. Confederation could prove a Pandora's box for the U.S. and the region.

    Dividing Iraq would invite Tehran to make even more mischief within the Iraqi Shiite community, especially to further exploit the rivalry between the two major clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Muqtada Sadr. If the Shiite areas in southern and eastern Iraq fell under Iranian influence, would Tehran not be tempted to turn its attention to the Sunnis in the west and the Kurds in the north? How would the global energy situation be affected if Iran were to gain influence over a rump Shiite state as its protector? How would neighboring Sunni states Jordan and Saudi Arabia react? Would Hezbollah, Iran's proxy against Israel, not feel strengthened in Lebanon?...

  3. #3
    Council Member
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    Oct 2005
    Stafford, VA


    While the "Five Wars" piece is interesting, it does not jive with Anthony Cordesman's "Six Long Wars" piece. In addition, I would like to know how he meaurses "winning."

    For those of you that are much smarter than I am (that means all of you), could you please tell me the origin of the phrase "cut and run?" I seem to recall LBJ using it as caught on his White House tapes, but could be mistaken. I was of the impression that he said he would "not cut and run," and thus lose Vietnam to the communists as Truman had lost China to the communists. If this is accurate, I am not sure why anyone in the administration would want to use the same logic LBJ did for staying in Vietnam with regard to Iraq.

  4. #4
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    DeRidder LA

    Default Nautical in origin

    Cut and run


    Run away.


    This term is the shortened form of the earlier phrases 'cut and run away' and 'cut and run off'. It has been suggested that it has a nautical derivation and that it refers to ships making a hasty departure by the cutting of the anchor rope and running before the wind. That isn't absolutely proven although the earliest known citation does come from a seafaring context. Edmund Spenser's 'The Faerie Queene', 1590 has this line:

    "It [a ship] cut away upon the yielding wave."

    It could be that 'cut' doesn't relate to rope actually being cut though. It may just be that word was chosen with the allusion to cutting in the sense of passing straight though. Similar recent phrases are (from the USA) 'cut class' and (from Australia) 'shoot through'.

    The earliest known citation of 'cut and run' is the 1704 Boston News Letter:

    "Cap. Vaughn rode by said Ship, but cut & run."

    The 'cutting rope' derivation was certainly accepted later in that century by David Steel, the author of the 1794 tome 'The Elements and Practice of Rigging and Seamanship':

    "To Cut and run, to cut the cable and make sail instantly, without waiting to weigh anchor."

    The 'away' and 'off' suffixes to the term were still in use after that though and Charles Dickens is good enough to use all three in his works:

    1834, Sketches by Boz: "The linen-draper cut off himself, leaving the landlord his compliments and the key."

    1848, Dombey and Son: "[Mr. Toodle] tapped her on the back; and said, with more fatherly feeling than eloquence, 'Polly! cut

    1861, Great Expectations: "I hope, Joe, we shan't find them." and Joe whispered to me, "I'd give a shilling if they had cut and run, Pip
    LBJ was only using a common term...



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