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  1. #1
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    Default End of Mission-Iraq

    This morning, I watched General Austin "case the colors" in a walled off enclave at the side of BIAP.

    As I understand it, a few hundred soldiers will be packing the last bags this week, and then, the Iraq Mission is over.

    Juan Cole ran a piece a few months ago answering the "How Will It End?" question as "with a whimper."

    Based on the low level of press coverage and news accounts, the speculation is over as to whether he was right. No ticker tape parades, memorial ceremonies.

    Austin, like many of us will just arrive somewhere else, and start a new mission.

    The COINISTAs like Nagl are all now saying,"Oh, I always knew that wouldn't work."

    Some wiser folks like Barry McCafferty are bringing up the important failures which he and others raised throughout: lack of resources, manpower, etc...

    But my sense is even more strongly when I exited in 2009 that the US just won't want to hear about Iraq any more.

    I had expected to be very happy when this day came, but instead am Somber, a bit uncomfortable, and a bit disappointed in the lack of pomp and ceremony for those whose placed much greater offerings on the alter...

    Comments?

    Anything learned? Any follow-up?

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    Steve,

    I feel the same way. This morning, like for so many, OUR war ended. I should be glad. Rather, I sit and think if I did enough to help get the Iraqis back on their feet and help improve their way of life.

    RTK
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Not being a fan of pomp and ceremony, I didn't miss it in two earlier wars.

    Some did and some will regret its absence now but the kids will do what every generation before them has done -- just get on with life. Some will stay but most will leave the services and they will contribute more than their non serving peers, that too is historical fact. In another twenty years or so, reasonably accurate histories will appear and we may get a good book or two out of it. Iraq is better off if only slightly at this point but the prognosis is good. The ME has changed a bit and change for the better continues by the people there. Hopefully for the better, anyway. Not sure the ME can change much with any degree of rapidity. How much our action contributed to that is to be determined...

    I thought after both those earlier wars, the Army (not the Nation or the politicians but the Army) would have learned lessons. It learned little from either -- and many lessons it did learn were the wrong ones. More correctly, lessons were learned and then selectively discarded so the institution would not have to budge much from its 1919 mentality. Maybe, just maybe, three Army failures in a row will lead to better thinking and some positive results for a change.

    What cannot be done by the Army is to change Congress -- they are a big part of the institutional inertia problem -- and were a part of the Iraq in totality problem. I doubt they learned anything from Iraq. Makes little difference, we just need as a people to continue to vote them out until they reform themselves.

    Other than that, another day, another dollar -- million days, a million dollars...

  4. #4
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Some did and some will regret its absence now but the kids will do what every generation before them has done -- just get on with life. Some will stay but most will leave the services and they will contribute more than their non serving peers, that too is historical fact. In another twenty years or so, reasonably accurate histories will appear and we may get a good book or two out of it. Iraq is better off if only slightly at this point but the prognosis is good. The ME has changed a bit and change for the better continues by the people there. Hopefully for the better, anyway. Not sure the ME can change much with any degree of rapidity. How much our action contributed to that is to be determined...

    I thought after both those earlier wars, the Army (not the Nation or the politicians but the Army) would have learned lessons. It learned little from either -- and many lessons it did learn were the wrong ones. More correctly, lessons were learned and then selectively discarded so the institution would not have to budge much from its 1919 mentality. Maybe, just maybe, three Army failures in a row will lead to better thinking and some positive results for a change.

    What cannot be done by the Army is to change Congress -- they are a big part of the institutional inertia problem -- and were a part of the Iraq in totality problem. I doubt they learned anything from Iraq. Makes little difference, we just need as a people to continue to vote them out until they reform themselves.

    Other than that, another day, another dollar -- million days, a million dollars...
    As always, Ken mentors me towards a better way of thinking.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Ken, RTK:

    Right.

    I read a piece from SWJ today. Two Army folks talking about how the State Department should change its approaches to better prepare for the next (?) contingency op (new civilian agencies, new cadre and staff, lots of congressional funding). I won't hold my breathe for that.

    I'll take my wife out to dinner on this rainy night and give a toast to those who didn't return, and those who did after paying a very big price. A quiet prayer for those relatives left only with photos and memories.

    Steve

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Have an extra drink

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    I'll take my wife out to dinner on this rainy night and give a toast to those who didn't return, and those who did after paying a very big price. A quiet prayer for those relatives left only with photos and memories.
    For me for them all

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    I particularly appreciated the gravity, reverence and respect offered by Nightwatch:

    NightWatch

    For the night of 15 December 2011


    Administrative note: NightWatch will not be published this night in honor of the official end of the US intervention in Iraq. Now Iraq can rediscover a new Arab normality and identity.


    Lesson for new analysts: Whenever a senior official of any government feels the need to assert in public that a nine-year military commitment was worth it, that assessment obviously is not self-evident.
    www.kforcegov.com

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