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Thread: Iraq Options

  1. #1
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    Default Iraq Options

    Speaking strictly as an individual, and therefore expressing my opinion only; I can see many potential positives resulting from our military withdrawl from Iraq. In my opinion, leaving Iraq would be the quickest way and best course of action to enable us to "share the burden or pain" with Iraq's neighbors. Currently, the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Syrians, Iranians, and Turks know that regardless of the potential threats looming inside Iraq, we - the US are there to deal with it now. Would it not make more sense to let these nations share the pain, and in the process, expend resources and energy on their own security?

    If we left Iraq, surely the Iranians would be the first to "feel the pain." Currently, the Iranians benefit from the idea of "an enemy of my enemy is my ally." Surely many of the Shi'ites that have excepted Iranian aid have no affinity for Persian/Iranian influence; however, so long as the US and Brits are there, they accept it. I would rather the Iranians feel the pressure from Shi'ite militias in southern Iraq and the MEK, PKK/Kongra Gel in the Kurdish areas. It is possible that pressure from these groups, along with continued pressure from Baloch militants could have positive effects within Iran. At worst, the Iranians would crush groups that are hostile to the US, and listed on the US FTO list.

    The Syrians have in no way tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood or other extremist Islamic groups in the past, and Bashar Assad is unlikely to start now. If the US were to leave Iraq, the Syrians would be forced to shift their focus of efforts from the Golan Heigths and Lebanon towards their common border with Iraq.

    The Turks are no friend of the Kurds, and would most likely take the opportunity to eliminate the PKK/Kongra Gel once and for all. Again, this would serve to eliminate a group currently on the US FTO list, and thus support our overall objective in the GWOT.

    The Jordanians and Saudis are unlikely to allow the Sunnis of Al Anbar to get beaten around by the Iraqi Shi'ites. Whether acting independently of the other or as a combined force, a Jordanian/Saudi force entering the picture that is friendly to the US and hostile to the Iranians would provide some much needed balance to the region. Additionally, Al Anbar Province is the ONLY province that stayed completely loyal to Saddam during 1991. In other words, regardless of what was happening across Iraq, these individuals stayed loyal to the regime. Having a large Jordanian or Saudi influence in this area would not be a bad thing.

    For those who assert that we cannot tolerate the economic blow-back, especially as it concerns oil; I would remind everyone that oil was $27/barrell in 2001. Our economy continues to grow, and all appears well with our oil supply. Saudi Arabia remains the only ME nation in the top six oil suppliers to the US. A larger civil war in Iraq, involving all the neighboring countries, should do little to affect this.

    For those that believe that our image or stature as a world power would somehow be irrevocably damaged if we left Iraq, we should remember the lessons of Korea, Vietnam, Desert One, Lebanon, and Somalia. None of these was our proudest moment; however, we got over it as a military and public, and came out stronger on the other end. We will get over this too, learn from the mistakes, and be stronger in the end.
    Last edited by Strickland; 12-03-2006 at 05:50 PM. Reason: syntax errors

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    For those that believe that our image or stature as a world power would somehow be irrevocably damaged if we left Iraq, we should remember the lessons of Korea, Vietnam, Desert One, Lebanon, and Somalia. None of these was our proudest moment; however, we got over it as a military and public, and came out stronger on the other end. We will get over this too, learn from the mistakes, and be stronger in the end.
    Indeed......

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    Council Member SSG Rock's Avatar
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    Default There is merit to your points

    But whether or not we came out of Vietnam etc and were stronger for it, I'm not so sure. It is somewhat subjective I suppose. It does leave a bad taste in my mouth, having invaded Iraq and set the country on it's head only to leave before the job was done, it just seems kind of, I don't know, but I don't like it, I feel like we have an obligation to what I beleive is the silent Iraqi majority who I suspect want us to stay untill the job is closer to being over. Of course, it is a matter of opinion, and politics. I do see your points, I truly do. The Iraqi government certainly isn't making a strong case are they? But, if we do leave, I see the region on a war footing, I feel that the course is set and is beyond their control. Sunni, Shia rivalry and animosities will flare, the fighting will spread. The Saudis will not allow the Iranian backed Shia to slaughter or oppress the Sunni in Iraq. It is a question of, I suppose, are we willing to let a war occur as part of the region's evolution and see where the chips land when it's over? Or, do we get dragged back over there when Israel is attacked, and fight in a much larger, deadly, more costly war? World War III maybe?
    Don't taze me bro!

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Saudi reps have already threatened Iran with flooding the oil market and potential military action, should the US withdraw from Iraq and Iran attempt to intervene directly.

    My position all along has been make OIF a large-scale raid, leaving the mess for the locals to clean up. Moral? No. Machiavellian? Yes....

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    Default Iraq Options (cont)

    First let me say how strongly I feel that the Bush administration has truly, truly, truly “messed it up” in Iraq. I can’t imagine how they could have done a worse job, they really royally fudged it up. So now that I got that out of my system, I also want to say that I have been giving our options a lot of consideration. I care for our country and I fear for it’s current path in Iraq and I desire to participate in this democracy and speak up. I am aware of the great suffering here and elsewhere as a result of the war in Iraq.

    That said, the president is reported as saying:

    “There’s a lot of sectarian violence taking place,” Mr. Bush said, “fomented in my opinion because of the attacks by Al Qaeda causing people to seek reprisal.” (Bush Dismisses Talk of Civil War in Iraq By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG New York Times (nytimes.com); Published: November 28, 2006).
    If what Mr. Bush says is true, then why don’t we go after Al Qaeda at it’s bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan instead of fighting them by proxy in Iraq? Here are some of my thoughts for consideration on what to do now (that it is so messed up):

    Assumptions
    1. Al Qaeda is still the main enemy threat to the US.
    2. There are some Al Qaeda fighters and influence in the war in Iraq.
    3. The Iraqi Sunni and Shiite communities do not threaten the US Homeland.
    4. Iran and Syria have some influence and presence in Iraq.
    5. The violence in Iraq is unabated and escalating.
    6. The current Iraqi Unity Government cannot govern or administer the country.
    7. Clear, Hold and Build tactics are no longer a viable tactic.
    8. The Israel/Palestinian conflict is a major source of regional instability.
    9. The war in Iraq is an immerging regional destabilizing factor.
    10. The conflict and tensions in Lebanon is connected in part to Syria.
    11. The conflict and tensions in Lebanon is an immerging regional destabilizing factor.
    12. There is no commitment or support of the American People for the war in Iraq in the current context.
    13. The American People desire to support (not presented to date) a plan that will provide positive results in a relatively quick time.
    14. Afghanistan is descending into a chaotic and unstable social, political, economic, environment that is increasingly violent.
    15. Heroin based crops are a significant problem for security in Afghanistan and a crippling social problem for the western world.
    16. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are gaining ground in Afghanistan.
    17. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are finding safe haven in Pakistan.
    18. The US Military is dangerously overcommitted in Iraq, Afghanistan and other domestic and foreign commitments.
    19. Without mission or structure change the US Military cannot keep up the current operational tempo without severely damaging national security.
    Proposal for Military Action
    1. Increase U.S. trainers and transfer more U.S. equipment to Iraqi Security forces (ISF).
    2. Begin 10+ brigade withdrawal of U.S. Forces (and coalition forces). Continue to provide “Green Zone Security” and maybe(?) some border security.
    3. Decrease economic commitment to Iraqi government.
    4. Create Rapid Reaction/Raiding Forces in Kurdish Province (and maybe at Camp Falcon as well) and in Kuwait to support Iraqi Forces or destroy any Al Qaeda presence or bases.
    5. Redeploy significant forces into Afghanistan to re-establish in-country security. Eliminate "drug crops."
    6. Redeploy significant forces into Afghanistan to destroy in-country Taliban and Al Qaeda and provide advanced bases to put pressure on Al Qaeda bases in Pakistan.
    Diplomacy
    1. Deploy Secretary Colin Powell to develop and lead massive international diplomatic effort to establish external Iraqi security and regional stability... particularly with regard to Syria and Iran.
    2. Deploy President Jimmy Carter to lead diplomatic peace effort to Israel/Palestinian conflict.
    3. Deploy former State Department’s counselor, Philip D. Zelikow to develop coordinated diplomatic, economic and political security effort to support elected government in Lebanon.
    4. In coordination with US military in Afghanistan, develop diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to suppress Taliban and to destroy Al Qaeda organization and personnel.
    5. Increase economic support in Afghanistan to develop strong democracy and regional US ally.
    Domestic Politics
    The US government must cultivate and sustain a Unified National Will. Abraham Lincoln understood the importance of a unified national will and he invoked it through the appointment of generals and civilian leaders (including the Vice President), in whom the constituencies of a highly divergent America believed in. Any plan for the war in Iraq that is not supported by a unified national will is a plan for failure. Can this administration and can our system of Government do what Lincoln was able to do? Is this nation doomed to be hijacked by the Executive Branch’s loyalty to it’s minority base? Our government should take a page from Lincoln and mobilize a unified national will by appointing officials to the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, National Security Council and Homeland Security that represent The People of this nation. In time of war, it is the US that needs a (so called) “Unity Government” that has the smarts to find solutions to our current deadly dilemma and can present a course of action that the whole country can fully and passionately support.

    (Around Midnight at Sunday School For Sinners)

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    Default AQ and Iraq

    Speaking strictly about "open source" information, Abu Musab al Masri, the supposed leader of AQIZ, is listed as the number #18 HVT in Iraq on some lists and #30 on others that are available open source. While I understand that the whole point for AQ is to have a system and not a hierarchical organization that can be readily targeted, it doesnt seem that military planners consider them the robust threat that "others" advertise.

    While not having the name recognition and bumper-sticker value of AQ, Abu Deraa, one of the most prominent Shi'a death squad leaders, is responsible for killing more Iraqis than AQIZ has ever dreamed.

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