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Thread: SSI: The Iraq War

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default SSI: The Iraq War

    The Iraq War: Learning from the Past, Adapting to the Present, and Planning for the Future
    ....Iraq has presented the U.S. military with its most serious challenge since the Vietnam War: a complex insurgency in which diverse organizations have cooperated to expel the invaders. Lack of a counterinsurgency strategy combined with inadequate troop levels compounded by an ill-advised decision to disband Iraqi forces allowed the insurgency to take root and spread. Following what many officers have described as a “wasted year” of ad hoc responses and serious mistakes, American troops have developed effective counterinsurgency tactics based on their own historical experience and that of other nations. The British experience in particular provides useful guidance in shaping an effective approach. Despite improved tactics, U.S. forces continue to be hampered by a shortage of troops and the evolving nature of the insurgency. While they have the means and determination to win in Iraq, American troops still need the political backing for a protracted conflict. How long this political will can be sustained remains to be seen. Whatever the mission’s outcome, Iraq can yield valuable lessons that may improve the conduct of future campaigns.

  2. #2
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New York, NY


    The author appears much more sanguine about the situation in the Shia south than the more recent evidence appears to indicate.

    For example, Basra province was marked as "Not Ready for Transition" by DoD as of Nov 2006's rather optimistic report (the only other Iraqi province marked as such is Anbar, with even Baghdad and Diyala marked as "Partially Ready").

    NPR's most recent report on Basra backs this assertion.

    "The problem is, in most of these four provinces, the British essentially gave up," says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Cordesman says U.K. forces lost control of two key provinces — Basra and Maisan — after elections in early 2005 and 2006 that brought a Shiite majority to power.

    "Once they came under control, the Shiites firmly were in charge of virtually the entire area and there was little the British could do about it," Cordesman says.

    Richard Beeston, diplomatic editor of The Times of London recently returned from a visit to Basra, his first since 2003. He says in 2003, British soldiers were on foot patrol, drove through town in unarmored vehicles and fished in the waters of the Shaat al Arab on their days off. He says the changes he saw four years later are enormous.

    "Nowadays all troop movement in and out of the city are conducted at night by helicopter because it's been deemed too dangerous to go on the road and its dangerous to fly choppers during the day,"
    he says.

    Beeston says during his latest visit, he noticed a map of the city in one of the military briefing rooms. About half of the city was marked as no-go areas.

    British headquarters are mortared and rocketed almost everynight.
    Cordesman at CSIS comes out and says that the British were defeated in the south.

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default The Calm before the Storm

    1 paper about Southern Iraq.

    "The Calm before the Storm: The British Experience in Southern Iraq"


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