View Poll Results: Do you agree that the insurgency has ended, although the war continues?

Voters
30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, it is no longer an insurgency.

    7 23.33%
  • No, it is still an insurgency.

    23 76.67%
Page 1 of 11 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 202

Thread: Good news -- the insurgency is over! Now we need a new strategy for the Iraq War.

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Good news -- the insurgency is over! Now we need a new strategy for the Iraq War.

    With the permission of the SWC, this thread opens a discussion of an article posted on the Defense and National Interest website.

    The Iraq insurgency has ended, which opens a path to peace
    By Fabius Maximus.
    March 13, 12007

    http://www.defense-and-society.org/f...ency_ended.htm

    Summary by Chet Richards, Editor of DNI: “The insurgency has indeed ended, but not for the reasons you might imagine.”

    This article is the first in a series on a common theme: how America can survive and even prosper in an age in which 4GW is the dominant mode of warfare. It starts with our most pressing problem, Iraq.

    It is a brief, hopefully provocative introduction -- recommending a radically different strategy for Coalition forces in Iraq. Following articles discuss these ideas and recommendations in greater detail. Criticism of my work on this site has in the past proved quite helpful in correcting and guiding me, and will prove so again. I thank all those who comment now, in advance.
    Last edited by Fabius Maximus; 03-16-2007 at 12:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Council Member Graycap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I've read the interesting article and I think that you have some good points.

    The center of my reasoning is how to reestablish some kind of order in a theater devastated by a 4GW war. This is the only way out of a 4GW disaster. Any kind of order is better than a freefire 4GW scene.

    I think about solutions like the Bosnia agreement or the Lebanon after the Taef agreement.

    For Europe the Dayton agreement worked well. The same, is true in my opinion, for Israel with the Taef agreement. The israeli error was to mantain an hopeless South Lebanon occupation that fueled the principal 4GW actor: Hizballah.

    In my opinion the US should consider a role in Iraq very similar to the role that Syria played in Lebanon after Taef. A substantial control of the state with patronage of Saudi Arabia and Iran and with condition not to menace Israel.
    Syria has been the only state to win over a 4GW environment in late '80. They played with every different actor in theater and used only a limited amount of firepower only to avoid victory of any actor, with decisive military actions in 1990-91 only when anyone was so exhausted that its intervention was substantially welcomed.

    If the US could influence Israel in finding a workable solution with Syria, about Golan and Lebanon, this two steps, Iraq stabilization and Lebanon stabilization, could be a great success in a pincer manouver against the 4GW master: al-Qaeda.

    Thank you for your attention. I'm only a newbie here and I feel a little bit afraid to post in such an informative forum. Sorry for my poor english since it's not my first language.

    Graycap

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Is the "end of insurgency" just definitional, or does it represent a real change?

    Reply to a great question sent off-line ...

    When the gov't disappears, losing so many attributes that it is not longer a real gov't in the eyes of its people, *all* the insurgencies end.

    Insurgency is a rebellion against a gov't. No gov't, no insurgency.

    In some areas, like the northern Kurd-dominated area, there appears to be a winner.

    In others areas, such as the ungoverned zone called Baghdad, the fighting may continue or even intensify. There are other forms of civil war than "insurgency." These might be waged by any mix of conventional means, guerilla tactics, terrorism, etc.

    The significance of this phase-change is not that we bury the dead differently. The "remedy" must different for each type of civil war. For example, a common COIN ops is suppressing local militias to build up the central govt's authority. Post-insurgency, the first is likely counter-productive -- the second probably impossible.

  4. #4
    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Occupied Virginia
    Posts
    243

    Default

    If you defining the insurgency as fighting against a government then was there ever truly an insurgency in Iraq, since the government of Iraq never really controlled the country?

    Maybe the time has come to accept a civil war in Iraq, at least for a while. The history of Iraq has been problematic from the start, we where unhappy with the status quo antebellum, a civil war and a fragment Iraq may not be so bad . . . all things considered. Who knows maybe in a ten-twenty years it may look like the Balkans not perfect but at least not a war zone.

  5. #5
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Richmond, Missouri
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Fabius, I have enjoyed your articles at DNI (I admit it, I'm a DNI junkie) for quite some time and this one is another winner. Thanks for posting it here.

    As Stu points out, Iraq has always been rather problematic. The various "states" or "centers of culture" were combined in the early 20th century in what can be thought of as little more than a shotgun wedding. Their one uniting factor seems to have always been war - war against the European colonial ambition, war against Iran.... It seems doubtful to me that the various interests can remain united without war. Sad to say, the American occupation may be the one thing that will unite them in common cause eventually - to get rid of the American occupiers. Or, it may continue as civil war until they part ways or one "strongman" like Sadam Hussein rises to the top.

    Sometime ago, the author, Steven Pressfield, did a column that was reprinted at DNI - "It's the Tribes Stupid." It is very enlightening I think on the idea of creating a democracy in our image there. The strongman always seems to be the only type of leader that "succeeds" at making something that resembles a government in such places.
    Mark
    Discuss at: The Irregulars Visit at: UW Review
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    FDNY
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Fabius, I have to disagree with several of your statements:
    Iraq has no Army, probably by our design to maximize their dependence on us.
    In several cases, you cite the Iraqi Army as a non-entity, or at best, a puppet unable to move without CF approval. The Mahmoudiya and Sadr al Yousifiya areas were turned over to the Iraqis several months ago, and as an observer of that particular area, the effect the IA has had on the area is impressive.

    How can we help in the brief period before we leave? I think setting a date for our departure has two detrimental effects. Whatever we try to accomplish will become that much more difficult, as we have lost credibility. And second, the high value bad guys just may go to ground, wait for us to leave, instead of us catching them now.

    One last thing: The ideal of becoming neutral guardians is simply unfeasible. Armed infidels living on Islamic soil will always attract jihadists and the like. Offering monetary support, infrastructure or legitimacy in the eyes of the world are nothing but insults to a man who is driven by an ideology that is inherently opposed to you inhabiting his land.

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Is there an "Iraq Army"?

    Dusty, thank you for your comments.

    One of the many ways in which war is a unique field of study is that (contra to Senator Moynihan) everyone can have not only their own opinion, but also their own facts. Amidst the fog, who knows? (Except for the folks at the front, who do not have this luxury)

    As many folks have written, there is a strong basis for belief that there is no “Iraq” army as a combat force in being. There are Iraq army units that can provide security, in effect light duty occupation forces. These tend to desert or collapse when called to serious action.

    Most of the effective forces wearing Iraq uniforms are regional/ethnic militia OR de facto private armies. The Kurdish Peshmerga is the best-known example.

    On a deeper level, senior Iraq officials have repeated claimed that the Coalition commands the Iraq Army irrespective of their wishes. Such a force is more of a colonial militia than a national army.

    I strongly agree with your next two points. I suspect we differ on the implications of these grim facts. We might never know who is correct, or what course we should take at this time.

    This series of articles attempts to sketch a long-term geo-political strategy for America. If nothing else, in a small way they might help to stimulate a re-thinking of our goals and methods. Continuing on our present course seems destined, IMHO, for certain disaster. Sooner or later.

  8. #8
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    With the permission of the SWC, this thread opens a discussion of an article posted on the Defense and National Interest website.

    The Iraq insurgency has ended, which opens a path to peace
    By Fabius Maximus.
    March 13, 12007

    http://www.defense-and-society.org/f...ency_ended.htm

    Summary by Chet Richards, Editor of DNI: “The insurgency has indeed ended, but not for the reasons you might imagine.”

    This article is the first in a series on a common theme: how America can survive and even prosper in an age in which 4GW is the dominant mode of warfare. It starts with our most pressing problem, Iraq.

    It is a brief, hopefully provocative introduction -- recommending a radically different strategy for Coalition forces in Iraq. Following articles discuss these ideas and recommendations in greater detail. Criticism of my work on this site has in the past proved quite helpful in correcting and guiding me, and will prove so again. I thank all those who comment now, in advance.
    It is what it is; why call it an article and not call it an OP-ED? You don't site resources, other than for filler quotes. It's a mixture rich in opinion and bubbling with exaggeration.

    After 4 months of reading this stuff I still don't know where you get your "fact."

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Facts -- what is happening in Iraq?

    RTK,

    As for how to label these, whatever. I'll accept "op-ed."

    As for "facts", this op-ed builds on the previous ones. Please question any specifics, and I'll attempt to show the supporting evidence.

    Of course, as mentioned previously, "facts" in a war zone are usually open to debate.

    Like most folks looking at Iraq, we rely on the real analysts who collect from primary sources. Like Anthony Cordesman of CSIS. Have you seen his latest? It's worth a look.

    The New Strategy in Iraq: Uncertain Progress Towards Unknown Goal
    Center for Strategic and International Studies
    March 14, 2007
    7 pages

    http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/...rat_update.pdf

  10. #10
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    RTK,

    As for how to label these, whatever. I'll accept "op-ed."

    As for "facts", this op-ed builds on the previous ones. Please question any specifics, and I'll attempt to show the supporting evidence.

    Of course, as mentioned previously, "facts" in a war zone are usually open to debate.

    Like most folks looking at Iraq, we rely on the real analysts who collect from primary sources. Like Anthony Cordesman of CSIS. Have you seen his latest? It's worth a look.

    The New Strategy in Iraq: Uncertain Progress Towards Unknown Goal
    Center for Strategic and International Studies
    March 14, 2007
    7 pages

    http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/...rat_update.pdf

    Fabius,

    I'm not going to question anything you write anymore. Obviously, as evidenced in this thread and a number of others I've called you out on, you haven't ever answered any of my questions anyway, nor have you ever been able to explain your operational relevance or insight (I've only been asking for almost three months [recall the Kilcullen Thread, http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...?t=1649&page=5 ]). Until you can, I'll count you as one of the multitude of so-called "experts" who continue to exploit the events in Iraq for personal name recognition or notarieity

  11. #11
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default A relevant thread in another forum about Iraq

    Nice discussion of situation in Iraq in another thread in this forum. Makes many of the same points as in my op-ed. In more detail, of course.

    Note the trend since the first report posted, the March 2006 "quarterly report to Congress." Toward unfulfilled promise, greater disorder and chaos.

    The trend might be more important than any of the specifics.

    US Policy, Interest, and Endgame
    Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=839

  12. #12
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    Nice discussion of situation in Iraq in another thread in this forum. Makes many of the same points as in my op-ed. In more detail, of course.

    Note the trend since the first report posted, the March 2006 "quarterly report to Congress." Toward unfulfilled promise, greater disorder and chaos.

    The trend might be more important than any of the specifics.

    US Policy, Interest, and Endgame
    Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=839
    As usual, you ask for questions, then don't address them. I'm not really sure why you keep coming back here....

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default What question?

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    As usual, you ask for questions, then don't address them. I'm not really sure why you keep coming back here....
    I am happy to answer any questions about Iraq that I discussed in my op-ed. Please assume I am slow and repeat your question.

    The only thing in your post with a question mark was about the label "article" or "op-ed". And I accepted your term.

    {My post about the other thread was not a response to your post.}

  14. #14
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    One of the many ways in which war is a unique field of study is that (contra to Senator Moynihan) everyone can have not only their own opinion, but also their own facts. Amidst the fog, who knows? (Except for the folks at the front, who do not have this luxury).
    Not sure your source for this, but I ask you again (as I have in previous threads) What are your qualifications and experience for making such a statement? Further, what exacty do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    Most of the effective forces wearing Iraq uniforms are regional/ethnic militia OR de facto private armies. The Kurdish Peshmerga is the best-known example.
    The Pesh have their own uniform, seperate from the Iraqi forces, with a green, white and red flag with a starburst in the middle. It looks nothing like an Iraqi uniform.

    Additionally, I re-ask a question that I last asked on 30DEC2006 that you wouldn't answer: "what are your credentials and research methods to be able to intelligently write 20 articles over 40 months on Iraq?" I'm dying to hear the answer to that one. Further, if you're convinced you're right, why the psedonym?
    Last edited by RTK; 03-17-2007 at 04:47 AM.

  15. #15
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Not sure your source for this, but I ask you again (as I have in previous threads) What are your qualifications and experience for making such a statement? Further, what exacty do you mean?

    The Pesh have their own uniform, seperate from the Iraqi forces, with a green, white and red flag with a starburst in the middle. It looks nothing like an Iraqi uniform.

    Additionally, I re-ask a question that I last asked on 30DEC2006 that you wouldn't answer: "what are your credentials and research methods to be able to intelligently write 20 articles over 40 months on Iraq?" I'm dying to hear the answer to that one. Further, if you're convinced you're right, why the psedonym?
    RTK,

    I agree. See my recent post in the TTP thread.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Last edited by SWJED; 03-17-2007 at 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling

  16. #16
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Reply to RTK: Kurds in uniform of the Iraq Army

    I use "peshmerga" in the long-standing sense of armed Kurdish fighters, whose loyalty is to their ethnic group.

    Some are in the uniforms of the Iraq national army; their true loyalty has been the subject of many articles over the past few years. A few quotes follow; more can easily be found on Google.

    Perhaps the most famous: "Keeping Iraq Intact", CBS/AP (December 28, 2005)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...n1166972.shtml
    The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga - the Kurdish militia - and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.

    …Afandi said his group had sent at least 10,000 Peshmerga to the Iraqi army in northern Iraq, a figure substantiated in interviews with officers in two Iraqi army divisions in the region.

    "All of them belong to the central government, but inside they are Kurds ... all Peshmerga are under the orders of our leadership," Afandi said.
    BBC (March 11, 2005)
    Entering and leaving the area where the PKK camp is located is like crossing a border. The peshmerga of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, dressed now in their Iraqi National Guard uniforms, check all the cars coming in and out. There is even a customs official.
    From The Scotsman (November 5, 2006)
    Hamid Effendi, KDP minister for the peshmerga, has said, "The Arabs in southern Iraq struggle to build a new Iraqi army, but the Kurds already have one. The peshmerga wear Iraqi army uniforms, but they are still Kurds. We have about 60,000 peshmerga. And now they've got big guns"
    This discussion is relevant today as Kurhish units of the Iraq national forces move to Baghdad as part of the surge. Much in the news; here is a balanced look:
    Voice of America (Feb 16, 2007) "Iraqi Army Soldiers From the Kurdish North Head to Baghdad"
    http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-02-16-voa27.cfm

    Adding to the confusion;: many news accounts note that the peshmerga often do not wear uniforms.
    New York Times (Feb 23, 2007)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/in...&ex=1174276800

    The pesh merga are everywhere in Iraqi Kurdistan - along the highways, atop government buildings, riding in convoys. They wear a hodgepodge of uniforms, from traditional baggy outfits to desert camouflage hand-me-downs from the United States Army. There is one thing that appears to be consistent, though: they think of themselves as Kurds first and Iraqis second.

  17. #17
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default Reply to RTK: why post here, or anywhere

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    As usual, you ask for questions, then don't address them. I'm not really sure why you keep coming back here....
    I write only by invitation. Hence the articles (or op-ed’s, if you prefer) on DNI. Hence this thread. Perhaps you should address your complaints to the SWC.

    However, I said I would attempt to answer your questions.

    First, I post here in order to receive useful feedback and criticism. That allows me to correct errors and do better in the future.

    Second, why should anyone read my articles? What authority do I claim?

    Everyone chooses what they regard as a legitimate source of authority. Max Weber classifies authority as charismatic (religious), traditional, or legal (bureaucratic rank, credentials). Perhaps one of those works for you. None of them works for me. I prefer to seek a different basis for belief: what works, what makes sense, what has supporting data. I care little for the source -- whether lord, priest, or serf.

    I can only guess why people read my work. Perhaps it is best that I do not know!

    1. My record as a forecaster is pretty good. (Not perfect, of course. I wish I was correct and that the US started withdrawing troops from Iraq in late 2006).

    2. Perhaps they present interesting ideas or new perspectives.

    3. Perhaps they provide some useful information.

    Certainly not for entertainment. They are humorless and long (by web standards). Worse, they have been pretty grim (although this series is different).

    I am sure we all agree that no style should or does work for everyone, as everyone seeks the truth in their own way.

  18. #18
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default A Yes to a Request is More Like It.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    I write only by invitation. Hence the articles (or op-ed’s, if you prefer) on DNI. Hence this thread. Perhaps you should address your complaints to the SWC...
    Just to make sure everyone is on the same sheet of music here re "invitation" - Fabius Maximus asked if his DNI article was "worth posting to SWC." We said yes and suggested the link as the method.

  19. #19
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    I write only by invitation. Hence the articles (or op-ed’s, if you prefer) on DNI. Hence this thread. Perhaps you should address your complaints to the SWC.

    However, I said I would attempt to answer your questions.

    First, I post here in order to receive useful feedback and criticism. That allows me to correct errors and do better in the future.

    Second, why should anyone read my articles? What authority do I claim?

    Everyone chooses what they regard as a legitimate source of authority. Max Weber classifies authority as charismatic (religious), traditional, or legal (bureaucratic rank, credentials). Perhaps one of those works for you. None of them works for me. I prefer to seek a different basis for belief: what works, what makes sense, what has supporting data. I care little for the source -- whether lord, priest, or serf.

    I can only guess why people read my work. Perhaps it is best that I do not know!

    1. My record as a forecaster is pretty good. (Not perfect, of course. I wish I was correct and that the US started withdrawing troops from Iraq in late 2006).

    2. Perhaps they present interesting ideas or new perspectives.

    3. Perhaps they provide some useful information.

    Certainly not for entertainment. They are humorless and long (by web standards). Worse, they have been pretty grim (although this series is different).

    I am sure we all agree that no style should or does work for everyone, as everyone seeks the truth in their own way.
    Do you write your positions off of mainstream media accounts or have you been in Iraq since 2003 at all? The bottom line is it's either one or the other. Just by looking at the long list of fairly mainstream media resources for the Peshmerga item (which, in all actuality, you're using the term in way too general an application) I gather you've spent little, if any time, in Iraq and quite obviously haven't stepped foot in the northern provinces. I've worked with the IA, and I've worked with the Pesh. I've also worked with IA soldiers with Pesh backgrounds. There are huge differences between each of these catagories.

    Additionally, your writings have always smacked of one who has bought into the mainstream media perspective. You highlight problems and seldom solutions. I have not once seen you use or highlight the infrastructure improvements along the SWEAT-MS lines, nor have you ever spotlighted the Iraqi Army units who are responsible for their own areas of operation. In short, you lack balance.

    Lastly, you have long used your postings on this web site to attempt to gain readers to DNI. Let's be honest, most all of your posts have direct links to your DNI articles and very little outside of that. You've scantly addressed direct criticism, or even direct questioning. My summary of the 28 Articles was a direct response to your inability to understand their practical application in counterinsurgency operations and your failure to show examples of their futility beyond the 2nd article. Discussions are two ways. You effectively ignore the issues, especially when people whose jobs are to operate in that environment call you out. I'd prefer you'd just write on DNI (we know you're there) and quit asking permission to post here. If you won't address that which is asked of you, don't enter into the forum.

    Ryan T. Kranc
    CPT, AR

    Reconnaissance Tactics Instructor
    Armor BOLC IIII
    Last edited by RTK; 03-17-2007 at 12:57 PM.

  20. #20
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,665

    Default

    RTK - I was wondering if you could give any real-world examples of your experience with pesh vs IA. Every single media item I have read emphasizes that Kurdish IA have no hesitation proclaiming their ultimate loyalty to Kurdistan and the pesh. This item shows pesh officers getting salutes from IA soldiers and an IA major proclaiming his loyalty to the pesh, all in Kirkuk.

    Now I am not going to privilege that over your own real-world experiences, so I definitely would like to hear your own take on the whole pesh vs IA and the ultimate loyalties of Kurdish soldiers in the IA, since to me this appears to be one of the ultimately crucial questions as to whether Iraq remains a single nation or not.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •