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Thread: The Real Choice in Iraq

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default The Real Choice in Iraq

    8 Jan. Washington Post Op-Ed - The Real Choice in Iraq by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    ... Victory, as defined by the administration and its supporters -- i.e., a stable and secular democracy in a unified Iraqi state, with the insurgency crushed by the American military assisted by a disciplined, U.S.-trained Iraqi national army -- is unlikely. The U.S. force required to achieve it would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation.

    Moreover, neither the Shiites nor the Kurds are likely to subordinate their specific interests to a unified Iraq with a genuine, single national army. As the haggling over the new government has already shown, the two dominant forces in Iraq -- the religious Shiite alliance and the separatist Kurds -- share a common interest in preventing a restoration of Sunni domination, with each determined to retain a separate military capacity for asserting its own specific interests, largely at the cost of the Sunnis. A truly national army in that context is a delusion. Continuing doggedly to seek "a victory" in that fashion dooms America to rising costs in blood and money, not to mention the intensifying Muslim hostility and massive erosion of America's international legitimacy, credibility and moral reputation...

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    Default Crushing the enemy in Iraq

    The elections themselves were a crushing defeat for the enemy in Iraq. Every vote cast was a vote against al Qaeda and the rejectionist. ZB does not seem to comprehend how weak the enemy in Iraq is. His denigration of the Iraqi forces trained by the US is demonstrably off base when you consider that it was this force that defended the election in December with US forces acting as a back up. The enemy is too wealk to attack a defended position. He has to rely on amibuity as to the time and place of attack. Almost all of his "successful" attacks are against noncombatants. These are self defeating attacks that further alienate him from the people as shown by the attack on the Sunni's looking to join the security services. If this attack was intended to spark a civil war are anger against US forces, the effect was the opposite. The Arab street rose up in anger against Zarqawi and al Qaeda the way it did in Jordan. Another benefit of the IRaqi forces is that intelligence about the enemy has been greatly enhanced. Every day reports of citizens notifying coalition forces of weapons caches and enemy bomb builders are becoming more common.

    We have given the Iraqis and opportunity. At this point they appear to be seizing it despite the efforts of the enemy in Iraq and the pessimist in this country.

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    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
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    Well mark me down as a pessimist. We are very unlikely to see a unified democratic and peaceful Iraq any time soon, if ever. It seems more likely that Iraq will continue its degeneration into civil war. Elections are good but in and of themselves they donít buy us much. Nothing prevents guerillas from voting one day and then planting a bomb the next. They are to weak to win much in head to head combat but they do not have to all the guerilla needs to do is live to fight another day.

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