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Thread: Center of Gravity in Iraq

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    Default Center of Gravity in Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    "Main concentration of an opponents power which can interpose itself between us and our strategic objective causing our campaign to fail."
    If our strategic objective is "reconciliation" isn't the main COG the Iraqi parliament?

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    If our strategic objective is "reconciliation" isn't the main COG the Iraqi parliament?
    Only if you believe that the Iraqi Government is the central deciding authority for reconciliation.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Only if you believe that the Iraqi Government is the central deciding authority for reconciliation.
    Can major national decisions be "reconciled" without the participation or central mechanisms of the Iraqi government? A national oil distribution law? The eventual fate of the 2m Iraqi refugees who have fled the country? The role of Islam within the legal system? The role of federalism within the constitution? If there will even be a national entity or constitution?

    These are not decisions to be made on the local level. Indeed, the ramifications of these issues will largely decide what occurs on the local level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Can major national decisions be "reconciled" without the participation or central mechanisms of the Iraqi government? A national oil distribution law? The eventual fate of the 2m Iraqi refugees who have fled the country? The role of Islam within the legal system? The role of federalism within the constitution? If there will even be a national entity or constitution?

    These are not decisions to be made on the local level. Indeed, the ramifications of these issues will largely decide what occurs on the local level.
    I'll ask a counter question: Is the current parliament too fragmented to accomplish the above at this time?
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I'll ask a counter question: Is the current parliament too fragmented to accomplish the above at this time?
    I'd argue that it is not. Parliament accurately represents the internecine struggles within Iraqi society itself. The larger question is whether or not Iraqi society has been so fragmented by the multiplying past and ongoing traumas that it cannot reconcile enough to solve these questions.

    However, these questions will eventually have to be solved at the national level. As long as they are left open or under the control of foreigners, Iraqi factions will struggle violently to control the process that resolves them.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Hi tequilla, so what do you think is the best COA for the US?

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Or, alternatively, the various tribal, ethnic and

    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    I'd argue that it is not. Parliament accurately represents the internecine struggles within Iraqi society itself. The larger question is whether or not Iraqi society has been so fragmented by the multiplying past and ongoing traumas that it cannot reconcile enough to solve these questions.

    However, these questions will eventually have to be solved at the national level. As long as they are left open or under the control of foreigners, Iraqi factions will struggle violently to control the process that resolves them.

    religious factions -- numbering in the hundreds and at varying power and influence levels with constantly shifting alliances -- could lead to a Confederation or even to a breakup. Either of those will really be fun...

    Welcome to the Middle East.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Only if you believe that the Iraqi Government is the central deciding authority for reconciliation.
    I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    I'll ask a counter question: Is the current parliament too fragmented to accomplish the above at this time?
    Yes. Which is why I'm not optimistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    I do.
    I disagree and here's why.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kilcullen
    Call me cynical, but I tend to trust self-interest, group identity and revenge as reliable motivations – more so than protestations of aspirational democracy, anyway.
    I interpret that as Mr. Kilcullen saying his impression is that the tribes are more interested in revenge than reconciliation, which is consistent with what Michael Ware of CNN reported yesterday.

    Though, I'm sure that if I'm wrong Mr. Kilcullen will give me the mother of all slap downs, which will undoubtedly be highly amusing for all the other council members.

    This Washington Post article suggests that we've already chosen sides in the civil war

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ignatius in the Washington Post
    Military forces are engaged -- America's openly, Iran's clandestinely -- in a battle for influence over the shattered remnants of the Iraqi state. Indeed, now that the United States has co-opted Iraq's Sunnis, the new American priority is to prevent Iranian hegemony over Iraqi Shiites. U.S. officials say they have tried to reassure Iraqis that they won't fight a proxy war against Tehran on Iraqi territory. But that's precisely what has been happening in recent months.
    Last edited by Rank amateur; 09-15-2007 at 05:04 PM.

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