Peter Brown

More or less troops in Iraq?

18 posts in this topic

After consultation and a rejection of most of the Iraq Study Group advice, it seems now that there's speculation that Bush, who has postponed his before-Christmas speech on Iraq, may increase troop numbers in Iraq.

The media are quoting 20,000 and 30,000 at the moment.

Is this good or bad?

Will this mean more targets or better premises (rather than listening to the realists) and thus a moral-practical bridge?

Of course Bush rejecting the realists is better relative to completely giving in like the surrender monkeys. We disagree with his approach to the war but, could he be checking up on his premises, or is increasing troops fundamentally flawed?

I do not have the quotes, but I walk past the TV to the kitchen and I hear something like "We're going to free this country from these terrorists" -- two days later I was watching TV and the quote sounded like "We're going to free this country from extremists, an Iraq that can govern itself etc etc".

It appears that possibly an identification and evaluation progress is going on explicitly, his tongue is slipping, my quotes are not exact all I remember is he was saying virtually the same thing, just using a different word that I honed in on. Finally it seems he may be understanding...

Is it just me or has there also been an increase in frequency in regards to British and Washington officials saying things that are similar to or imply "preserve our way of life against these radical ideologies that must be destroyed".

Is it just me or the Whitehouse explicitly expressing that the US is not going to deal/talk with Syria & Iran is just another sign of things moving the way they ought to be?

Discuss.

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I think a good place to start this discussion is with the following:

Who is Anthony Zinni?

What does he have to say about "More or less troops in Iraq?"

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We have enough conventional firepower in theatre to send Syria and Iran back to the Stone Age within 24 hours.

We don't.

If the larger force isn't allowed to engage the enemy decisively, the USA will look even more inept than it looks now, emboldening our enemies even more.

(Interesting side: According to interviews featured on a Frontline episode, the original plans for the annexation of Iraq called for "just" 50K US troops. The Pentagon was certain it could topple the regime with a force that size but increased it in anticipation of problems during the transition from totalitarian state to democracy. Of course, when our guilt-ridden culture mandates that every military unit over there have a lawyer with veto power embedded in it, effectiveness goes out the window.)

JohnRGT

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After consultation and a rejection of most of the Iraq Study Group advice, it seems now that there's speculation that Bush, who has postponed his before-Christmas speech on Iraq, may increase troop numbers in Iraq.

The media are quoting 20,000 and 30,000 at the moment.

Is this good or bad?

I would think that would depend on what is done with those troops. If it is just more of the same, I do not think that is good.

Is it just me or the Whitehouse explicitly expressing that the US is not going to deal/talk with Syria & Iran is just another sign of things moving the way they ought to be?

According to this New York Sun report, which was referenced by Vespasiano in this thread, Bush indicated Syria was harboring terrorists and sabotaging Iraq, but he would talk to Syria if they showed an interest in making peace. I think he is naive in saying that. First destroy that enemy, and then make peace.

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I don't see how providing more targets for terrorists will improve anything in iraq. Nothing will stop the tribalist and religious hatred between all the groupsthere. If you want to change whats happening in iraq you we will need to make some fundamental changes in what we are doing. What kind of change? Im not sure, Ive read suggestions from many people and they dont all involve destroying cities from 1000 miles up in the air with airplanes.

and is it going to happen? hell no.

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and is it going to happen? hell no.

Just because no one is doing it does not mean that we should not keep stating it as a viable solution.

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Just because no one is doing it does not mean that we should not keep stating it as a viable solution.

I did not say that we shouldn't either, not that I think that massive air bombardment is the solution to winning this war.

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I do think it is a viable solution that would end the war very quickly.

Two things must happen when someone or some country decides to go to war. First, define your enemies. Second, destroy those enemies. When at war warriors must be as harsh and as brutal as they can, this is what puts fear in the minds of your enemies and keeps the pest from thinking about attacking. When our enemies see that we wipe off the face of the planet anyone that attacks us, peace will again come and not until then.

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I do think it is a viable solution that would end the war very quickly.

Two things must happen when someone or some country decides to go to war. First, define your enemies. Second, destroy those enemies. When at war warriors must be as harsh and as brutal as they can, this is what puts fear in the minds of your enemies and keeps the pest from thinking about attacking. When our enemies see that we wipe off the face of the planet anyone that attacks us, peace will again come and not until then.

Well not that I disagree with anyhting you've said, I just think that ground forces will be necessary. Air power is not the all its cracked up to be. In Kosovo for example, a third rate army did a very good job at evading our airpower. Not that you're advocating airpower as the only means.

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I would think that would depend on what is done with those troops. If it is just more of the same, I do not think that is good.

Yes. 50,000 new guns aimed at bad guys is good; 50,000 Americans put within firing range of our enemies but not allowed to defend themselves is bad.

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Who is Anthony Zinni?

What does he have to say about "More or less troops in Iraq?"

About Gen. Anthony Zinni(ret.):

The Future for Iraq: Realities and Requirements

THE REALITIES

The first reality we should acknowledge is that there is no brilliant short-term strategic option or stroke of genius waiting to be unveiled. We have missed too many opportunities, and have created too much irreparable damage via the mistakes that were made, for that to be possible. We are now faced with a complex set of problems that will take time, commitment, resources, skill, and some luck to work through.

The second reality is that we cannot simply pull out, as much as we may want to. The consequences of a destabilized and chaotic Iraq, sitting in the center of a critical region of the world, could have catastrophic implications.

The third reality is that there is no short-term solution. It will take years to stabilize Iraq. How many? I believe at least five to seven, which doesn’t mean it has to be five to seven years of living with the current situation. It means we could see a steadily improving and stabilizing Iraq over that time.

The fourth reality is that the problem cannot be solved by simply addressing the security issues. Viable institutions must be built in addition to the military and police. Security is clearly a priority, and nothing else can take hold if the security environment is not reasonably stable. But security alone is not the answer.

What does this all mean?

Zinni supports John McCain's plan

As President George W. Bush and the Iraq Study Group have reviewed Iraq strategy, Zinni has developed his own plan. His program, which was outlined in a paper released Monday by the World Security Institute, calls for a new steering group to ensure that America's policies toward Iraq are carried out efficiently, including job creation programs, integrating Iraq's militias into government supervised national guard units and encouraging the Iraqi Army to develop a civil affairs capability.

The proposal also opens the door for a temporary increase in American troops to improve security and build a sense of political momentum, something advocated by Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican.

"It may be necessary to surge them for a short term," Zinni said. "I do believe more troops are required on the ground. I believe what Senator McCain says."

(Bold is mine.)

Since this thread is part of the politics thread, it might also be of interest to know that Gen. Zinni was one of the retired Generals who supported James Webb's race in Virginia. Webb's close victory gave the Democrat's the majority to the Democrats. Webb used to be a Republican.

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Well not that I disagree with anyhting you've said, I just think that ground forces will be necessary. Air power is not the all its cracked up to be. In Kosovo for example, a third rate army did a very good job at evading our airpower. Not that you're advocating airpower as the only means.

According to Fiasco:The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks, air power was working.

The Desert Fox strikes

The climax of Zinni's time as commander in the Mideast was the four-day-long Desert Fox bombing campaign. There had been military movements in 1994 and 1996, but the 1998 raids would be the biggest U.S. military strikes in Iraq since the end of the 1991 war. This turned out to be the most intense enforcement of the containment policy that occurred in the entire twelve-year period between the 1991 war and the 2003 invasion.

Launched in reaction to a standoff with Saddam Hussein over weapons inspections, the attacks began on December 16, 1998, with a volley of over 200 cruise missiles from Navy ships and Air Force B-52 bombers. The next day another 100 cruise missiles were fired. On the third night of air strikes, B-1 swing-wing supersonic bombers made their first ever appearance in combat. After a fourth night, the raids ended. A total of 415 cruise missiles had been used, more than the 317 employed during the entire 1991 Gulf War. They and 600 bombs hit a total of 97 sites, the major ones being facilities for the production and storage of chemical weapons and those associated with missiles that could deliver such munitions. In part because U.S. intelligence was able to locate only a limited number of sites associated with weaponry, the strikes also hit government command-and-control facilities, such as intelligence and secret-police headquarters.

Some congressional Republicans were deeply suspicious of President Clinton and suggested that the strikes were simply a ploy to undercut the impending impeachment proceedings against him. As the bombing began, Sen. Trent Lott, then the Senate majority leader, issued a statement declaring, "I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time. Both the timing and the policy are subject to question." Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, a California Republican, called the military action "an insult to the American people."

Yet the raids proved surprisingly effective. "Desert Fox actually exceeded expectations," wrote Kenneth Pollack in The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, his influential 2002 book. "Saddam panicked during the strikes. Fearing that his control was threatened, he ordered large-scale arrests and executions, which backfired and destabilized his regime for months afterward."

Zinni was amazed when Western intelligence assets in Baghdad reported that Desert Fox nearly knocked off Saddam Hussein's regime. His conclusion: Containment is clearly working, and Saddam Hussein was on the ropes. A U.S. military intelligence official, looking back at Desert Fox years later, confirmed that account. "There were a lot of good reports coming out afterward on how he changed his command and control, very quickly. It was especially clear in areas involving internal control." Interceptions of communications among Iraqi generals indicated "palpable fear that he was going to lose control." (p. 18-19)

(Bold is mine.)

Last night's news reported that the War in Iraq is going to cost $190 billion for 2006. If you take the equivalent of between $1 billion and $85 billion worth of Tomahawk missiles and drop them on Mecca, Medina, and Tehran, I can guarantee our problems in the Middle East would be over. I realize my solution won't happen. It is too radical.

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Yet the raids proved surprisingly effective. "Desert Fox actually exceeded expectations," wrote Kenneth Pollack in The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, his influential 2002 book. "Saddam panicked during the strikes. Fearing that his control was threatened, he ordered large-scale arrests and executions, which backfired and destabilized his regime for months afterward."

Zinni was amazed when Western intelligence assets in Baghdad reported that Desert Fox nearly knocked off Saddam Hussein's regime. His conclusion: Containment is clearly working, and Saddam Hussein was on the ropes. A U.S. military intelligence official, looking back at Desert Fox years later, confirmed that account. "There were a lot of good reports coming out afterward on how he changed his command and control, very quickly. It was especially clear in areas involving internal control." Interceptions of communications among Iraqi generals indicated "palpable fear that he was going to lose control." (p. 18-19)

Yes, Im sure it can work against static targets like communication, power, water and food centers. I was talking about a mobile army that can move arround, hide and use deception.

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Yes, Im sure it can work against static targets like communication, power, water and food centers. I was talking about a mobile army that can move arround, hide and use deception.

How are 20,000 additional troops going to stop a moblie army that can move around, hide and use deception?

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How are 20,000 additional troops going to stop a moblie army that can move around, hide and use deception?

Same way as Alex the Great did it. Attack bases of concentration, deny supply lines, starve it out. I just want Bush to use those 20,000 properly; we could win the war with those 20,000 alone.

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Same way as Alex the Great did it. Attack bases of concentration, deny supply lines, starve it out. I just want Bush to use those 20,000 properly; we could win the war with those 20,000 alone.

When will President Bush start using out troops properly?

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Since this thread is part of the politics thread, it might also be of interest to know that Gen. Zinni was one of the retired Generals who supported James Webb's race in Virginia. Webb's close victory gave the Democrat's the majority to the Democrats. Webb used to be a Republican.

I thought it was interesting that James Webb was the Democrat who responded to the State of the Union Address.

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