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Old 07-27-2008, 01:31 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
I apologize for the length. The short version of my response is that I am right, and that the U.S Senate thinks I’m right. With respect to Saddam’s conventional military threat, these are the assessments of the Senate Report on Prewar Intelligence:
Its ok, its not the first time the US Senate intelligence committee(which is not the entire US Senate I should add) has put out something that is simply inaccurate.

Its funny but the very article you site actually has this in it:

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The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.
Thats BEYOND what I have described Saddam's post 1991 Gulf War capabilities to be which I felt were limited to Kuwait, but could grow larger because of the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo.



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The committee's report implies that war opponents were essentially correct when they argued that Iraq posed little immediate threat to the United States. Before the war, those who held this view, both in Congress and at the United Nations, argued that continued containment was preferable to an invasion.
Continued containment required a fully functioning sanctions regime and weapons embargo, both of which essentially did not exist by 2002 except on paper. It also required that Saddam be complying with the UN inspections regime which he had not been doing since the mid-1990s. There was nothing left of sanctions or the weapons embargo across the entire Syrian/Iraq border by 2002. Countries like France, Russia and China were regularly violating both sanctions and the weapons embargo with China starting the process to update Iraq's air defense system just prior to the start of the war in 2003. Saddam was making Billions of dollars in black market oil sales every year since 2000. From this point on, every year that the United States and its Allies let go by without removing Saddam, was another year Saddam would have to rebuild his military strength, obtain new advanced weapon systems, and increase the cost of any military confrontation the United States would have with Iraq in the future. The biggest threat was not Saddam's specific capabilities at any one point in time, but his intentions, past behavior, and the unpredictability of his actions at the head of country that had natural resources of wealth which could be turned toward any crazy adventure he wanted in the future. The goal of US and Gulf defense policy ever since the crises of 1990 was to prevent such a crises from ever occuring again, not to simply react to a new crises. The red line in the sand would not be another Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, but Saddam's failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions and any leaks or complete collapses in the Sanctions and weapons embargo regime.



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After reviewing about 400 analytical documents written by the intelligence agencies from 1991, after the first gulf war, to 2003, when Mr. Hussein was toppled, the committee unanimously concluded that ''the body of assessments showed that Iraqi military capabilities had steadily degraded following defeat in the first gulf war in 1991. Analysts also believed those capabilities would continue to erode as long as economic sanctions remained in place.''
No one has ever for a second doubted that there had been an erosion of Iraqi military capabilities from where they stood in 1991 to where they were in 2003, as well a little over 50% cut in total force levels and equipment levels from the Iraqi military position prior to the 1991 Gulf War. Despite those factors, the US military and the CIA correctly concluded that the Iraqi's still had the capability to cause serious harm in the Gulf if they fully committed what they still had to such an operation. The economic sanctions that the Analysts on the Senate intelligence committee speak of, essentially did not exist any more by 2002 except on paper.


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No, my claim is that Saddam's conventional military was not dangerous to the US because those large scary numbers you quoted were actually in the context of obsolete equipment, poor to non-existent morale and a world power with troops next door. This was conclusively demonstrated during the two Gulf Wars, when we actually fought him. And, uh, by the US government report.

You, however, claimed that Saddam was one of the biggest threats to US and global security in 2003, and cited this:
and from the very article you cited, the US MILITARY had this to say about the matter:

Quote:
The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.
Thats all you need to be considered one of the biggest threats to US and global security in 2003 without even going into the detail of multiple other issues. That technical capability combined with Saddam's past behavior, intentions, and failure to comply with the UN inspections regime, and the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo, are why removing Saddam became a necessity.

Again, by your logic, the Taliban was not much of a threat because the US only lost one person in removing it from power in Afghanistan which is absurd.



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Saying "oh, well it's what he could have had" in some fanciful future where Saddam is inexplicably left alone to develop a quality military is inarguably shifting the goal posts.
No, its recognizing the reality that what ever you believe Saddam's current capabilities were in 2003, he could easily develop and build new capabilities as well as improving those that he already had, especially now that the sanctions and weapons embargo had collapsed. The Military and the CIA recogonized correctly that Saddam's degraded position was NOT irreversible as you some how magically believe. That fact singificantly raises the cost each year that you wait to do what is needed. Removing Saddam in 2003 before he could gain greater capabilities than he already had then has saved the lives of US military personal as well as Iraqi lives too.


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You responded to Dieman by saying Iraq had these and therefore was dangerous. U.S intelligence disagreed.
No an article you qouted from said a Senate Intelligence committee's assessment several years ago implied that.

The US military clearly did not agree as qouted in the article:

Quote:
The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.
Again, well beyond what even I thought Iraq was capable of doing at the time.



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The fact is, any aggressive action toward neighboring countries after the Gulf War would be clear cause for the UN sanctioning war eliminating the regime.
No, the line was drawn in the sand well ahead of that. The international community was not going to wait for Saddam to re-invade Kuwait and have a repeat of the 1990-1991 crises. Failure to comply fully with UN Security Council Resolutions was the line in the sand and Saddam never fully complied with the resolutions, which ultimately why it became a necessity to remove him. UN resolutions before and after the first Gulf War authorized military action against Saddam if he failed to comply with current UN resolutions or subsequent ones. UN Security Council resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 all authorize military action to enforce the resolutions in the face of non-compliance by Iraq.


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The Iraqi Navy
Why continue to bring that up, when I have not once mentioned the Iraqi Navy?


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This is wildly unrealistic for a tinpot dictator in the Middle East to ever develop the capability to do with US forces hovering over the country. Again: you cite the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War as a comparable threat to US deployment. Is Iraq going to bomb our bases with their stealth aircraft? Will they discover our secret bases with their numerous satellites? I see you covered your bases by saying Saddam didn't have any of these capabilities but we couldn't have waited- and we cannot wait until he builds a Space Laser! Then he can shoot down our satellites and hold the world hostage! We must invade Iraq before the Space Laser is built. If you object you are an appeaser.
Saddam is crazy...enough not do things because they're too crazy
Anyone with the right resources can develop capabilities that in certain situations would indeed be a serious threat to US security. The Russian and Chinese military's could not at the time move ground forces into Kuwait to sieze the oil fields, but Saddam could as the military stated, possibly all the way into Saudi Arabia as mentioned in your article:

Quote:
The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.

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Then he would have overreached and been destroyed? You should probably look at a map of the Middle East, and compare the size of Saudi Arabia to Kuwait.
The vast majority of military experts concede that if Iraq had not stopped in Kuwait in 1990 and moved into Saudi Arabia, the world would be facing its worst crises ever do to the degree that the global economy was dependent on Saudi oil. By the way, Saddam would not have to take every square inch of Saudi sand, all he would need is the oil fields bunched up near the border with Kuwait as well as the key coastal ports. Then its goodby Saudi and Kuwaiti oil for the world market, and goodby bases needed in order to deploy a force to remove Saddam's forces. A crises that only caused a global recession, would have turned into a crises that caused a global depression and the length of time needed to try and rectify the situation as well as the cost of doing so would have skyrocketed, and may have proved to be too late as too much damage to the global economy may have been done by then.

Oh, and the US military is well aware of the size of Saudi Arabia vs. Kuwait and had this to say about potential Iraqi agression long after the first Gulf War:

Quote:
The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:46 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
Charles Krauthamer wouldn't. He'd like us to stay and "seize the fruits" of war. Do you disagree with Charles Krauthamer?
The United States only needs to stay as long as necessary to rebuild an Iraqi state to the point that it can handle its own internal and external security, and is not a threat to its neighbors or supports global terrorism. The fruit of that accomplishment alone will buy the world years of security and prosperity.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:06 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Comparing Northern Ireland to Iraq in terms of geograpical area is utterly meaningless, a more meaningful comparison might be that in population terms Northern Ireland has around one twentieth of the population of Iraq, so if the statistic of 3,000 deaths every 5 months in Iraq is correct, that approximates to 150 every 5 months in NI, which approximates to 11,000 over 30 years.

So at this, according to you, relatively peaceful time in Iraq, deaths are occuring at a rate approximately FOUR times higher than in Northern Ireland during the troubles. And bear in mind the figures of 3,000 deaths in Northern Ireland includes the worst years of the Troubles, whereas the estimate of 3,000 deaths every 5 months in Iraq specifically excludes the worst years of the Iraqi conflict.

If that is your definiton of success, then I would not wish to see your definition of failure.

Sorry, but 3,000 deaths a month has only been achieved in a few months over the past 5 years in Iraq. During the past 3 months, Iraqi Security Force and civilian deaths combined have been less than 500 per month. Compare that to the one month where Saddam murdered 300,000 Shia's just after the 1991 Gulf War.

Even though Iraq's per capita death rate is higher than Northern Ireland's was, Northern Ireland is in a first world country that had not just been invaded and occupied or suffered under 24 years of rule by one of the worst dicators as well as being a 3rd world country.

The British Army suffered three times as many casualties in Northern Ireland in the 1970s than they have suffered in Iraq to this point.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:37 AM   #34
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Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost

By ROBERT BURNS and ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writers
Sat Jul 26, 10:45 PM ET



BAGHDAD - The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.

Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.

That does not mean the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had. The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.

Scattered battles go on, especially against al-Qaida holdouts north of Baghdad. But organized resistance, with the steady drumbeat of bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and ambushes that once rocked the capital daily, has all but ceased.

This amounts to more than a lull in the violence. It reflects a fundamental shift in the outlook for the Sunni minority, which held power under Saddam Hussein. They launched the insurgency five years ago. They now are either sidelined or have switched sides to cooperate with the Americans in return for money and political support.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told The Associated Press this past week there are early indications that senior leaders of al-Qaida may be considering shifting their main focus from Iraq to the war in Afghanistan.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the AP on Thursday that the insurgency as a whole has withered to the point where it is no longer a threat to Iraq's future.

"Very clearly, the insurgency is in no position to overthrow the government or, really, even to challenge it," Crocker said. "It's actually almost in no position to try to confront it. By and large, what's left of the insurgency is just trying to hang on."

Shiite militias, notably the Mahdi Army of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have lost their power bases in Baghdad, Basra and other major cities. An important step was the routing of Shiite extremists in the Sadr City slums of eastern Baghdad this spring — now a quiet though not fully secure district.

Al-Sadr and top lieutenants are now in Iran. Still talking of a comeback, they are facing major obstacles, including a loss of support among a Shiite population weary of war and no longer as terrified of Sunni extremists as they were two years ago.

Despite the favorable signs, U.S. commanders are leery of proclaiming victory or promising that the calm will last.

The premature declaration by the Bush administration of "Mission Accomplished" in May 2003 convinced commanders that the best public relations strategy is to promise little, and couple all good news with the warning that "security is fragile" and that the improvements, while encouraging, are "not irreversible."

Iraq still faces a mountain of problems: sectarian rivalries, power struggles within the Sunni and Shiite communities, Kurdish-Arab tensions, corruption. Any one of those could rekindle widespread fighting.

But the underlying dynamics in Iraqi society that blew up the U.S. military's hopes for an early exit, shortly after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, have changed in important ways in recent months.

Systematic sectarian killings have all but ended in the capital, in large part because of tight security and a strategy of walling off neighborhoods purged of minorities in 2006.

That has helped establish a sense of normalcy in the streets of the capital. People are expressing a new confidence in their own security forces, which in turn are exhibiting a newfound assertiveness with the insurgency largely in retreat.

Statistics show violence at a four-year low. The monthly American death toll appears to be at its lowest of the war — four killed in action so far this month as of Friday, compared with 66 in July a year ago. From a daily average of 160 insurgent attacks in July 2007, the average has plummeted to about two dozen a day this month. On Wednesday the nationwide total was 13.

Beyond that, there is something in the air in Iraq this summer.

In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago, when the first, barely visible signs of a turnaround emerged.

Now a moment has arrived for the Iraqis to try to take those positive threads and weave them into a lasting stability.

The questions facing both Americans and Iraqis are: What kinds of help will the country need from the U.S. military, and for how long? The questions will take on greater importance as the U.S. presidential election nears, with one candidate pledging a troop withdrawal and the other insisting on staying.

Iraqi authorities have grown dependent on the U.S. military after more than five years of war. While they are aiming for full sovereignty with no foreign troops on their soil, they do not want to rush. In a similar sense, the Americans fear that after losing more than 4,100 troops, the sacrifice could be squandered.

U.S. commanders say a substantial American military presence will be needed beyond 2009. But judging from the security gains that have been sustained over the first half of this year — as the Pentagon withdrew five Army brigades sent as reinforcements in 2007 — the remaining troops could be used as peacekeepers more than combatants.

As a measure of the transitioning U.S. role, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond says that when he took command of American forces in the Baghdad area about seven months ago he was spending 80 percent of his time working on combat-related matters and about 20 percent on what the military calls "nonkinetic" issues, such as supporting the development of Iraqi government institutions and humanitarian aid.

Now Hammond estimates those percentage have been almost reversed. For several hours one recent day, for example, Hammond consulted on water projects with a Sunni sheik in the Radwaniyah area of southwest Baghdad, then spent time with an Iraqi physician/entrepreneur in the Dora district of southern Baghdad — an area, now calm, that in early 2007 was one of the capital's most violent zones.

"We're getting close to something that looks like an end to mass violence in Iraq," says Stephen Biddle, an analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations who has advised Petraeus on war strategy. Biddle is not ready to say it's over, but he sees the U.S. mission shifting from fighting the insurgents to keeping the peace.

Although Sunni and Shiite extremists are still around, they have surrendered the initiative and have lost the support of many ordinary Iraqis. That can be traced to an altered U.S. approach to countering the insurgency — a Petraeus-driven move to take more U.S. troops off their big bases and put them in Baghdad neighborhoods where they mixed with ordinary Iraqis and built a new level of trust.

Army Col. Tom James, a brigade commander who is on his third combat tour in Iraq, explains the new calm this way:

"We've put out the forest fire. Now we're dealing with pop-up fires."

It's not the end of fighting. It looks like the beginning of a perilous peace.

Maj. Gen. Ali Hadi Hussein al-Yaseri, the chief of patrol police in the capital, sees the changes.

"Even eight months ago, Baghdad was not today's Baghdad," he says.




Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost - Yahoo! News
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:40 AM   #35
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Shiite Militia in Baghdad Sees Its Power Ebb

By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: July 27, 2008
BAGHDAD — The militia that was once the biggest defender of poor Shiites in Iraq, the Mahdi Army, has been profoundly weakened in a number of neighborhoods across Baghdad, in an important, if tentative, milestone for stability in Iraq.

It is a remarkable change from years past, when the militia, led by the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, controlled a broad swath of Baghdad, including local governments and police forces. But its use of extortion and violence began alienating much of the Shiite population to the point that many quietly supported American military sweeps against the group.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki struck another blow this spring, when he led a military operation against it in Baghdad and in several southern cities.

The shift, if it holds, would solidify a transfer of power from Mr. Sadr, who had lorded his once broad political support over the government, to Mr. Maliki, who is increasingly seen as a true national leader.

It is part of a general decline in violence that is resonating in American as well as Iraqi politics: Senator John McCain argues that the advances in Iraq would have been impossible without the increase in American troops known as the surge, while Senator Barack Obama, who opposed the increase, says the security improvements should allow a faster withdrawal of combat troops.

The Mahdi Army’s decline also means that the Iraqi state, all but impotent in the early years of the war, has begun to act the part, taking over delivery of some services and control of some neighborhoods.

“The Iraqi government broke their branches and took down their tree,” said Abu Amjad, a civil servant who lives in the northern Baghdad district of Sadr City, once seen as an unbreachable stronghold for the group.

The change is showing up in the lives of ordinary people. The price of cooking gas is less than a fifth of what it was when the militia controlled local gas stations, and kerosene for heating has also become much less expensive. In interviews, 17 Iraqis, including municipal officials, gas station workers and residents, described a pattern in which the militia’s control over the local economy and public services had ebbed. Merchants say they no longer have to pay protection money to militiamen. In some cases, employees with allegiances to the militia have been fired or transferred.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/wo...rssnyt&emc=rss
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:35 AM   #36
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The military's view in the document was that Iraq had ''at least some chance'' of striking quickly into Saudi oil fields.
Really? This is the phrase you're going to use to show Saddam's potential threat? That there is "at least some chance" that he may be able to do something?

Come on, that's beyond weak.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:22 AM   #37
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Thats all you need to be considered one of the biggest threats to US and global security in 2003 without even going into the detail of multiple other issues. That technical capability combined with Saddam's past behavior, intentions, and failure to comply with the UN inspections regime, and the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo, are why removing Saddam became a necessity.
On the one hand, I have the overall conclusion from a comprehensive government report covering numerous intelligence assessments between the Gulf Wars rejecting the idea that Saddam’s military was a major threat, especially with US forces parked right next to him.

On the other hand, you have a single quote from 1995.

It goes without saying that the conclusion of the comprehensive report and all information backing it is “simply inaccurate”, while a single quote from the same document plucked from a 1995 estimate is gospel truth and fully applied in 2003.

Yeah, just keep hand waving away expert reports you don't like....
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:24 PM   #38
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Really? This is the phrase you're going to use to show Saddam's potential threat? That there is "at least some chance" that he may be able to do something?

Come on, that's beyond weak.
What you don't realize is that is BEYOND what even I thought Saddam was capable of doing at the time. There was certainly plenty of evidence to show that if Saddam committed enough of his forces, he could indeed still overrun Kuwait and cause significant damage. But being able to strike deep into the Saudi Oil fields which are beyond Kuwait makets it a whole different ball game, and much more serious than my own assessment. Once again, this is WITHOUT considering other conditions such as the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo by 2002, which would allow Saddam to start rebuilding his military as well as his capabilities which some believe could allow him to move all the way into the Saudi Oil Fields.

After the crises of 1990-1991, the new line in the sand was not Saddam invading Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, it was Saddam's compliance with the demands of the UN Security Council. There was no way the world could afford to repeat the crises of 1990, especially given the oil market today where there is very little excess supply to handle market disruptions.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
On the one hand, I have the overall conclusion from a comprehensive government report covering numerous intelligence assessments between the Gulf Wars rejecting the idea that Saddam’s military was a major threat, especially with US forces parked right next to him.
You have a NON-Military assessement by politicians on a committee which the ARTICLE IMPLIES means that Saddam posed little threat at the TIME. There was only a small number of US forces stationed in Kuwait at the time, not enough according to the military to prevent Saddam from overruning Kuwait and striking into the Saudi Oil Fields if he committed all his resources to doing that.

Quote:
On the other hand, you have a single quote from 1995.
ITS THE MILITARY'S ASSESSMENT AT THE TIME. A time I might add when the Sanctions and the Weapons embargo were still fully in place and functioning.

Its an assessment that did not really change at all and actually grew more pessimistic as sanctions and the weapons embargo started to collapse. General Tommy Franks, the commander at CENTCOM in 2002 agreed with the necessity of the invasion as did Retired General Colin Powell who was Secretary Of Defense at the time and both still do to this very day. Bill Clintons top National Security expert on Iraq, Kenneth Pollack also agreed that the invasion and removal of Saddam was a necessity. Former President Bill Clinton himself came out in support of the invasion the week before it happened.


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It goes without saying that the conclusion of the comprehensive report and all information backing it is “simply inaccurate”, while a single quote from the same document plucked from a 1995 estimate is gospel truth and fully applied in 2003.
I know you would like to believe that the information against invasion and regime change was overwhelming but it wasn't. The need to remove Saddam only increased from 1995 onwards as he stopped cooperating with UN inspectors, and was able to get out from under Sanctions and the Weapons embargo. The threat only GREW from 1995 onwards.

A key part of the single intelligence committee report you site which the Article implies suggest that Saddam posed little threat, also makes mention of the requirement that Sanctions and the weapons embargo had to remain fully in effect. Those two parts of containment had essentially collapsed by 2002.


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Yeah, just keep hand waving away expert reports you don't like....
You can't keep ignoring the multiple factors that one has to consider when evaluating the security situation in the Persian Gulf. Its laughable that anyone would site a single US Senate Committee report as proof of anything especially when that very report also implies that Saddam would indeed be a threat if the sanctions and weapons embargo were to come apart which they in fact did by 2002. Look at what the NIE on Iraq said in 2002! Look at what the US military was saying. Look at what the CIA was saying. Don't rely on some post hindsite US Senate Intelligence committee report in the middle of a heavily contested 2004 election year. In addition, you have to go well beyond simply assessing what Saddam's capability may or may not have been at one particular point in time, and estimate the cost and risk involved with Saddam remaining in power without the two key containment measures of Sanctions and the Weapons Embargo.

In addition, its simply inaccurate to us logic that would suggest that the Taliban were not a threat because only one US servicemember died in removing that regime in Afghanistan.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:13 PM   #40
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You have no idea what the Report is about. Its section on Iraq's military was based on directly quoted information and summaries from multiple intelligence estimates. The only political function was to accumulate the reports, not to do research themselves.

On some level I'm in awe of the shameless way you reject expert opinions as "simply inaccurate" then turn around and expect me to seriously believe any random claim you make is true.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:24 PM   #41
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You have no idea what the Report is about. Its section on Iraq's military was based on directly quoted information and summaries from multiple intelligence estimates. The only political function was to accumulate the reports, not to do research themselves.
Your clinging to one Senate intelligence Committee report who's information is SELECTED by politicians. There have been thousands of these, some good, some not so good. In any event, information in the report actually contridicts your own very claims.


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On some level I'm in awe of the shameless way you reject expert opinions as "simply inaccurate" then turn around and expect me to seriously believe any random claim you make is true.
Strange since that is all you have been doing. The US military felt that Saddam was a serious threat, and the National Intelligence Estimate in 2002 agreed as well. The CIA in general felt the same as well. Notice the NIE is presented exclusively by the intelligence community and is not something that is cherry picked by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Much of this one Senate report that you won't let go of mentions the fact of how vital sanctions and the weapons embargo are to containing Saddam, two key pieces of containment that were largely gone by 2002. It does not take an expert to realize that in this day and age with a wealth of resources like Saddam had, its only a matter of time after sanctions and the Weapons embargo have ended that Saddam would rebuild his military with an even greater level of capability than he had pre-1991.

The military feels if Saddam threw much of his military resources into an attack south, that not only could they overrun Kuwait, they could actually penetrate deep into the Saudi Oil Fields. Then add to that Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD, thousands of unaccounted for Stocks of WMD, failure to comply with 17 UN Security Council Resolution, and the collapse of the key measure of containment, the sanctions and the weapons embargo, and its easy to see why experts like General Colin Powell, Kenneth Pollack, Michael O'Halon, and General Tommy Franks, concluded that removal of Saddam was indeed a necessity at that point in order to prevent him from potentially causing terrible damage to the global economy, and rebuilding his military capacities which eventually would make war with him extremely costly and difficult relative to the prior conflict, as well as making any occupation far more difficult than it would have to be. The line in the sand is not a repeat of the events of August 1990, its Saddam's failure to cooperate with the UN inspections regime coupled with the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:44 PM   #42
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At this point we're rehashing what's already been discussed. I'm confident enough in my position that I don't need to keep arguing, I think anyone can see that they don't need to just take my word, they can read my source to check me. You're merely hoping people go out on a limb and mindlessly accept your ideas as truth.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:02 PM   #43
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At this point we're rehashing what's already been discussed. I'm confident enough in my position that I don't need to keep arguing, I think anyone can see that they don't need to just take my word, they can read my source to check me. You're merely hoping people go out on a limb and mindlessly accept your interpretation as truth.
There is a wealth of information out there on just how vital the Persian Gulf is to the United States and the threats that Saddam posed to the United States interest there. Military sources are always the best because they tend to be free of political biases. In addition, you have 3 different administrations and over 20 years of reports about the dangers of Saddam and the threat he posed to his smaller neighbors like Kuwait. There are the statements of multiple officials and books by Tommy Franks and Kenneth Pollack on this very issue. Then there are the various NIE reports especially the 2002 NIE report. The UN Security Council Resolutions stating that Saddam's failure to comply was a threat to the region.

Bottom line, in the future, few people are going to be arguing that the world would be a safer place if the United States had not removed Saddam from power in 2003. The above information including even some of the information in your own very article about the issue indicate this. The removal of Saddam was a necessity in order to insure global and regional security. The UN Security Council Resolutions had to be enforced.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:06 PM   #44
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Hey, Sting, you wouldn't happen to know which resolutions they were, would you? I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention them before...



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Old 07-27-2008, 10:49 PM   #45
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in just a few short weeks after Obama's "refinement" of his 16 month timeframe, we now have McCain shifting from 100 years to now endorsing Maliki's 16 month timetable. McCain says that said withdrawal will be "based on conditions" while Obama says the size of the residual force (which everyone agrees on) will also be "based on conditions."

in short, everyone pretty much agrees: the new policy, regardless of who is president, will be a 16-month withdrawal timeline for combat troops that's tied to conditions on the ground.

i had lots of beers last night with a good Republican friend who's heading over to Iraq to do various hush-hush things (he's non-military). the consensus is that all will be over and done with by 2010, regardless.

say what you will, argue what you will, the end result is that nobody really knows anything other than the fact that this deeply unpopular war will slowly be phased out by the end of 2010.

to have an election on the specifics, or not, of "the surge" is foolish. it is an important part of the story of Iraq, but it is only one element. McCain and Obama and Bush and everyone all wants the same thing, and we're all going to get it: US troops will be leaving Iraq.

and then, what happens to all the bribes we've paid to get the insurgents to stop killing one another stop and 5 million refugees come home to find Shiites waiting for them in their living rooms.

the mind boggles.
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