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Old 07-28-2008, 09:45 PM   #91
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yo, Dread.

clear out some of your old PMs.

i gots something i want to say to you.
Done:O)
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:45 PM   #92
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some of us have been saying this since 2004.

i think you're one of those -- you realize the situation in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, and yet reject the false choice that STING and the administration presented us with.
But Pollack who was not in the administration agreed with the administration on the need to remove Saddam from power with US military force. He was well aware of the type of coalition the administration had put together in March of 2003 as well as the size force that was being sent in, but he never raised any serious objections about those things in March 2003 prior to the start of the war that I can recall.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #93
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Waiting longer to remove Saddam would have only cost more American lives and made the occupation more difficult.
This is nothing but pure speculation on your part, and I for one seriously question the assertion that it would have cost us more American lives and made the occupation more difficult. Overthrowing Saddam was relatively easy, and I don't see a few months or even a year giving him time to significantly ramp up an already eroding military. He simply was not the threat he was made out to be before the war.

As for it making the occupation more difficult, I completely disagree. Had we waited longer, read the reports and given more weight to those who said we would need a larger force in order to occupy the country, [had we decided to invade anyway after looking at the facts...] the occupation would most likely have been easier. Remember, Al Qaeda was not a factor in Iraq until after we invaded. Had we invaded with a larger force capable of securing more of the country, Al Qaeda would not have been able to work as effectively.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:30 PM   #94
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Remember, Al Qaeda was not a factor in Iraq until after we invaded. Had we invaded with a larger force capable of securing more of the country, Al Qaeda would not have been able to work as effectively.


just to add, AQ was a factor *because* we invaded.

and i agree. if you were going to invade Iraq and occupy it effectively, you would have needed 450,000 troops or more. some of us said this at the time. but Rumsfeld was intent upon demonstrating to the world that we could send a small-ish amount of troops and knock out any government, anywhere, and be done with it and out of there. *this* is why the occupation was such a disaster and what is actually alluded to -- they never planned to be in Iraq for very long, they thought i'd be over and done with, and Chalabi would take over and that would be that.

and life it just didn't turn out that way, did it.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:33 PM   #95
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This is nothing but pure speculation on your part, and I for one seriously question the assertion that it would have cost us more American lives and made the occupation more difficult. Overthrowing Saddam was relatively easy, and I don't see a few months or even a year giving him time to significantly ramp up an already eroding military. He simply was not the threat he was made out to be before the war.
Even those unlikely to be supportive of the invasion admit that the sanctions and weapons embargo were necessities in trying to contain Saddam. These two things had erroded to the point of almost non-existence by 2003. It was only a matter of time before Saddam would be well on the road to significantly rebuilding degraded military capabilities as well as the size of his forces. In fact, even minor changes in preperation for the war could have significantly increased coalition casualties but Saddam did not actually believe the coalition was going to invade as late as the week of the invasion. Given several years or more of preperation, rebuilding of various military capabilities and the cost and consequences go up. Its simply inaccurate to be suggesting that Saddam did not pose a threat simply based on US casualties in the initial invasion, especially since many of his more hardcore supporters drifted into the background on purpose and later formed the backbone of the insurgency. No one is arguing that Al Quada and the Taliban were not a threat based on the US casualties that were suffered in Afghanistan in 2001-2002.


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As for it making the occupation more difficult, I completely disagree. Had we waited longer, read the reports and given more weight to those who said we would need a larger force in order to occupy the country, [had we decided to invade anyway after looking at the facts...] the occupation would most likely have been easier. Remember, Al Qaeda was not a factor in Iraq until after we invaded. Had we invaded with a larger force capable of securing more of the country, Al Qaeda would not have been able to work as effectively.
Waiting equals more time for Saddam to prepare for such an invasion. There were large numbers of bridges, damns, oil wells, and other facilities that Saddam could have blown up had he been more prepared, which would have created enormous difficulties for the invasion force and occupation afterwards. Increasing the size of his forces and obtaining new weapons(because of the essential end of sanctions and the weapons embargo) would have made the initial invasion far more costly, and destroyed much more of the country making the rebuilding process that much more difficult. A more costly and difficult invasion would make for a more costly and difficult occupation and reconstruction phase.

The facts you speek of would not have changed in terms of intelligence. What little we know now about the true nature of Saddam's capabilities and programs at the time was learned after Saddam was removed and US forces could investigate the entire country in large numbers instead of the pre-war situation of a small group of investigators always being stalled and interdicted as they tried to do inspections. While WMD stocks were not found and there are still thousands of stocks that mysteriously remain unaccounted for, multiple programs related to the production of WMD that were in violation of the Gulf War Ceacefire Agreement were found.

The size of the coalition force that was in place by July of 2003 was as large as the average size that the coalition force has been for the past 5 years with the exception of the recent 18 month Surge. Although I agree a larger force would have been better, it would have required mobilizing National Guard Brigades before the invasion since the Active Army only had 33 combat brigades at that time. In addition, you have to weigh the larger size of any force with the greater level of destruction within the country that surely would have happened had the United States waited longer to invade.

Despite the obvious success of the Surge, combating an insurgency does not just take larger numbers. How those forces are used, as well as political and economic factors also play a role. It would take longer to rebuild the political and economic structures of Iraq had the initial invasion been more difficult and costly with more of the country being destroyed. That in turn could have increased the size and support of the insurgency.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:49 PM   #96
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just to add, AQ was a factor *because* we invaded.

and i agree. if you were going to invade Iraq and occupy it effectively, you would have needed 450,000 troops or more.
Even if you sent every Army, Marine, and National Guard combat brigade to Iraq that was available in 2003, its unlikely you would have a number that large or greater, plus the forces would all have to remain in country indefinitely, with no extra brigades that could be rotated in to give brigades already there 6 months or a year break from occupation work.


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but Rumsfeld was intent upon demonstrating to the world that we could send a small-ish amount of troops and knock out any government, anywhere, and be done with it and out of there.
Rumsfeld wanted a similar type of force that was used to remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, a country with the same size population in Iraq, was 50% larger in area, and had a long recent history of insurgency and a population experienced at one. Despite the fact that Rumsfeld's strategy worked better than anyone realized it would in Afghanistan, he essentially got vetoed by General Tommy Franks on the size of the invasion force for Iraq. The force that did go in was much larger than the one Rumsfeld had initially thought about sending in.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:31 AM   #97
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Well, what does Charles Krauthamer mean by "seize the fruits" of war?

I don't know. . .I'm trying to find the article now but I'm not sure where it is whether it got moved to this thread or is still in the other one. Haven't been able to locate it yet.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:49 AM   #98
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^ post #17 in this thread
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:03 AM   #99
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^Thank you, Yolland. Somehow I knew you'd come to my rescue!

Reading the following, Sting, I think you would actually AGREE with Krauthamer, no?

McCain, like George Bush, envisions the United States seizing the fruits of victory from a bloody and costly war by establishing an extensive strategic relationship that would not only make the new Iraq a strong ally in the war on terror but would also provide the U.S. with the infrastructure and freedom of action to project American power regionally, as do U.S. forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea.

For example, we might want to retain an air base to deter Iran, protect regional allies and relieve our naval forces, which today carry much of the burden of protecting the Persian Gulf region, thus allowing redeployment elsewhere.

Any Iraqi leader would prefer a more pliant American negotiator because all countries -- we've seen this in Germany, Japan and South Korea -- want to maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection.

The emphasis is on staying in Iraq long term, at least as I read it. If you're honest, this is your position, and that of McCain as well, no?

The question is: Is this the position of the Iraqi government as well? I tend to think not, at least not based on what has been said recently. Krauthamer says that Iraqi leaders will want to "maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection." If Iraqi leaders have said that they want American protection of this kind for years into the future, I'm not aware of it.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:43 AM   #100
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^Thank you, Yolland. Somehow I knew you'd come to my rescue!

Reading the following, Sting, I think you would actually AGREE with Krauthamer, no?

McCain, like George Bush, envisions the United States seizing the fruits of victory from a bloody and costly war by establishing an extensive strategic relationship that would not only make the new Iraq a strong ally in the war on terror but would also provide the U.S. with the infrastructure and freedom of action to project American power regionally, as do U.S. forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea.

For example, we might want to retain an air base to deter Iran, protect regional allies and relieve our naval forces, which today carry much of the burden of protecting the Persian Gulf region, thus allowing redeployment elsewhere.

Any Iraqi leader would prefer a more pliant American negotiator because all countries -- we've seen this in Germany, Japan and South Korea -- want to maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection.

The emphasis is on staying in Iraq long term, at least as I read it. If you're honest, this is your position, and that of McCain as well, no?

The question is: Is this the position of the Iraqi government as well? I tend to think not, at least not based on what has been said recently. Krauthamer says that Iraqi leaders will want to "maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection." If Iraqi leaders have said that they want American protection of this kind for years into the future, I'm not aware of it.


hence, "indefinite occupation."

you can put as much lipstick on this pig as you want, but that's what it is. and that is why "withdrawal" needs to be the framework under which future Iraq policy goes forward. because, like i said, Muslims just *love* to be occupied.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:59 AM   #101
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Even if you sent every Army, Marine, and National Guard combat brigade to Iraq that was available in 2003, its unlikely you would have a number that large or greater, plus the forces would all have to remain in country indefinitely, with no extra brigades that could be rotated in to give brigades already there 6 months or a year break from occupation work.

which is why allies matter.

at least, today, they're waving American flags in Berlin, and not burning them.




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Rumsfeld wanted a similar type of force that was used to remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, a country with the same size population in Iraq, was 50% larger in area, and had a long recent history of insurgency and a population experienced at one. Despite the fact that Rumsfeld's strategy worked better than anyone realized it would in Afghanistan, he essentially got vetoed by General Tommy Franks on the size of the invasion force for Iraq. The force that did go in was much larger than the one Rumsfeld had initially thought about sending in.

and ... ?
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:15 PM   #102
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^Thank you, Yolland. Somehow I knew you'd come to my rescue!

Reading the following, Sting, I think you would actually AGREE with Krauthamer, no?

McCain, like George Bush, envisions the United States seizing the fruits of victory from a bloody and costly war by establishing an extensive strategic relationship that would not only make the new Iraq a strong ally in the war on terror but would also provide the U.S. with the infrastructure and freedom of action to project American power regionally, as do U.S. forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea.

For example, we might want to retain an air base to deter Iran, protect regional allies and relieve our naval forces, which today carry much of the burden of protecting the Persian Gulf region, thus allowing redeployment elsewhere.

Any Iraqi leader would prefer a more pliant American negotiator because all countries -- we've seen this in Germany, Japan and South Korea -- want to maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection.

The emphasis is on staying in Iraq long term, at least as I read it. If you're honest, this is your position, and that of McCain as well, no?

The question is: Is this the position of the Iraqi government as well? I tend to think not, at least not based on what has been said recently. Krauthamer says that Iraqi leaders will want to "maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection." If Iraqi leaders have said that they want American protection of this kind for years into the future, I'm not aware of it.
No, that is not my position, nor the position of George Bush or John McCain. The United States does not need to have bases in Iraq in order to project power through out the region. Having an air base just up the road from the ones in Kuwait would not provide the US with any new real capability in that area. Most fixed wing combat aircraft providing close air support for US combat Units in Iraq fly out of Kuwait or carriers in the Persian Gulf.

The United States wants there to be a stable Iraq, that does not pose a threat to its neighbors, does not harbor or support international terrorist. It wants to have good relations with the new Iraqi government and is willing to do what is necessary to help Iraq provide for its internal and external security.

The Iraqi national security advisor stated that once the Iraqi military has taken over security in all 18 provinces(they currently have done that in 10) that they would then have US forces still in cities redeploy to rural area's, but remain in the country for the next 3 to 5 years with the security situation reviewed ever 6 months. In 2007, the Iraqi National Security Advisor mentioned that he thought that the Iraqi military would be ready to handle all internal security functions by 2012, but would still need help in the area of providing external security until 2018. The estimates of those dates may have sped up though do to the rapid success of the surge, and the growing capability of the Iraqi military over the past year.

As long as Iraq does not become a security threat to the region again, is able to provide for its internal and external security, is not itself endangered by other forces in the region, it would not be necessary for the United States to base any forces there. The same can be said of Afghanistan which for some reason you do not pose the same question about the future of US troops in that country. Bush's initial plans on Iraq had over half of US troops withdrawn by the summer of 2004, and all but 5,000 by December of 2006, which might have been possible had the insurgency and its impact on the situation not developed.

Iraqi leaders have always stated that they want US troops to remain on the ground as long as the conditions warrent it. Afghanistan's leaders have stated the same thing.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #103
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hence, "indefinite occupation."

you can put as much lipstick on this pig as you want, but that's what it is. and that is why "withdrawal" needs to be the framework under which future Iraq policy goes forward. because, like i said, Muslims just *love* to be occupied.
The Bush administration, McCain have never been for an indefinite occupation. The Bush administrations initial plans on Iraq had nearly all US troops out of the country by December of 2006, but conditions on the ground changed that withdrawal schedule. The only reason for there to be US troops in Iraq is if the conditions there warrent it whether it be because of an internal security threat or a external security threat that Iraq was not able to deal with on its own.

I hope you remember that Afghanistan is also a Muslim country, but you don't really seem to be concerned about there being a withdrawal time table from that country.

Any withdrawal from either country must be conditions based and not an arbitrary time based one.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:26 PM   #104
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which is why allies matter.

at least, today, they're waving American flags in Berlin, and not burning the
Even if you were to combine what Europe was able to contribute to the first Gulf War, the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan, you would not be much closer to that number that has just been pulled out of the air.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:41 PM   #105
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Even if you were to combine what Europe was able to contribute to the first Gulf War, the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan, you would not be much closer to that number that has just been pulled out of the air.
which pretty much tells is it was always and in all ways a bad idea.

thanks for clarifying.
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