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Old 10-09-2009, 01:57 AM   #16
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Unwillingness to commit troops has been our problem for a long, long time.


oh, is that the problem?
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:03 AM   #17
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There is no way of occupying and holding Afghanistan.

The surge in Iraq was only successful because they got the Sons of Iraq (Sunnis) on the payroll to stop al-Queda. They latter sold the Sons out,
to the Shiites.

The Soviets did not have to worry about public opinion or elections. Even with their full commitment they could not keep Afghanistan.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:04 AM   #18
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We have no desire to hold Afghanistan the way the Soviets had hoped to. We just want to kill some folks who happen to hang out there, the Afghans are helping greatly.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:06 AM   #19
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There is no way of occupying and holding Afghanistan.

The surge in Iraq was only successful because they got the Sons of Iraq (Sunnis) on the payroll to stop al-Queda. They latter sold the Sons out,
to the Shiites.

The Soviets did not have to worry about public opinion or elections. Even with their full commitment they could not keep Afghanistan.


i'd also add that AQI got so shockingly depraved in their violence against ordinary citizens, popular opinion turned against them and made the Sunnis more willing to work with the US.

i don't know what to do about afghanistan. i will say that Obama's foreign policy instincts have been very impressive so far. will be interesting to see what happens.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:08 AM   #20
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i'd also add that AQI got so shockingly depraved in their violence against ordinary citizens, popular opinion turned against them and made the Sunnis more willing to work with the US.

Which is why, sadly, that spike in deaths worked in our favor. /thread crossover. But the other one is about insurance anyway.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:15 AM   #21
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I think he will redefine the mission.

He will back off of the Taliban and say our fight is with Al-qaeda.

They will open up a dialog with the Taliban, the goal to get Taliban figure heads to say they renounce violence and want to participate in governing segments of the country.

The mission will then focus on the Afghan / Pakistan boarder where Al-qaeda and Bin-laden are believed to be holding up.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:52 AM   #22
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The surge in Iraq was only successful because they got the Sons of Iraq (Sunnis) on the payroll to stop al-Queda. They latter sold the Sons out,
to the Shiites.
The Sons of Iraq were on the payroll for months before the Surge even started, yet there was no decrease in violence. The Surge worked because the number of combat brigades on the ground was increased by 33%, from 15 to 20, and the brigades were then split up and deployed in cities, towns and villiages. Although spreading out the forces and basing them among the population initially made the smaller individual units more vulnerable, it allowed them to gain intelligence about insurgents more rapidly which helped them to clear their area's of insurgents and prevent their return.

As more insurgents were killed and captured, the insurgents moved operations from Baghdad and Al Anbar to provinces like Salah Ad-Din, and Diyala. Over time, these area's were also cleared, with the growing and improved Iraqi military moving into Baghdad and Al Anbar to hold and build up area's cleared by US forces that had moved north to pursue insurgents.

The remainder of the Sunni insurgent and Al Quada movements moved all the way north to Mosul eventually and there are still elements there to this day.

The Sons of Iraq helped with security in their neighborhoods and prevented them from becoming area's where insurgents could go to and hide as well as providing intelligence for coalition forces. But the main strategy of the surge, which was to "clear, hold, and build" multiple area's throughout Iraq as well as pursue insurgents where ever they went was conducted by the US and Iraqi military forces. Thats why the surge worked. The Sons of Iraq was an important element, but the bulk of the work and pursuit of insurgents was done by the US military and Iraqi military.

Here is a look at Iraqi casualties during the time period:

2006
July - 1,280 - SONS of Iraq or Anbar Awakening begins
August - 2,966
September - 3,539
October - 1,539
November - 1,864
December - 1,752
2007
January - 1,802
February - 3,014 - 1st Surge units start to arrive in Iraq
March - 2,977
April - 1,821
May - 1,980 - major Surge operations under way, more surge units still coming
June - 1,345
July - 1,690
August - 1,674
September - 848
October - 679
November - 560 - Surge peaks with 175,000 US troops on ground in Iraq
December - 548
2008
January - 554
February - 674 - Iraqi military offensive in south against Sadr militia
March - 980
April - 744
May - 506
June - 450
July - 419
August - 311 - last surge units leave Iraq
September - 366
October - 288
November - 317
December - 320
2009
January - 187
February - 202
March - 278
April - 347
May - 188
June - 367
July - 240 - last US forces still based in Iraqi cities leave
August - 439
September - 158 - lowest monthly Iraqi casualties of entire war. Civilian murder rate in Iraq is now LOWER than the murder rate in the UNITED STATES

www.icasualties.org

This is just one of the metrics that demonstrates the huge success of the surge in Iraq. Proper counterinsurgency and nation building strategy and operations, if given enough time and resources, will succeed.

Today, Iraq has a standard of living equal to Morocco where U2 just recorded much of their NLOTH album. The civilian murder rate in Iraq is lower than the rate in the United States. Achieving this would not have been possible without the continued US military committment to Iraq when Democrats were calling for all combat brigades to be out of the country by March 2008. It would not have been possible without the Surge of US troops in Iraq as well as the counterinsurgency strategies that were used, and the continueing training and building of Iraqi security forces.

Admiral Mike Mullen VS Obama on the Surge

Quote:
There is no way of occupying and holding Afghanistan.
Thats not actually true, but its also not the US objective in Afghanistan. The objective is to protect and build the Afghan government and security forces, so they can provide security and stability throughout the country without the need for foreign troops on the ground to help them.

Quote:
The Soviets did not have to worry about public opinion or elections. Even with their full commitment they could not keep Afghanistan.
The Soviet Union NEVER made a "full committment" in Afghanistan. They only sent in 4 divisions from their Southern military district which had a total of 30. Total Soviet manpower levels on the ground were never greater than 115,000. The total number of divisions in the Soviet Army at the time was 213, although most were positioned in Western Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Total Soviet military manpower at the time was over 5 million on active duty, with millions more in the Reserves.
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #23
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I think he will redefine the mission.

He will back off of the Taliban and say our fight is with Al-qaeda.

They will open up a dialog with the Taliban, the goal to get Taliban figure heads to say they renounce violence and want to participate in governing segments of the country.

The mission will then focus on the Afghan / Pakistan boarder where Al-qaeda and Bin-laden are believed to be holding up.
US policy prior to 9/11 was to pursue Al Quada while trying to work with the Taliban government in Kabul. That strategy obviously was not very effective.

Talking with the Taliban and getting them to renounce violence and participate in the government in Kabul is essentially the same as having the Taliban give up the fight. If there are elements that are willing to do that, then that will certainly help.

Al Quada was able to base itself in Afghanistan because they had the support of the Taliban government in Kabul at the time. Al Quada is able to thrive in lawless area's or where it has the support of the governing elements. Counterinsurgency and nation building are the best ways to diminish the Al Quada presence/influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and prevent this area from being the threat it has been to the world over the past several years. The goal is stability and sustainable development in which Afghanistan is able to provide for such things on its own without the aid of foreign troops on the ground.
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:41 PM   #24
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Obama is so nice that he's inviting Bin Laden to the WH for a beer and to see his Nobel Prize. True story.
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #25
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They will open up a dialog with the Taliban, the goal to get Taliban figure heads to say they renounce violence and want to participate in governing segments of the country.
Do you know anything about the Taliban? Particulary, how they treat women?
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:52 PM   #26
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funny, i was just sitting here thinking how much we needed to have world war three happen like, now. it could be 1941 all over again. pull us out of this recession and get those men to work overseas and get the women to work in the factories!
That sounds like the Paul Krugman without the war part.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:59 PM   #27
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I thought you were a libertarian?

I guess only when it serves YOUR needs, eh?
Inclined to agree. Iron_Horse has said quite a few things that are contrary to libertarian principles as I understand them, but this thread really takes the biscuit.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:03 PM   #28
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Today, Iraq has a standard of living equal to Morocco where U2 just recorded much of their NLOTH album.
I doubt it.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:32 AM   #29
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The turning in Iraq was due to a lot of things, but Strongbow is missing out on probably the most important.

There was a news article that came out about 6 months ago (can't find the link) that alluded to it. New tactics/techniques and procedures by US forces. Of course, it was shocking that this article was published, as we like to keep that stuff quiet.

That single-handedly was the most importat combat multiplier that turned Iraq, with these other factors supporting.

Here is a taste:
DOD says special ops' role in Iraq biggest ever | Stars and Stripes

Oh and see who ran that operation in Iraq? Yes, he's in charge of AF now.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:13 PM   #30
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I doubt it.
Well lets take a closer look at this.

Morocco ranks at #130 on the overall UN Human Development Index

Iraq is currently unranked because a wealth index value was not produced for the country. But, there is a health index and education index value that can be compared to Morocco's.

Education Index Value:

IRAQ: 0.695
MOROCCO: 0.574

Health Index Value:

MOROCCO: 0.767
IRAQ: 0.714

For the Wealth Index, Iraq's figure will have to be estimated since the Human Development report did not offer a figure. The CIA currently caculates Iraqi per-capita GDP to be at $3,700, essentially the same as Indonesia's GDP per-capita at 3,712 on the Human Development Report. Indonesia has a wealth index of .603, so will use that figure for Iraq as well.

Wealth Index Value:

MOROCCO: 0.620
IRAQ: 0.603


To get the overall Human development Index figure, all three figures for Education, Health , and Wealth are added and divided by 3.

MOROCCO:
Education: 0.574
Health: 0.767
Wealth: 0.620

HDI: 0.654


IRAQ:
Education: 0.695
Health: 0.714
Wealth: 0.603

HDI: 0.671


We actually find that IRAQ has a HIGHER standard of living than Morocco with an HDI of 0.671 compared to Morocco's 0.654.

If Iraq were on the list, a value of 0.671 would place it at #129 just behind South Africa at #128 HDI: 0.683. Morocco is at #130 with its HDI of 0.654.

Even if Iraq's GDP per capita was about $1,000 dollars less, say around $2,750 dollars, that would be equal to an index of 0.553, which would actually still give Iraq a tiny lead over Morocco.
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