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Old 07-19-2004, 05:09 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
There is a difference between REENLISTING and activation from the INDIVIDUAL READY RESERVES. No one can be forced to REENLIST unless they want to.

No, I understand that. I just think the fact that we have to ask these individuals to even think about it is pretty scary and a sign that maybe we're stretched too thin.

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Old 07-19-2004, 09:12 PM   #32
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

No, I understand that. I just think the fact that we have to ask these individuals to even think about it is pretty scary and a sign that maybe we're stretched too thin.
The current number of people being called up from the IRR is 5,600.

During the 1991 Gulf War, over 20,000 members of the IRR were called up!

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Old 07-19-2004, 09:51 PM   #33
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Sting, I think that a true coalition is the one where you have those strong and important countries willing to fight alongside you such as France and Saudi Arabia true beacons and strong leadership and respect for the rights of man.

Oddly enough it was the 1991 coalition that prevented George Bush from invading Iraq and the result of this coalition forced US troops to remain in Saudi Arabia which in turn started Bin Laden on a more violent campaign against American interests abroad and extended the Islamist cause globally. If thats the multinational coalition that Kerry wants to build then forget him, the USA must never give up control of its millitary and strategic interests to a bunch of duplicitous middle powers who actively collaborate with the enemy. If it does then Iraq will be destined to fail, I personally would rather see a Pax Americana than another UN disaster.
When multi-national coalitions can be formed and effectively used, I think this is definitely the way to go. I think that Bush has built a good coalition doing great work in developing and stablizing Iraq. Several dozen countries are contributing troops, money and experts in a variety of area's.

15 NATO nations are involved in the operation in Iraq. This from an Alliance that only had 16 nations 6 years ago, now expanded to 26. In addition, European countries not in NATO and were apart of the Former-Soviet Union are on the ground in Iraq, like the Ukraine with nearly 2,000 troops on the ground.

The Military's and power projection capabilities of many of the countries involved are limited compared to that of the United States, so this idea that participation in such a large operation would some how be proportional is simply un-realistic and in most cases impossible. Lets not forget how difficult it is to support a modern military force thousands of miles from the home country.

Many have argued that if Germany, France, and bordering Arab States had troops in Iraq, then it would be a true coalition. I think it would be mistake to have military forces from bordering countries in Iraq because it would indeed create a conflict of interest in the eyes of many and could potentially create more problems than it helps solve. It is really unimaginable that you would have Iranian, Turkish, and Syrian forces on the ground in Iraq. Less of a concern, I don't think it would be a good idea to have Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti and Jordanian forces on the ground.

Arab or Muslim countries that would be good candidates for this role would be Egypt and Pakistan. Unfortunately they have declined, but I do not fault Bush for that, but rather other events and forces that make it risky for them to participate.

It would be good if Germany sent troops, but sending troops abroad is a new thing for Germany after the Cold War, and their contributions as seen in Afghanistan and Bosnia would not be in the numbers that people might assume or dream of. France could probably match the United Kingdom's contribution, but the French are not exactly the poster-child for participation in multi-national organizations. France has had a very unilateral course ever since pulling out of the military structure of NATO in the 1960s, although they remained in the Alliance from a political standpoint.

31 countries have troops on the ground in Iraq as we speak. Of course the United States is doing most of the heavy lifting, but that has been the case in just about every conflict since 1945. Those disappointed with the ratio of troops should remember the difference in capabilities of the various countries in supporting a troop presence of any size so far from home, as well as the history of past coalitions and Alliances since 1945, performing a task similar in size to this operation, and that it is undesirable to have neighboring countries on the ground there do to the recent history in the region as well as traditional concerns any country would have about a neighboring countries military on their soil, under these circumstances.

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