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Old 07-09-2003, 03:27 PM   #46
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If these countries are the "coalition of the willing" they should have sent troops or at least $$. Saying they supported the war is fine but I hate it that most of the troops getting killed are either from the U.S. or Britain.
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:52 PM   #47
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Dreadsox,

I know your very happy with the ASIL and their views. I'm happy that the ASIL does not make US foreign Policy. We know what the majority of the American PEOPLE, US military, US State Department, US Congress, and this current administration thinks in regards to the legality of the war!
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:01 PM   #48
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pub crawler,

"I don't know if, when counting U.S. casualties, it's fair to only count soldiers killed by hostile fire. 69 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since May 1. Most of the deaths not attributed to hostile fire have been due to military vehicle and aircraft crashes and inadvertant gunfire and explosions of ordinance."

Thats true, but these things happen everywhere US troops are deployed regardless of how peaceful the situation is. Military training itself is sometimes risky and difficult. Even in the USA. Typically, deaths from non-hostile fire are always higher in the USA than any single other area of the world where US troops are deployed. The way such statistics should be treated, is the rate of accident or non-hostile deaths. Several hundred soldiers died from non-hostile deaths in Desert Storm/Desert Shield back in 1990/1991. But the death rate from non-hostile action was higher in the USA than Iraq/Kuwait during that time.

People need to remember that soldiers face risk even in peacetime at home.
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:15 PM   #49
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Pax,

"I'm not trying to make light of this, but weren't a LARGE number of those 50 countries "allies" in name only? These are small countries with little interest in what goes on and less of an ability to send troops or materials toward the war effort. I just remember seeing countries like Armenia or Azerbaijan or something and wondering, "What's the ing point?""

"I'm sure someone can find a link stating which countries "signed on" to the war. I'm too lazy to look at the moment."

The same could be said of when US launched operations in Kosovo and Bosnia during the war phase. Over 90% of the fighting was conducted US forces despite the fact that these were NATO operations!

Many of the countries listed do no have signifcant power projection capabilities, that is, the means to support a signifcant number of troops thousands of miles away from help without US help.

In addition, the USA, UK, and Australia had by far the best trained and equiped troops for the job. From a capability standpoint, we would not want to have Chinese and Russian troops in the mix in the warfighting stages. They would not aid any capability and in fact would probably create problems on several levels. From a political standpoint, there are reasons the USA would not like to see Chinese or Russian troops in the area. Those two countries military's are too deeply connected with Saddams regime from the past. Virtually everything that Iraq fights with was made in Russia, China, and to a lesser extent France.

The only country that was not in the coalition, that could have really contributed something signficant from a capability and political standpoint, would have been the French. But the French rarely participate in multi-national operations. Ever since the 1960s when they pulled out of the Military wing of NATO, they have been more unilateral than the USA in the use of their troops, whether for training, peacekeeping, or other purposes.
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:29 PM   #50
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afik the country with the 2nd largest number of soldiers in foreign countries is Germany. (or was this just for the war on terrorism?)

If they can contribute so many Soldiers, they might be able to contribute something significant.

Italy is a big country and was in the coalition of the willing too, but berlusconi hat 0 interest of spending one italian life for that coalition.

Turkey would have been interesting just because of their geographical position and because of their knowledge of northern Iraq.
Russia and China might have enough military power to contribute something too, if they wanted to.

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Old 07-09-2003, 05:33 PM   #51
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Dreadsox,

"Some countries opinions DO matter more than anothers. Even on the Security Council, that is evident due to the VETO power. THe Five Permanent Members absolutely have more power than others. They have more influence on the politics of the world than the smaller nations."

This is true, but many also would say its not really reflective of "Power" in todays world. The Soviet Union is no more and Russia only has a tiny fraction of the power that the Soviet Union had. Despite nuclear weapons, Russia is considerablly weaker economically and from a military standpoint than than the Soviet Union. Many of the countries that supported the USA are much stronger today relative to Soviet Union/Russia, than was the case in the past.

"So yes, since the POWERFUL nations of France, Germany, and Russia could VETO a SPECIFIC authorization of force, it was very important to attempt to get them on board. Reality is if they allowed the VOTE to take place, we would be looking at a very LEGAL war, with more international support. Instead we were left with the President saying we would have a vote no matter what the outcome, back down away from the security council, and go it without the UN."

Well, the vote did take place, and they approved it with 1441. But that was actually just throwing a bone to the French really, since the USA legally already had the right to act from resolution 678, which the Clinton adminstration sited multiple times.

"Now if that is MORAL or not, you and I both know that might does not make right. However, politically in the worlds eyes, yes, might would make a difference if Russia, Germany, CHina and France supported the action. It would have gained LEGITIMACY and I would bet, more support from the ARAB world as well."

Legitimacy and support are important, but the lack of them(not the case in this situation) is not a reason to not act in ones security interest.

In addition, while Russian, German, Chinese, and French support and positions must be considered, their idea's and thoughts alone, do not necessarily make a certain action legitimate or not.
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:53 PM   #52
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Klaus,



"afik the country with the 2nd largest number of soldiers in foreign countries is Germany. (or was this just for the war on terrorism?)"

"If they can contribute so many Soldiers, they might be able to contribute something significant."

Well I have never seen that statistic before. In fact, as little as 15 years ago, the Germans did not have any troops deployed outside its borders. Now that peace has come to Bosnia and Kosovo, there is a better opportunity for other NATO countries to participate there since its more policing rather than high intensity combat operations.

The USA did 90% of the combat though that resolved the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. While Germany has a good Army, its Airforce is not up to the standard of other NATO countries. In addition, Germany is very dependent on other countries in order to get its troops anywhere in the world. Outside of Europe, it has virtually no power projection capability.

Of course, Germany does have the pontential to have a strong military again, but your going to have to pay for it. Spending less than 2% of GDP on the military is not going to be enough to bring Germany effectively into the 21st century anytime soon. Germany cut defense spending very deeply following the end of the Cold War and reunification. This is part of the reason why they are behind.



"Italy is a big country and was in the coalition of the willing too, but berlusconi hat 0 interest of spending one italian life for that coalition."

"The USA did not want large numbers of Italian troops for the same reason we did not want large numbers German troops."

The War only used a fraction of US forces and the Germans and Italians simply do not have forces that are currently as capable as the USA. The USA would actually prefer the French on this one.

"Turkey would have been interesting just because of their geographical position and because of their knowledge of northern Iraq."

Turkey would have been a terrible idea and would have caused massive problems do to the Kurdish situation. Its a good thing they stayed out of the way.

"Russia and China might have enough military power to contribute something too, if they wanted to."

From a capability standpoint, their worse off than Germany and Italy. The USA or another country would have to transport them to the region, provide their basing, supplies among other things, all for forces that are less capable than other US forces.

In addition virtually everything that Saddams military fights with was made in Russia and China. No other country on the planet has had the same level of business and work with the Iraqi military than the Russian military. There are definitely issues here. Russia and China were way to close as former allies for the USA to ever seriously consider using their troops.
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:56 PM   #53
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As best I can tell, the UN doesn't really have an independent backbone or foundation to it. It is essentially just the sum of its constituent countries. If the member states of the UN are constantly squabbling and have ulterior motives for supporting or opposing this or that action, what independent moral/legal authority does the UN have?
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:33 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Dreadsox,

(1) I know your very happy with the ASIL and their views. I'm happy that the ASIL does not make US foreign Policy. (2)We know what the majority of the American PEOPLE, US military, US State Department, US Congress, and this current administration thinks in regards to the legality of the war!
Sting,

(1) For the record American Society of International Law was not the only link I provided. Columbia School of Law, Boston University School of Law, University College London, Edinbirgh University, George Washington University, Jesus College Cambridge, London School of Economics......all had their opinions present in my post.

(1A)As for you saying I am HAPPY with their views, I seriously wonder if you have read a thing I have posted in here. I have said that I support the war illegal or not because of my belief in the case that the administration made about WMD and because of the humanitarian crisis caused by the Food for Oil Program. I respectfully ask that you do not put words into my mouth as it does not bring me pleasure to state that we conducted an illegal war, and in my mind it is representative of the failure of this administration on an international level to get the Security Council to VOTE on CLEAR LANGUAGE involving Iraq.

(2) Part two of your statement says many things to me but I will ignore what may be perceived as a slap at my patriotism.

The State Department wanted another resolution before the war as I remember it, and I am willing to bet that there are people there who believe that one was necessary.

The Military follows the orders of the Commander in Chief, therefore they do not sit down and say, wait Mr. President, lets see if this is legal or not. In my eight years of service we never once debated resolutions and legality of actions.

The Congress Authorized action even before Resolution 1441. There was no stipulation that the president needed to get approval from the UN in their authorization for use of force.

AS to the President.....I think he made the right call. However, I think he sucked at making his case and it is apparent that he may very well have made the wrong case.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:44 PM   #55
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Originally posted by STING2
(1)Well, the vote did take place, and they approved it with 1441. But that was actually just throwing a bone to the French really, since the USA legally already had the right to act from resolution 678, which the Clinton adminstration sited multiple times.

(2)Legitimacy and support are important, but the lack of them(not the case in this situation) is not a reason to not act in ones security interest.

(3)In addition, while Russian, German, Chinese, and French support and positions must be considered, their idea's and thoughts alone, do not necessarily make a certain action legitimate or not.
(1) Respectfully I am going to ask you to not respond to my comments if you are going to recite this point of view back at me every time I type something. Thanks, it is really insulting of my intelligence. I understand your belief that the war was legal and you know I think it is wrong. Clinton's actions were in the no-fly zone....different situation from invading.

(2) I agree, and as I have said, the WMD case made it National INterests. The influence of Iraq on our foreign policy of 12 Years made it National Interest. This and for Humanitarian Reasons I believe we had to act without the UN.

(3) I agree their ideas thoughts do not, only a clear resolution from the Security Council would have.
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:40 PM   #56
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Dreadsox,


How is stating the facts that the majority of Americans and Congress, the US Military, and State Department, believe the war was legal, be an attack on your patriotism. Those are facts independent of what ever your views are on the war.

Sorry that I used the word "Happy", but it was meant in reference to your agreement with many the Lawyers you like to site.

"The State Department wanted another resolution before the war as I remember it, and I am willing to bet that there are people there who believe that one was necessary."

I'm willing to bet there might be small groups of people in the French and German governments that agreed with Bush. The point does not change the fact of what the majority felt in each case.

"The Military follows the orders of the Commander in Chief, therefore they do not sit down and say, wait Mr. President, lets see if this is legal or not. In my eight years of service we never once debated resolutions and legality of actions."

Everyone in the US military is a citizen and all have opinions, all vote. Bush's strongest block of support among any group of voters in America is from the US military. From what I have seen and heard, most agree with Bush Administrations views on the war. Most also have a very low opinion of the UN itself and the government of France.

"The Congress Authorized action even before Resolution 1441. There was no stipulation that the president needed to get approval from the UN in their authorization for use of force."

Thats because they new resolution 678 had long ago provided that authorization.

"AS to the President.....I think he made the right call. However, I think he sucked at making his case and it is apparent that he may very well have made the wrong case."

Thats fine. Most Americans have a different opinion.

"Respectfully I am going to ask you to not respond to my comments if you are going to recite this point of view back at me every time I type something. Thanks, it is really insulting of my intelligence. I understand your belief that the war was legal and you know I think it is wrong. Clinton's actions were in the no-fly zone....different situation from invading"

Sorry, but I have every right to posts my opinion on things just like you do. I could make the same statement about you, but I respect your right to your often recited opinion.


"Clinton's actions were in the no-fly zone....different situation from invading."

Thats incorrect, there were multiple actions in Baghdad in response to Iraq's non-cooperation, most notably, the November 1998 airstrikes that went on for days. The administration then felt it had the legal right to Use all means necessary to bring about Iraqi compliance. The resolution sited made no distiction between certain types of military action, instead it stated that "all means" were authorized.

"I agree their ideas thoughts do not, only a clear resolution from the Security Council would have."

Well, there are other things that would indeed legitamize an operation without a Security Council resolution. A perfect example of that would be the Kosovo operation.
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:40 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
pub crawler,

"I don't know if, when counting U.S. casualties, it's fair to only count soldiers killed by hostile fire. 69 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since May 1. Most of the deaths not attributed to hostile fire have been due to military vehicle and aircraft crashes and inadvertant gunfire and explosions of ordinance."

Thats true, but these things happen everywhere US troops are deployed regardless of how peaceful the situation is. Military training itself is sometimes risky and difficult. Even in the USA. Typically, deaths from non-hostile fire are always higher in the USA than any single other area of the world where US troops are deployed. The way such statistics should be treated, is the rate of accident or non-hostile deaths. Several hundred soldiers died from non-hostile deaths in Desert Storm/Desert Shield back in 1990/1991. But the death rate from non-hostile action was higher in the USA than Iraq/Kuwait during that time.

People need to remember that soldiers face risk even in peacetime at home.
I am not sure that I am clear on what you are saying. You state that "people need to remember that soldiers face risk even in peacetime at home," and you assert that "typically, deaths from non-hostile fire are always higher in the USA than any single other area of the world where US troops are deployed."

Are you saying that, typically, more U.S. troops die accidentally at home while in training than on any foreign battlefield?

In any event, I'm sure that's not relevant to the families of the deceased. All they know is that their sons, husbands and fathers (I didn't see any women on the list of U.S. casualties since May 1) went to fight in Iraq and are now dead.
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Old 07-10-2003, 03:48 AM   #58
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Pub Crawler,

"Are you saying that, typically, more U.S. troops die accidentally at home while in training than on any foreign battlefield?"

Since 1975, the answer to this question is yes. Today the USA has about 2.6 million soldiers on Active Duty and in the reserves. Over 80% of them are in the USA. No matter where US troops may be in the world, deaths do to accidents or other causes do happen. Because most US soldiers at any one time are stationed in the USA, most non- hostile-combat deaths that happen to US soldiers happen in the USA.

In Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990/1991 over 300 US soldiers died. Of those, 113 were do to hostile fire. But deaths do to non-combat causes were higher outside the Gulf Region during that time.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, US losses in war have been comparitively small to non-combat losses.

"In any event, I'm sure that's not relevant to the families of the deceased. All they know is that their sons, husbands and fathers (I didn't see any women on the list of U.S. casualties since May 1) went to fight in Iraq and are now dead"

Absolutely! What I'm trying to emphasis is that soldiers regardless of where they are stationed are working hard often 24/7. The non-combat deaths that occur in Iraq, happen all over the USA and in other parts of the world. Everything should be done to reduce the deaths from accidents, but they do happen.
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Old 07-10-2003, 05:59 AM   #59
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STING2:
You're right, the German military is ways to small for its new chalanges and many systems are outdated.

Quote:
"The USA did not want large numbers of Italian troops for the same reason we did not want large numbers German troops."
looks like you quoted it from me, but i never wrote something like that. (I don't know who's referenced with this "we" anyway)

Quote:
Turkey would have been a terrible idea and would have caused massive problems do to the Kurdish situation. Its a good thing they stayed out of the way.
Their troops are in the Kurdish region for years now - they were definetly part of the war, also not officially. Your government tried to bribe them so that they'd become part of the aliance..
..it surpises me that you think your government did something wrong.

From a military point of view i'm sure the US didn't need a single ally to fight against Iraq. The reason for allies were more politically. And GB as an ally who had military there a few centuries ago when they colonized this land today known as Iraq. That wasn't verry diplomatic too.
So from the point of accaptence in the Iraqi population any army besides US, GB and Turkey would have given more of a liberating feeling.

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Old 07-10-2003, 03:38 PM   #60
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Klaus,

"Their troops are in the Kurdish region for years now - they were definetly part of the war, also not officially. Your government tried to bribe them so that they'd become part of the aliance.."
"..it surpises me that you think your government did something wrong."

The Turks were in the Kurdish region in TURKEY, not Iraq. Turkish military was not apart of the war. The USA wanted to use Turkey to deploy the US Army 4th Infantry Division to go into Iraq from Turkey. This did not happen though because the Turkish parliment narrowly rejected the US proposal. Rather stupid for them to reject the aid considering that Turkey's standard of living is equal to that of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories according to the latest Human Development Report for 2003.

Actually, the Brits have had a very smooth occupation of Southern Iraq compared to what has been happening in the Baghdad/Tikrit area.

"So from the point of accaptence in the Iraqi population any army besides US, GB and Turkey would have given more of a liberating feeling."

Really? So you think the Iraqi population would greet Iranian troops with Tea and sandwiches? The Persian Gulf Region is a rough neighborhood, and typically most of the countries would be far more nervous about their neighbors troops than European ones.

The best troops from a strictly cultural and political perspective would be Egyptian and Pakistani troops. But the problems in the Baghdad/Tikrit area would remain, and Egyptian and Pakistani troops are less capable in dealing with those problems than the US military.
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