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Old 09-29-2006, 04:25 PM   #121
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Wasn't that the plan in South Vietnam?
Yes, and it succeeded in its goal of defeating the counter insurgency movement in South Vietnam. By 1970-1971, the Viet Cong had been completely defeated in the South and the war was being carried on totally by North Vietnam. The 1972 Easter Offensive by North Vietnam was caried exclusively by NVA units from the North and was repelled by the South Vietnamese military with the help of a few thousand US advisors remaining the ground and US airpower. Had the United States remained in advisory role past March 1973 on the ground, and kept supplying the South Vietnames military and launching airstrikes to support the South Vietnamese military, the North would never have been unable to overrun the South like they did in 1975.

Unfortunately, the United States withdrew prematurely before the task of building up the South Vietnamese military was complete, and congress no longer would approve funding of the South Vietnamese military pass the fall of 1973.

Despite being cut of from all military aid and supplies and no advisory or air support from the United States, the South Vietnamese held out against the Communist North for nearly 2 years. Its a shame the South Vietnamese were abandoned by the United States and a few years later were finally conquered by the Communist in the North and forced to live under their brutal dictatorship.

Had the United States not withdrawn prematurely from South Vietnam, it would be an independent democracy today as strong as South Korea is today.

If the United States repeats the same mistake in Iraq as it did in Vietnam by withdrawing too soon, then the process will fall apart and fail.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:26 PM   #122
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by STING2
It was a serious strategic blunder that he himself alluded to later in documents that have been found since the invasion. Its not the first time Saddam mis-caculated and it would not be the last either.
Fair enough, after all he was found hiding in a ditch eventually lol.

His troops were VERY easily driven from Kuwait so even if he had progressed beyond and continued lighting up oil wells, he would have been easily pushed back.

Besides, I'm sure some of your 89 brigades are still in Kuwait for this very reason.

The urgency is still not clear.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:34 PM   #123
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Unfortunately, the United States withdrew prematurely before the task of building up the South Vietnamese military was complete, and congress no longer would approve funding of the South Vietnamese military pass the fall of 1973.
Or you could say they knew the task would never be fully realized within the contraints of the time and cut their losses.

At what point does that decision get made?
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:46 PM   #124
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


Fair enough, after all he was found hiding in a ditch eventually lol.

His troops were VERY easily driven from Kuwait so even if he had progressed beyond and continued lighting up oil wells, he would have been easily pushed back.

Besides, I'm sure some of your 89 brigades are still in Kuwait for this very reason.

The urgency is still not clear.
Thats incorrect. Had Saddam pushed beyond Kuwait on August 3, 1990, there were no US troops to stop his forces from moving easily through Saudi Arabia. He could have taken all the major ports, capital etc. The US force that removed Saddam from Kuwait required the staging area of Saudi Arabia to build up over a 6 month period the massive force that was put in place. The supplies and logistics of such a massive force were heavily dependent on having a staging area and excellent ports to keep the large force supplied. If Saddam had continued into Saudi Arabia on August 3rd, he would have taken away the staging area and ports required by the United States to set up the force that re-took Kuwait.

Without a staging area, the United States would have a far more difficult time getting onto the Arabian pennisula. The amount of military force that the United States can simply act with that is based at sea is very small relatively and would not have been large enough to dislodge the Iraqi military from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. A new amphibious force would have to be built capable of siezing territory and holding it while gradually more troops would be brought in. It would be over year, probably more before the United States could effectively respond, and by then it would be to late in terms of the economic damage that would be done to the planet from being cut off from such a large amount of energy supply.

The swift victory in Kuwait required the easy build up in Saudi Arabia over 6 months with its good ports and facilities. Without Saudi Arabia as a staging area, the military action the US and its allies took in January 1991 would not have been possible.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:49 PM   #125
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Had the United States not withdrawn prematurely from South Vietnam, it would be an independent democracy today as strong as South Korea is today.

If the United States repeats the same mistake in Iraq as it did in Vietnam by withdrawing too soon, then the process will fall apart and fail.
That is probably the best summary I have read to this date.

Sting, I really appreciate your posts, especially in this thread. Unfortunately, not many people seem to want to believe it - and it absolutely puzzles me. It almost seems there are many who are actually rooting against success. Very odd.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:54 PM   #126
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Or you could say they knew the task would never be fully realized within the contraints of the time and cut their losses.

At what point does that decision get made?

US losses in the war went down from 16,000 in 1968 to 250 in 1972. The Vietcong had been totally wiped out, and the only threat now to South Vietnam was coming directly from the North. With less than 20,000 advisors and troops on the ground in South Vietnam, and US airpower, the South Vietnamese eventually crushed the Easter Offensive by the North in 1972.

The United States was spending far less on the war in 1972 than it was in 1968. It was no longer the drain on resources that it was four years earlier. Another 5 years of commitment and gradual withdrawal instead of a sudden exodus, would have insured victory. US airpower would remain in the region on Carriers to support the South Vietnamese military with any problems it would have beyond the point. The process was working and was something that the United States could sustain indefintely at the level of commitment found in 1972 which was a fraction of what it was in 1968.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:59 PM   #127
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by STING2
The swift victory in Kuwait required the easy build up in Saudi Arabia over 6 months with its good ports and facilities. Without Saudi Arabia as a staging area, the military action the US and its allies took in January 1991 would not have been possible.
That makes sense.

So given how critical the borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are and how vulnerable they were in 1990, in 2003 there was no US military presence in those countries to prevent an advance from Iraq?
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:01 PM   #128
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Originally posted by AEON

It almost seems there are many who are actually rooting against success. Very odd.


the understanding that Iraq is a failed state with over 3,000 civilians dying a month -- which is equal to Saddam-levels of violence even including the Iran war, currently117 a day -- after over 3 years of occupation and the election of a government that is powerless to provide stability to the country is hardly rooting against success. what is shocking to me is the callous disregard for the thousands who are dead and the ignoring the fact that this isn't like any other war, this can't be understood in terms of Vietnam or World War 2, because the nature of this violence is sectarian, it is Sunnis killing Shittes, and vice versa, the Shiites having inflitrated the government, police, and military (the very things some thing will somehow save Iraq from itself) and now operate as soldiers by day/death squads by night.

it's confronting reality and thinking that there has to be a better way. it's also understanding the complete lack of necessity for the war and the fabricated sense of drama and urgency that hoodwinked a shell-shocked American public into cautiously supporting this war. it's about the refusal of the administration to do what was necessary to win in Iraq, which would have required more troops to provide greater security, which might have resulted in higher numbers of American dead, but more overall stability and fewer Iraqi civilian deaths.

and, finally, this cannot be separated from this administration. they have fumbled the war, turned American soldiers into Abu Ghraib caricatures, trashed the constitution, wrecked the fiscal future, deeply damaged our reputation, and have fused intolerant religiosity with a big government, big spending ethos.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:11 PM   #129
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That is probably the best summary I have read to this date.

Sting, I really appreciate your posts, especially in this thread. Unfortunately, not many people seem to want to believe it - and it absolutely puzzles me. It almost seems there are many who are actually rooting against success. Very odd.
Thank you, I appreciate your posts as well! FYM is a heavily a heavily anti-Bush forum. Based on how Bush did in our FYM polls for the election, we found that there is more opposition in FYM ratio wise to Bush than there is in a state like Massachusetts. I think part of the opposition to many of these policies in here tends to be more political and ideological sometimes rather than being balanced and unbiased. Unfortunately this also tends to force the small minority in here to spend their time bringing up only the otherside of the debate that otherwise would never see the light of day.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:20 PM   #130
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[q]I think part of the opposition to many of these policies in here tends to be more political and ideological sometimes rather than being balanced and unbiased. [/q]



and support for these policies isn't?

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Old 09-29-2006, 05:23 PM   #131
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


That makes sense.

So given how critical the borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are and how vulnerable they were in 1990, in 2003 there was no US military presence in those countries to prevent an advance from Iraq?
There were several hundred US troops in Kuwait, and a few thousand in Saudi Arabia. There was also some prepositioned equipment, enough for an airlifted brigade at most. This was the maximum number of troops that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would tolerate at the time given the political difficulties of having foreign troops on their soil. Its debatable whether Saddam could have overrun Kuwait again with his smaller and weakened military force( CIA similuations showed that it could), along with a fully maintained sanctions and weapons embargo, plus full disarmament of his WMD program. What is not debatable is that the crumbling of sanctions and the embargo, WMD capability or at least to the capacity to produce again, plus the enevitable re-equiping of the Iraqi military with more modern weapons as the embargo crumbled, would indeed create a serious unstable situation given the size of Kuwaits and Saudi Arabia's military forces and the tiny number of US forces supporting them relative to the size of Saddam's military which in 2002 had a total of 420,000 troops.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:24 PM   #132
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Another 5 years of commitment and gradual withdrawal instead of a sudden exodus, would have insured victory. US airpower would remain in the region on Carriers to support the South Vietnamese military with any problems it would have beyond the point. The process was working and was something that the United States could sustain indefintely at the level of commitment found in 1972 which was a fraction of what it was in 1968.
That is a matter of speculation and would have been directly related to the level of support the North would have continued to receive from the Soviets...whose government didn't have to deal with bad PR and elections...

The US wasn't willing to directly confront the North and there was no more political will to prop up the South indefinitely. It was a no win situation from the beginning.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:28 PM   #133
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That is a matter of speculation and would have been directly related to the level of support the North would have continued to receive from the Soviets...whose government didn't have to deal with bad PR and elections...

The US wasn't willing to directly confront the North and there was no more political will to prop up the South indefinitely. It was a no win situation from the beginning.




good points. i love the assumption of victory, "if only we hadn't ..." in fact, much of what is presented as fact is mere speculation, or, less charitably, wishful thinking.

by 1973, the US realized the war wasn't winnable, in any sort of meaningful sense, and the Paris Peace Accords were an attempt to both save US face as well as scale down the mass death in Vietnam.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:36 PM   #134
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[q]I think part of the opposition to many of these policies in here tends to be more political and ideological sometimes rather than being balanced and unbiased. [/q]



and support for these policies isn't?

No, it comes from an understanding of longterm US foreign policy interest, needs, and goals, as well as what is needed to protect such interest or effectively achieve its goals. Its only been since the 1980s that the Republican party began to predominately have the best policies when it came to national security. My support for the present policies is not based on some total devotion to the Republican Party or George Bush. But you do often find that situation in both parties, and its more evident in forums where one group heavily outnumbers the other.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:46 PM   #135
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we found that there is more opposition in FYM ratio wise to Bush than there is in a state like Massachusetts.
We?

"WE" keep stats on FYM?

What else do WE know about FYMers, Ken? May I call you Ken?
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