T Nation

Afghanistan and Iraq


#1

DISCLAIMER: Just opinion sprinkled with some of my experiences and some confusion.

It's been a while since I have posted in here and even longer since I started a post. Let me start this by saying I am conservative and as a former soldier a hardcore supporter of every last one of our troops.
I do not want this post to be perceived as a bring the troops home nor do I want it to be perceived as push ahead at all costs. In my time in the army I saw the balkans through several "peacekeeping" NATO deployments.

In Bosnia and Kosovo we went in to put a stop to the mass murdering that Milosevic was comitting against people in his society that were Muslim or not Christian(he slaughtered thousands of gypsies). In these places the masses of people just wanted order restored and their freedom to do what they wanted when they wanted.

I believe Bosnia and Kosovo were successes because the people wanted our troops to restore freedom. Rewind to Somalia. I think our mishap in Mogadishu was ill timed and even more poorly planned. They sent those Rangers and Delta operators in about 2 weeks after they sent back 20,000 Marines and were forced to use poorly trained foreign nations as back up to these Special operators.

With all that the whole Somalian mission was doomed to failure from the get go and it was probably better off that our Marines went home. Had they been there and unleashed on the city we could have possibly been fighting in Somalia like we are in Iraq. I'm getting off track... The people of Somalia didn't want order and freedom, they wanted chaos and they wanted to fight for the power of who would be the ruling "warlord".

I believe Iraq and Afghanistan are a much larger scale Somalia. The mass of the people may want freedom but the controlling minority(see insurgents) have all the weapons and the ability to scare the majority (through bombings and such) into silence and submission. Until the everday citizens band together in these places we will not be successful in building democracy.

We are stuck in a lose lose in these countries because if we leave they tailspin even further into wasp nests of terror breeding grounds. If we stay more troops die.


#2

And I thank you for stopping the monster.

I doubt democracy is what you really want. If you let those people go to the urns, you'll end up with a regime that's overtly hostile to the US. That's understandable given what your history in the region.

Anyway, there are so many cases of fair and transparent cases of democracies that voted "the wrong way" and that ended up overthrown or bombed by the US that you lost total credibility on that.

Very insightful! Now, if only somebody saw that coming, the mess could've been avoided...oh..wait everybody did, but not the right people apparently.

More seriously, three parties are coming out winners though. Al-Qaeda, Iran and big corporations. Everybody else loses. If not their money and lives, at least their souls.


#3

I watched a documentary on Somalia on the History Channel which was interesting. They had one big warlord and a lot of smaller ones who wanted the big guy out. The US could possibly have allied with the smaller guys and used them like the Northern Alliance to take control of Somalia. They smaller warlords were meeting to discuss this prospect. The bad warlord had a double agent tip the US off that these guys were planning a strike against them. The US blew this place up, killing all of the smaller tribe leaders. After that, we had no allies and then came the "Black Hawk Down" situation.

But the bottom line is, we were there to feed the starving people. Best of intentions. which turned, unfortunately, into an ill-concieved military mission.