T Nation

More Troops In Iraq?

“Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave.”

Words of wisdom. Guess who?

George Bush.

Query: regardless of whether sending more troops in right now is a good idea, what are the chances things have changed since he first said it?

I have mixed feelings on the matter. It is pointless to send more troops over if they are only to be used in waging a half-ass, politically correct war. If the extra troops are sent over to truly put the collective fist under the nose of those that want to undermine the Iraqi civil society, I’d be more likely to support the idea.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
George Bush.

Query: regardless of whether sending more troops in right now is a good idea, what are the chances things have changed since he first said it?

I have mixed feelings on the matter. It is pointless to send more troops over if they are only to be used in waging a half-ass, politically correct war. If the extra troops are sent over to truly put the collective fist under the nose of those that want to undermine the Iraqi civil society, I’d be more likely to support the idea.[/quote]

But to what end? We had as many troops as we will with an extra 30,000 two years ago, when the security situation was much better, and they made scant progress in defeating the insurgency.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
George Bush.

Query: regardless of whether sending more troops in right now is a good idea, what are the chances things have changed since he first said it?

I have mixed feelings on the matter. It is pointless to send more troops over if they are only to be used in waging a half-ass, politically correct war. If the extra troops are sent over to truly put the collective fist under the nose of those that want to undermine the Iraqi civil society, I’d be more likely to support the idea.[/quote]

And I think people seriously underestimate the amount of American troops that would be needed to have any real shot at defeating the insurgency.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
And I think people seriously underestimate the amount of American troops that would be needed to have any real shot at defeating the insurgency.[/quote]

That’s because you’re trying to preserve the status quo, which can’t work.

Saddam made it work by ruling with an iron fist and using every brutal method available. Wouldn’t you look idiotic if you started doing the same things he did?

Barring that, you need to pick a side to back and crush the other. You want to put back the Sunnis in power and keep Saudi Arabia happy? Or do you prefer backing the Shiites and maybe appeasing Iran while pissing off Israel? I’d probably pick the Sunnis, since they appear to be quite a bit more pussified than the Shiites, and I’d rather deal with a country run by pussies.

Either way, you should pick which side you want to see rule Iraq and back them up while they mop away the opposing side. Spin off Kurdistan and let them go to war with Turkey, you can clean that up later.

[quote]pookie wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
And I think people seriously underestimate the amount of American troops that would be needed to have any real shot at defeating the insurgency.

That’s because you’re trying to preserve the status quo, which can’t work.

Saddam made it work by ruling with an iron fist and using every brutal method available. Wouldn’t you look idiotic if you started doing the same things he did?

Barring that, you need to pick a side to back and crush the other. You want to put back the Sunnis in power and keep Saudi Arabia happy? Or do you prefer backing the Shiites and maybe appeasing Iran while pissing off Israel? I’d probably pick the Sunnis, since they appear to be quite a bit more pussified than the Shiites, and I’d rather deal with a country run by pussies.
[/quote]

On the contrary, the argument is made by some who’ve served in Iraq that the Sunnis are the “wolves” there, and could perhaps emerge OK from a civil war despite being greatly outnumbered.

Either way, maybe picking a side may be inevitable, but it’s terrible to have to be in that position.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
On the contrary, the argument is made by some who’ve served in Iraq that the Sunnis are the “wolves” there, and could perhaps emerge OK from a civil war despite being greatly outnumbered.

Either way, maybe picking a side may be inevitable, but it’s terrible to have to be in that position.[/quote]

Maybe all the bad-ass Sunnis are in Iraq then.

I go by the Israel standard: Sunnis Hamas keeps getting their asses handed to them by Israel, but Shiite Hezbollah managed to get a draw last time. If Pee-Wee Herman fight Mike Tyson and gets a draw, then it’s as good as a win.

Anyhoo. Pick one, back them, crush the other. Problem solved.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Anyhoo. Pick one, back them, crush the other. Problem solved.
[/quote]

And then we can get back to finding Osama.

As many as needed to move into Iran.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
As many as needed to move into Iran.[/quote]

Nothing like leaving a job unfinished to go start another one.

What job? Saddam’s government is gone. And I think we can confidently say that WMD and possible programs aren’t a threat. The job is pretty much done. What the Iraqi’s decide to do now is pretty much their business. Continue training, providing some air support and other reinforcement functions, etc. The rest should be pounding Iran. Let the rats try to keep up with us.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
What job? Saddam’s government is gone. And I think we can confidently say that WMD and possible programs aren’t a threat. The job is pretty much done. What the Iraqi’s decide to do now is pretty much their business. Continue training, providing some air support and other reinforcement functions, etc. The rest should be pounding Iran. Let the rats try to keep up with us. [/quote]

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran!

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Sloth wrote:
What job? Saddam’s government is gone. And I think we can confidently say that WMD and possible programs aren’t a threat. The job is pretty much done. What the Iraqi’s decide to do now is pretty much their business. Continue training, providing some air support and other reinforcement functions, etc. The rest should be pounding Iran. Let the rats try to keep up with us.

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran![/quote]

As long as they’re terrorizing each other, oh well. If it moves outside of their border rain destruction on them 24/7 till they realize that it’s a better idea to kill their terrorists for us. Industry, military, electricity, all of it, gone. Ever want lights again? Cell phone towers? Something to eat besides dirt? Than police your own damn selves so the rest of us in the west don’t pay the price for your religious fanatics.

By the way, I saw a suggestion to contain Iran. Yeah, doing a wonderful job keeping them from simply fighting proxy wars…

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Sloth wrote:

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran![/quote]

By the way, I guess you just made the case why you support an extended haul in Iraq. Now if only Iran wouldn’t help kill our troops while they’re there.

Yes, more troops and we should issue them turbans, robes and long beards. These guys might as well wear bullseyes on them dressed in fatigues. We have to crush the insurgent factions and do it quickly with force and no mercy in order to get the fuck out of there faster. The place has to be relativily stable to leave.
The most humane thing to do in a war type situation is to end it as quickly as possible. We have the means we just have to have the balls to take it to them. Then we need to leave. If we put our minds to it and got washington out of it we could be done in 6 months. <- This is opinion, not fact; please make a note of it.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
Sloth wrote:

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran!

By the way, I guess you just made the case why you support an extended haul in Iraq. Now if only Iran wouldn’t help kill our troops while they’re there. [/quote]

Would happily support it, if I didn’t think the country was most likely beyond saving, by American military power anyway. No one’s suggesting the repercussions aren’t dire.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran!

Would happily support it, if I didn’t think the country was most likely beyond saving, by American military power anyway. No one’s suggesting the repercussions aren’t dire.[/quote]

So, leaving Iraq wasn’t really an honest argument? You gave me reasons we shouldn’t leave Iraq. You even say it will be a safe haven for terrorists rivaling that of the Taliban’s Afghanistan.

Yet, when pressed if you support staying for the long haul, you back off. So, not only do you not support taking on the terrorism exporting, troop killing Iranians, but you’d leave Iraq as the safe haven for terrorists you say it would become?

Is this the head in the sand strategy? Do nothing and hope our Grandchildren won’t pay the price?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:

And leave behind a failing state with the world’s second largest proven oil reserves and a future terrorist haven to put the Taliban’s Afghanistan to shame, nevermind the regional implications of a Shiite-Sunni civil war? You’re right, on to Teheran!

Would happily support it, if I didn’t think the country was most likely beyond saving, by American military power anyway. No one’s suggesting the repercussions aren’t dire.

So, leaving Iraq wasn’t really an honest argument? You gave me reasons we shouldn’t leave Iraq. You even say it will be a safe haven for terrorists rivaling that of the Taliban’s Afghanistan.

Yet, when pressed if you support staying for the long haul, you back off. So, not only do you not support taking on the terrorism exporting, troop killing Iranians, but you’d leave Iraq as the safe haven for terrorists you say it would become?

Is this the head in the sand strategy? Do nothing and hope our Grandchildren won’t pay the price? [/quote]

No, it’s called taking a realistic look at where we are, and, especially where this Administration can take us. If we were going to fight a real, sustained war in Iraq I’d be all for it. That would mean dramatically increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, completely reevaluating what our armed forces are going to be used for (i.e. the F-22 is probably only ever going to be necessary in combat if we give some to someone else), not using the war as a political wedge issue, doing away with torture policies that do enormous moral damage to our cause…It’s a long list.

And Bush has never been serious about this war from day one. If he was, the first thing he would have done after 9/11 is increase the size of our land forces and pour tons of money into language skills in particular. If that means doing away with some of the expensive toys that both the services and the defense industry like, so be it.

Anyway, because of all this, look at where we are now. I think it’s pretty hard to argue Iraq is not a disaster. Almost as important, Afghanistan is slipping away too by the looks of it.

So the question is what can we do about it? We have what, 170,00 men on the ground, when recent experience (Bosnia, Kosovo) suggests at least double that number is necessary? General Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, is warning that the Army can’t sustain its current commitments and worries aloud that the force could “break.” And of the troops in Iraq, the majority barely ever leave their Forward Operating Bases and have no direct impact on the pacification of the country.

So the new Kagan/Keane plan (I can PM you the pdf if you want) calls for 35,000 troops, Bush will like commit 20-25,000 - is that going to have any real effect on Iraq? I sincerely doubt it, certainly not in the long term.

I don’t doubt the consequences of losing in Iraq are dire, and I think we have to have a troop presence there of some size regardless, but I don’t think we can or will do what’s necessary to win. Does that longwinded answer explain my views?

21,500 more troops - impeccable timing…

Oil giants to profit from law change
New Zealand Herald
January 08, 2007
BAGHDAD - Iraq’s massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi Parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday.

It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in Iraq since the industry was nationalised in 1972…

Supporters say the provision allowing oil companies to take up to 75 per cent of the profits will last until they have recouped initial drilling costs. After that, they would collect about 20 per cent of profits, according to industry sources in Iraq. But that is twice the industry average for such deals…

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
George Bush.

Query: regardless of whether sending more troops in right now is a good idea, what are the chances things have changed since he first said it?

I have mixed feelings on the matter. It is pointless to send more troops over if they are only to be used in waging a half-ass, politically correct war. If the extra troops are sent over to truly put the collective fist under the nose of those that want to undermine the Iraqi civil society, I’d be more likely to support the idea.[/quote]

It’s not going to be effective. The administration again proves inempt and incompetent. If more lives are going to put on the line, it should at least be done in a may that is likely to get results. Firstly, 20,000 is not enough troops.

Secondly, even if a greater number was sent, it would only serve a purpose to provide the military SUPPORT for a well-designed and well-executed POLITICAL solution. These are things that Biden as well as McCain and other Republicnas as well as miltary leaders and strategists said [until Bush decided to fire them and replace them with dummie parots who would sign off on his plan].