What are your thoughts on how we can successfully win in Iraq?

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What are your thoughts on how we can successfully win in Iraq, and does anyone know of examples where insurgencies have been successfully crushed in the past?
 

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We are not experts or have any personal on-the ground experience in Iraq. I would look at what some knowledgeable people/generals are saying to get an answer.
 
Ivan Seeking
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We knew early on how to win this but Bush got rid of anyone who told him so: 500,000 troops.
 
2,903
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I disagree. I think the problem was we *thought* we knew how easy it was going to be to win this war, when we did not have a clue how *hard* it would be. "We will be welcomed with open arms as liberators", yeah...right...
 
Ivan Seeking
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Bush was told how hard it would be, but he got rid of anyone who said so. And I hope that when you say "we", you don't mean to include any of us who have screamed about Bush from day one. None of this is a surprise to anyone who was paying attention and who is more interested in the truth than spin.

There are certain days that we all will remember: 911, the shuttle disasters, and for me, the morning I woke up in a hotel room in Georgia and heard that Bush, not Gore, had won. I swear to God, I actually thought that I was having a nightmare at first. It stands out as much for me as does 911. I think before this is over we will all feel that way.
 
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I know that none of us here are experts on the matter, but we still can have valid opinions, and Ive seen and read enough articles and video about the war that I have a reasonable idea of what its like.

I agree with Ivan though that we had people saying that we had too few troops and things might have been alot different if we were able to secure baghdad early on with a sufficient force. Plus the disbandment of the Iraqi army was'nt the greatest idea.
 
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Honestly, all we can do is list what went wrong. We *cant* say what to do to make it right, without simply quoting someone else. That being said, It would be interesting to read or provide clips of what some experts are saying to do to fix the problem.

Ricks said that the 24,000 troops being sent, when you factor in about 1/2 are support personel (cooks, medics, mechanics, etc), leaves only about 12,000 troops. Now consider that troops can only go on 8 hour rotations (1/3 of the day) and you only REALLY add 4,000 troops in a city of 5 million. It wont make an iota of difference.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Ironically, at this point I almost support what Bush is doing - try one last strategy to secure Baghdad. If that works, duplicate the effort. If we leave, the entire region may well be involved in the war. At least this is what virtually every expert says that I have heard. Also, if this creates a global oil crisis [Bush just asked to double the the reserve btw] the conflict could become global. Recall for example that WWII came to Pearl Harbor due to our role in cutting off Japan's oil supply.

On the other hand, Bush has been wrong about nearly everything. If you're a betting person, the odds of betting against Bush are pretty good.

Also, we are told that if we leave, Iraq will become a terrorist state. So, wouldn't it be easier to just let that happen and then send in the stealth bombers from time to time? Or, here is a wild idea: Why not send in 110,000 armed UAVs, instead of 110,000 troops? Maybe we shouldn't try to fight this kind of war with boots on the ground. Pay great money for spies and spy technology. Identify and strike legitimate terrorist sites. Provide air support to the Iraqi army and police.

And this is where is it a shame that we don't have Clinton more involved: Pursue diplomatic solutions with other nations. Engage Iran in discussions.
 
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What army and police? You mean the one bought off by the militias and Iraqi congressmen?

UAV's ---no, thats not a good idea, sorry. When you "send in stealth bombers from time to time" you REALLY make the people of Iraq want to hate you for years to come. Its going to exasterbate the problem.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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What army and police? You mean the one bought off by the militias and Iraqi congressmen?

UAV's ---no, thats not a good idea, sorry. When you "send in stealth bombers from time to time" you REALLY make the people of Iraq want to hate you for years to come. Its going to exasterbate the problem.
You can't fight a war without trying to defeat the enemy.

But the fact is that more than not, this is not our fight and there may be no way to stop it. It was delusional to think that we can make Iraq like us or that the civil war could be avoided.

Borrowing from the old school, it doesn't help to close the gate when the cow is already out. Maybe we just need to get out and prepare for the next phase of WWIII.
 
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Well, we got rid of the infrastructure of a country and disbaned its military. Id like to see any country in the world under those conditions set up a stable government. We were destined to fail, and now its becoming more apparent.

The problem is that there is no "enemy" anymore. Who is the enemy in a civil war? You can't take sides. Its a no win situation no matter what you do at this point.

We are going to leave Iraq in a state of chaos and walk away. Even if it does not become a terrorist state, it will *never* be friendly to the US after what we did to their society. Being neighbors with Iran, that's not good. That is a LOT of oil in the hands of people we pissed off.
 
BobG
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What are your thoughts on how we can successfully win in Iraq, and does anyone know of examples where insurgencies have been successfully crushed in the past?
The American Civil War. Of course, that was at least as much an economic war as it was a war of cultures. With most of the industrial base in the North and most of the fighting in the South, the only questions were whether the North would fight long enough to win, or whether England would find a steady customer appealing enough to prolong the war past what the North would tolerate. Any true cultural division didn't occur until after the war had ended, during reconstruction.

Viet Nam was also a divided country that was reunited with a war. Germany was a divided country that was reunited without a war. Neither were very similar to Iraq. Iraq is more similar to Yugoslavia, post-Tito.
 
Astronuc
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'Winning' (it would help to define 'win', since that seems to change with time) in Iraq is predicated upon establishing a sound and functioning government, whose policies are consistent with US security interests. However, that is questionable for now. Opponents simply have to wait out the US.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_WA_Mideast_US_Warships.html [Broken]

"We are simply reaffirming that statement of the importance of the Gulf region to the United States and our determination to be an ongoing strong presence in that area for a long time into the future," Gates said.
This appears to be the policy for now, and by this statement, it appears that the US will not withdrawal but will be an invasive presence in Middle East - which in the long term - will likely compromise the security of the US. Even if the US can achieve some kind of stasis - the economic cost will be high and will likely undermine the US economy and standard of living.
 
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One point I would like to make from cyrusabdollahi post is that perhaps oil being out of our control will force this country to be self reliant instead of expecting the world to give us energy. Maybe this could force us to create new energy sources or switch to renewable sources, weaning us off our dependence on such an unstable region of the world.
 

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