Sunday, December 24, 2006

More Thoughts on Iraq

In response to

Folks in our society have an expectation of immediate results in general. The first Gulf War fit very well in that regard -- over in 100 hours (if you don't count the months of logistics build up and the air prep). The problem is that lots of people, including our President, thought invading Iraq was the same kind of engagement as driving Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. We watched it on the news with live feeds, and thought it was over when the statues of Saddam Hussein were toppled.

Wrong. That was just the beginning.

Our military is not designed for engagements like Vietnam and Iraq. We train and equip our armed forces to engage uniformed forces who are holding territory. We believe victory occurs when the enemy government surrenders and ceases hostilies. Then we come in and help rebuild the country as a democracy. At least that's the WWII model.

This is a revolutionary war, where the good guys and the bad guys are both citizens of the same country. If one takes a close look at our own War of Independence through the eyes of the British, we never really defeated the British, we just fought on until the British nobility lost its will to continue. They went home (returning for the War of 1812), but we did not pursue them in an attempt to conquer the British homeland. We didn't even try to take Canada. Our victory was their loss of will. The Vietnamese communists had to feel very much the same way when we pulled out.

In Iraq, like Vietnam, we're letting the fighting drag on because we're letting the enemy keep their supply lines open. The fighting will never be over until we put a stop to that.

Here's the real shame: We are once again putting our young people in a position of deciding whether the person in their gunsight is a friendly or an enemy, knowing that a wrong decision will cause himself, his buddies, or an innocent person to die. How we can scar another generation this way?

Are we not fighting hard enough? Are we not bringing enough force to bear on the situation? We pretty much bombed Germany and Japan to rubble in WWII. Is that what we have to do to Iraq? I don't think the shooting will stop even if that happens.

Do we have to put a fence around Iraq so that the enemy can no longer be supplied? I think we must, or we have to get out before we sacrifice another wall full of our children.

We went into Iraq for trumped-up reasons, a half-assed plan and an ill-defined mission objective. How did we let that happen again?

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