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Iraq re-construction plan we ignored

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Iraq re-construction plan we ignored

Postby Uncle Jimbo » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:20 pm

The following is the intro to one of the most chilling bits of reading I have done lately. It is 84 pages from the Army War College that were published back in Feb. 2003 and sadly they lay out exactly the scenario we now find ourselves in. Almost every problem they identify and difficulty they outline has come to pass, yet none of the solutions they envisioned were implemented and we have floundered for several years because of that.

Successfully executing the postwar occupation of Iraq is consequently every bit as important as winning the war. Preparing for the postwar rehabilitation of the Iraqi political system will probably be more difficult and complex than planning for combat. Massive resources need to be focused on this effort well before the first shot is fired. Thinking about the war now and the occupation later is not an acceptable solution. Without an overwhelming effort to prepare for occupation, the United States may find itself in a radically different world over the next few years, a world in which the threat of Saddam Hussein seems like a pale shadow of new problems of Americaâ??s own making.


One of the biggest mistakes made was disbanding the Iraqi Army, and this report states that the military was one of few possible institutions that could provide a stabilizing force across the entire country.

While a struggle for power between civilian and military elites would contribute to Iraqi fragmentation, the military can also serve as a unifying force under certain conditions.


The rest of the report and my commentary
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Postby Michael Patrick » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:35 pm

No shit, Sherlock. Are you just figuring out now that the clusterfuck Bush, Cheney, and Rummy created in Iraq might have been prevented??

And you want to trust these same incompetent idiots (minus Rummy, of course..) to start monkeying around in Iran??
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Postby Madcity Expat » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:06 pm

Michael Patrick wrote:No shit, Sherlock. Are you just figuring out now that the clusterfuck Bush, Cheney, and Rummy created in Iraq might have been prevented??


Now, now... while I too confess to a healty dose of impatience with those who have needed 4 years of mounting after-the-fact disaster in order to comprehend the magnitude of the problems posed by an invasion of Iraq - a comprehension some of us had before the war began (not all who opposed the war at the beginning were pacifists, however much they were derides as such)... we should make room for folks to come to their senses; change their mind; modify their position. After all Flanders is so dismissable precisely because he fails to do any of those things in the face of overwhelming evidence and evolving circumstances.

While I do not agree with much in Jimbo's recent posts, I would like to congratulate him for (apparently) presenting a more lucid analysis that I have seen in the past. That said, forgive me, Jimbo, if I continue to regard said lucidity with a fair measure of skepticism. Memory serves, you once held (and rigorously defended) a "kill-all-the-brown-people" attitude that rather undermines the credibility of your newly discovered criticism, IMO.
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Postby Uncle Jimbo » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:09 pm

I have spent too much time among too many different shades of people, having worked in more than two doze countries, to hold an opinion such as that.

I would readily cop to a kill all the bad guys mentality, even with the attendant guilt for any mistakes, but the brown and other folks are fine with me.

Your skepticism is also warranted, although I never favored an invasion, simply a regime decapitation. That came to be, literally.

My concern is that we gain very little by withdrawing now, and we lose so much. Why we did it, why the post-war period sucked and who is to blame or who is still in charge for a few more years, none of that has much to bear on what the best thing to do now is.

We are at war with the Army and leadership we have, not the ones we wish. We can prevail in Iraq, by which I mean muzzle the Shia militias and make deals with the Sunni tribal leaders enough to allow us to provide fire support and training only. It would be as big a mistake to walk away now as the post-war plans were.

Cordially,

Uncle J
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Postby Madcity Expat » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:41 pm

Uncle Jimbo wrote:I have spent too much time among too many different shades of people, having worked in more than two doze countries, to hold an opinion such as that.

I would readily cop to a kill all the bad guys mentality, even with the attendant guilt for any mistakes, but the brown and other folks are fine with me.


Oops. I went back and checked. I was thinking that you were Uncle Fester. Apologies for the mistaken ID.

Uncle Jimbo wrote:My concern is that we gain very little by withdrawing now, and we lose so much.

With this I basically agree (see my reply in your other thread); although I seriously doubt that there is anything for anyone (not just "us") to gain at this point. My thinking is that stability in the region is a strategic and humanitarian necessity. If we leave and bad things happen, it is all our fault. We have a responsibility to do whatever's possible (which may not be much) to repair the damage we caused.

Uncle Jimbo wrote:Why we did it, why the post-war period sucked and who is to blame or who is still in charge for a few more years, none of that has much to bear on what the best thing to do now is.

With this I completely disagree. In my opinion, the decision to invade showed catastrophically poor judgement (and quite probably sinister machinations on the part of some in the Admin); and everything that happened after exposed gross incompetence (and more sinister mechanations). Those responsible for this disaster should be duly castigated for the ruinous villians that they are. To what end? So the American electorate understands that they cannot trust their judgement. They got us into this disaster, they cannot be trusted to get us out.

U Jimbo wrote:We are at war with the Army and leadership we have, not the ones we wish. We can prevail in Iraq, by which I mean muzzle the Shia militias and make deals with the Sunni tribal leaders enough to allow us to provide fire support and training only. It would be as big a mistake to walk away now as the post-war plans were.

It's not the Military leadership that I question (for the most part; there are some sycophants amongst the Brass); but again, the civilian leadership responsible for the war are charlatans and cannot be trusted to make good decisions. It's a hopeful sign that Rumsfeld is out; jury's still out on Gates, but he seems to have been part of the group who blocked Cheney on negotiating with Iran recently (if I'm reading what happened correctly). Anyway, if the rest of what you wrote worked to stabilize that hell-hole, great - but I'm not optimistic. My advocacy for remaining in Iraq is based on dispair and resignation, not optimism or naivite.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:46 pm

Frank Lloyd Wright had a nice plan for Baghdad. Too bad no one in this administration is interested in anything constructive other than permanent bases.
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Postby Uncle Jimbo » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:49 pm

TBP,

Now that is a plan that I can get behind. How 'bout we give Petraeus a chance in Iraq, he is wicked smaht and our top ace on counter-insurgency.

Why he wasn't leading the war before is a rank and stupidity issue. He is now, and the strategy is what I assumed we were doing all along. Clearing and not staying was an awful choice and it was not corrected for far too long.

Expat,

It's all good.

I understand your view, but I see considerably less perfidy and incompetence and more honest belief in a failing and now failed strategy. It is not evil to make a wrong decision, but it went on for too long.

Cordially,

Uncle J
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Postby goofticket » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:39 am

Wait a second there buster Jimbo.

WE ignorned?
We? What we?
you and that mouse in your pocket...we?

THE PLAN BUSH IGNORED.
There is no we in this picture you paint.

Leave the 80% of sane Americans out this we thing.
LOL
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Postby Mike S. » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:10 am

The fact that Bush ignored the plan is not an indictment against people who supported or tolerated the war. To the contrary, it reaffirms the feeling that many people had that the U.S. could have carried out a short war that would ultimately benefit the people of Iraq. It took time for us to see that Bush would ignore that plan, fail to stick to a specific defined mission, commit to colonizing Iraq despite his assurances that he had no such intent, loot Iraq's oil by contracts in defiance of international law despite assurances to our allies to the contrary, throw aside the Geneva Convention, and saddle Iraq with an untested astrological vote-weighting model of "democracy" instead of creating a workable federal government system modelled on that of the early United States. I mean, the man just couldn't do all that in a day.
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