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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 10:10 AM   #21
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Problem is, most of these 'solutions' have been tried before, and failed miserably.

So far the only workable scenario was a strongman dictatorship that iron booted these people to keep them in line, stomped out any dissension and kept disruptive elements in jail or put them in the ground.

Otherwise they'll keep shooting and blowing each other up until they're all dead. Or someone else takes control that appeals to their religious sense to unite in pursuit of a greater enemy/threat.
Ding Ding Ding......
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 02:28 PM   #22
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

Fire all the foreign contractors. Hire the Iraqi people to do the jobs. If they don't have the know-how, hire contractors that do as consultants/managers but stipulate that the labor force must come from the local population.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 06:37 PM   #23
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

I'd send in another 300-500K troops. Of course we don't have that many, but if we did that would be my plan.

I've seen first hand what the lack of support for the war is doing to the Army, and it scares the hell out of me. Good Soldiers with the kind of experience we need in the armed forces are leaving in record numbers. There is a huge shortage of junior officers and enlisted NCOs.

Sure, the recruiting numbers look fine. But these are all new Soldiers who lack the experiene of those they are replacing.

Soldiers train to fight and win. This political BS is handing the Army a defeat, and I am afraid of the damage it will cause.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 07:42 PM   #24
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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I'd send in another 300-500K troops. Of course we don't have that many, but if we did that would be my plan.

I've seen first hand what the lack of support for the war is doing to the Army, and it scares the hell out of me. Good Soldiers with the kind of experience we need in the armed forces are leaving in record numbers. There is a huge shortage of junior officers and enlisted NCOs.

Sure, the recruiting numbers look fine. But these are all new Soldiers who lack the experiene of those they are replacing.

Soldiers train to fight and win. This political BS is handing the Army a defeat, and I am afraid of the damage it will cause.
The Army is currently broke from their equipment to personnel. I think it is going to take atleast 10 years to fix both as well as increase the rhead count. It won't be pretty but if they could transform the Army after Vietnam I think they will be fine. I don't envy their tasks ahead, though.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 09:02 PM   #25
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
The Army is currently broke from their equipment to personnel. I think it is going to take atleast 10 years to fix both as well as increase the rhead count. It won't be pretty but if they could transform the Army after Vietnam I think they will be fine. I don't envy their tasks ahead, though.
The more military history I read, the more I realize that the military has been broke since the day Washington was called in to fix that raggedy militia...

I can remember taking apart a fathometer to do transistor-level component repairs just to save a couple bucks. The sonar techs could put more RAM in their personal laptops than they could buy for the BQQ-5C sonar suite. When I was at a training command, the most popular sailor on Ford Island was the guy with a 45-year-old metal lathe. He was also qualified to run a CNC machine and it was like watching a magician making thousand-dollar parts our of bar stock that we would never have been funded for.

My nephew graduates from West Point in a couple weeks and it's time to pay it forward. My spouse and I brainstormed for weeks trying to figure out what to get a 25-year-old combat veteran who already has everything but his 2LT's bars. Then we recalled that we've spent a few bucks during our careers implementing the 12th Law of the Navy:
"Dost deem that thy vessel needs gilding,
And the dockyard forbear to supply;
Place thy hand in thy pocket and gild her,
There be those who have risen thereby."

And his graduation gift is going to be enough to implement the same system for his troops. The trick is going to be making it enough to take care of emergencies yet not so much that he's tempted to routinely circumvent the logistics system instead of confronting it...

Plus Kona coffee & macadamia nuts. You can never have too much of them.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 10:05 PM   #26
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
The Army is currently broke from their equipment to personnel. I think it is going to take atleast 10 years to fix both as well as increase the rhead count. It won't be pretty but if they could transform the Army after Vietnam I think they will be fine. I don't envy their tasks ahead, though.
How did the Army break??
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-16-2007, 10:10 PM   #27
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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How did the Army break??
Good question, since all Congress has to do is print some more money for it every few months.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-17-2007, 09:20 AM   #28
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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Good question, since all Congress has to do is print some more money for it every few months.
I'm sure we can blame it on Clinton..........
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-17-2007, 09:31 AM   #29
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Problem is, most of these 'solutions' have been tried before, and failed miserably.

So far the only workable scenario was a strongman dictatorship that iron booted these people to keep them in line, stomped out any dissension and kept disruptive elements in jail or put them in the ground.

Otherwise they'll keep shooting and blowing each other up until they're all dead. Or someone else takes control that appeals to their religious sense to unite in pursuit of a greater enemy/threat.
"Problem is, most of these 'solutions' have been tried before, and failed miserably."

And the current path chosen by our Commander-in-Chief has been a better alternative?

So, I was thinking about this stuff and thought of an alternative democracy-totalitarian regime that might work--hypothetically that is :: Shiites make up approximately 60% of the Iraqi population, Kurds approximately 20% and Sunni about 20%. Each group should elect their own leader to represent them. Then a strong leader form of democracy should be set up, with the leader having almost absolute power while in office. Then a rotating presidency could be set up, say 3 months of a Shia president, then three months of a Sunni president, then two month of a Kurd led administration--anyway it should all work out so that the Shias rule 60% of the year, Sunnis 20%, etc.

This would be an almost pure subset of totalitarianism inside a democratically elected whole. When the Shias are in power they must be very careful about how they behave because they will know that the Sunnis will be in power next. Ditto for the Kurds. Every group gets lots of experience ruling and, hopefully, learning trust and cooperation among and between things and folks.

If the Iraqis agreed to this, then we would immediately withdraw to 3-4 regional bases and the number of forces. (There, we would primarily occupy ourselves with building an integrated Iraqi military.) We would not interfere with the gov'ts except perhaps at transition time, if, for instance, the Shias didn't want to give up rule to the Sunnis when it was their turn. At that time we may march to the Green Zone and . . . ah . . . persuade the transgressors to leave. Rinse, repeat.

Hopefully each group starts to learn how to trust the others under real, time specific power sharing agreements. The terrorists could be driven out of all the neighborhoods where they are currently operating thru . . . ah . . . less than sensitive means sometimes used by totalitarian despots--if needed. The constraints for bad behaviors while governing would be the knowledge that someone different will be in power soon. We stay until things stabilize, perhaps reducing troop numbers a little each year, and we stay way from the front lines.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-17-2007, 09:13 PM   #30
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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How did the Army break??
When more of my friends are seeing shrinks for BTSD than not then there is a problem. When most of my friends have been to Iraq and Afganistan 2 or 3 times (2 or 3 years) there is a problem. When the ACoS says the Army's equipment readiness is at all time lows there is a problem. Add it all together and the Army is broke.

More info:
Quote:
Some advisors to the study group expressed considerable frustration that the White House never lifted a finger to prevent the predictable degradation in the readiness of U.S. ground forces, now painfully apparent. Among other things, the White House could have worked early on to greatly increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps. "We've been whistling by the graveyard without doing anything to solve this problem," said Michael Eisenstadt, a study group advisor from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/20...els/index.html
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-18-2007, 04:42 PM   #31
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

I can only speak of the broken national guard side of the army. The guard went from being a strategic reserve to an operational force.

But it did this without a corresponding increase in budget or training time. So, the guard has a huge equipment shortage ($300B?) which affects our mission at home, and more importantly training. How can a truck driver train on his/her truck if they are in the US and their truck is overseas?

I also blame the lowering of standards to recruit more members. But, this could be a generational thing.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-18-2007, 04:59 PM   #32
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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I also blame the lowering of standards to recruit more members. But, this could be a generational thing.
I missed the worst of the Navy's "hollow force" years, but in 1979 it was painfully clear to a 3/c midshipman on summer cruise that standards had been lowered way down to make the recruiting numbers. It was still pretty painful in 1980 and 1981, too, across the air & surface branches as well.

If standards are lower today, they're still higher than they were 25+ years ago.
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-18-2007, 06:31 PM   #33
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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Originally Posted by Arif
The Army is currently broke from their equipment to personnel. I think it is going to take atleast 10 years to fix both as well as increase the rhead count. It won't be pretty but if they could transform the Army after Vietnam I think they will be fine. I don't envy their tasks ahead, though.
Interesting discussion considering all of the statements about how well trained and equipped our forces were after our lightning fast and efficient "Mission Accomplished Victory."

Now 4 years later it is "broken." How did that happen?

I suggest that the problem is not that it is broken but that it is being given a task that it is not trained to do, that of an occupying police force in a hostile land where the population is willing to employ measures as extreme as suicide bombings. I wonder if this is an impossible task without resorting to the same sort of tactics that Saddam used to hold it together when he was in power. (e.g. Round up everyone that you think is even a possible problem along with their family and friends and put a bullet in their heads.)

I was adamantly opposed to the war at the start. I think that it is very possibly the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of the US. I thought at that time and still think that sectarian conflict could go on and on for 20 or 30 years or longer, like N. Ireland only with a higher level of violence.

But after we got involved I figure that we had the obligation to make it better. WE broke then WE should fix it.

I have changed my mind. I think that our presence is making it worse not better.

I think that Iraq is going to go the way of Yugoslavia anyway and our best course of action is segment it into three regions/countries to minimize conflicts, like India and Pakistan when they become independent from Britain, and then get out ASAP.

But it is a tough decision primarily because it is possible that a divided and weakened Iraq could be easy pray for Iran and/or could provide a new home for Al Quida.

Nevertheless I think that dividing the country and then getting out is the best alternative.

MB
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?
Old 05-18-2007, 07:47 PM   #34
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Re: What would you do in Iraq now?

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I suggest that the problem is not that it is broken but that it is being given a task that it is not trained to do, that of an occupying police force in a hostile land where the population is willing to employ measures as extreme as suicide bombings. I wonder if this is an impossible task without resorting to the same sort of tactics that Saddam used to hold it together when he was in power. (e.g. Round up everyone that you think is even a possible problem along with their family and friends and put a bullet in their heads.)
I think you are correct in that the Army was not/ has not been transformed to meet the threats of the last 15 years much less for the next 20 years. It was made painfully clear in the way we went into Iraq. We kicked in their doors without breaking a sweat because that is what we trained for. However, when it was time to "hold" the country it became a very difficult task.
Our Army is the best trained force in the world, especially when you're talking force on force but the civil war in Iraq is not what we've been trained to do. The Army has the inenviable task of training for both conventional wars and terrorist conflicts while repairing the force as well as its equipment.
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