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03 August 2007

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Nicholas Weaver

You can always just call the retreat "Anabasis"

Hey, such naming worked for Xenophon.

Binh

Thanks for the reply Colonel. I wonder if that is the reason why the Bush admin and the military have been very reluctant to embrace that kind of drawndown which is so popular among the Democratic Party, the ISG, and non-neocon think tankers?

Montag

Winston Churchill disgustedly called Britain's force withdrawal from independent India/Pakistan after WWII "Operation Scuttle." But he could afford to, since he wasn't in charge at the time. Exactly how he planned to stay of course he never condescended to explain. He could afford to do that, too.

Hopefully it won't become as desperate as the Marines' retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea: "Retreat Hell, we're just attacking in another direction!"

Cloned Poster

Raw Story are saying that:

According to correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, "Military officials in Kuwait suggest that they could easily handle the 160,000 troops in a matter of months. But that would be extremely risky, because a hasty retreat would increase the troops' vulnerability to attack. And then there's all that equipment – one million tons – that would have to be driven out of Iraq and shipped out of Kuwait by sea. ... It could take two years for a complete withdrawal."

"Tonight, a top US general here in Kuwait said, from a logistics standpoint, he's already got the plan, and he's ready to go," concluded Miklaszewski. "All he needs is the president's orders."

The unnamed general's willingness to discuss withdrawal plans is in contrast with the attitude of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, who recently made headlines when he cited fears of 'reinforc[ing] enemy propaganda' in rejecting Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton's request for a briefing on troop-withdrawal contingency plans. Vice President Dick Cheney supported his former aide, saying that contingency plans "should remain unseen by lawmakers" until ready to be executed.

Any comment?

But I still stand by my comment on your deleted first comment on this issue, will be that Kurdistan will be the exit route.

Will

building on Montag's comment:

"Retreat Hell! We're just attacking in another direction." (Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950.)

"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those b*****ds won't get away this time!"
CHESTY PULLER, USMC

Puller was VMI alumunus. The Col. alma mater.

mike

Montag:

You realize of course that 1st Marine Division was surrounded by twelve ChiCom Divisions so it was in fact a breakout and not a retreat. They were ordered out of Chosin and back to Hungnam by General MacArthur. By the way on the way out they rescued survivors of RCT-31.

mike

Ormolov

Assuming our permanent forces are drawn down to a reinforced brigade or two, how could this possibly square with plans at Halliburton/KBR and in the office of the VP to maintain the level of contracts and income they have grown accustomed to, as well as the two to five permanent bases they have always demanded? Withdrawal still seems to be very much a PR tactic these political leaders are willing to discuss but never implement. Would any self-respecting neocon accept a mere 40,000 troops in Iraq as a guarantee of our access to its oil, or as a legitimate miltary platform in the Fertile Crescent? It is good to have the plans ready, but even in Democrat circles the temptation to leave a larger force and to maintain the income stream to our larger contractors is overwhelming. These seem to be the core issues relating to our withdrawal. How will they ever be addressed? Or, if you could, please explain how our defense contractors and their investors were appeased after the withdrawal from Vietnam.

susanUnPC

Some of us do not have Microsoft Word, and cannot read anything that you post in .doc format. Could you also post your pieces in a TXT or RTF format? I don't mind if the formatting is missing ... I just want to read what you're thinking. Thank you.

Mike CA

Iraq currently does not have an air force that compares to Syria, Iran, Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The Iraq army would not to be in a position to defend Iraq from an invasion from any of these countries because of lack of air power.

It would seem that the US has some obligation to provide air power to Iraq to defend Iraq from its neighbors. Can that be done without staying at one or more of the large air bases the US has built in Iraq?

W. Patrick Lang

Susan

Just don't have the time. Sorry. pl

Curious

Some of us do not have Microsoft Word, and cannot read anything that you post in .doc format. Could you also post your pieces in a TXT or RTF format? I don't mind if the formatting is missing ... I just want to read what you're thinking. Thank you.

Posted by: susanUnPC | 04 August 2007 at 11:34 AM

Here is cut and paste of the entire text:

-----------
What will happen in an American withdrawal of forces from Iraq?

- The first question to be asked is whether or not the withdrawal will be under hostile pressure. The two kinds of withdrawal would be radically different.

* A withdrawal conducted under non-hostile conditions would very much resemble the manner in which US forces left the Canal Zone after the return of the territory to Panamanian sovereignty or the withdrawal of coalition forces from Saudi Arabia after the First Gulf War. For this kind of withdrawal to occur a general political settlement would have to have been reached or a complete pacification of the country would have to have been achieved. Under either of those conditions, it could be assumed for planning purposes that there would be no serious indigenous interference with the departure of American forces. This kind of withdrawal would be an exercise in logistical planning in which the force would be taken out in an “administrative” (non-combat) mode. Departure would be arranged on the basis of the most efficient use of transportation as well as its availability. Most units would be returned to their permanent posts across the world without their heavy equipment, (tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, etc.) because it is more efficient to send the troops home in passenger aircraft and the equipment in separate transportation (sea usually) in the care of drivers. A withdrawal of this kind would take a long time. Large sized logistical capabilities would have to be kept in Iraq until the end of the departure to conduct the shipments. The removal of larger US Forces from Saudi Arabia after the First Gulf War took around a year and a half.

* A withdrawal under combat conditions would be very different and in the light of present political circumstances in Iraq seems more likely. During such a withdrawal there would be continuing combat operations designed to defend the force from enemies that are increasingly emboldened by American withdrawal and the prospect of “settling scores” with sectarian, political and ethnic adversaries. In that kind of departure, the force would have to be withdrawn in “slices” (tranches in French). The withdrawal from VN conducted by the Nixon Administration was of this kind. The phased departures of these “slices” would be designed to gradually “uncover” the regions of the country in a logical order as American forces move away from areas that are more easily abandoned. At the same time, the remaining forces in Iraq would have to retain a balanced combat capability that could continue to carry out force protection defensive actions as well as “spoiling” attacks against detected preparations for assaults against the ever weakening US military presence in the country. Infantry, armor, artillery and particularly aerial forces (both Army and Air Force) would be needed to protect the course of the withdrawal. The routes of withdrawal would have to be outposted and protected to keep them open while the withdrawal takes place. At the same time, the remaining force in Iraq would continue to be re-supplied over the same routes. There would likely be a lot of fighting in the course of the withdrawal. In VN, 20,000 US soldiers were killed during the several years of the withdrawal. This would be a “last chance” for the enemy forces to exact a price for the US presence in Iraq. They would be likely to take that opportunity. The logic of the present logistical situation would point to a withdrawal in phases (tranches) down the existing Main supply Route (MSR) to Kuwait where the forces could be received in prepared camps prior to departure by sea and air. The improved situation in Anbar Governorate might also make possible a smaller withdrawal to the west and into Jordan. A small percentage of the withdrawal would be conducted using air force heavy lift assets. The units withdrawn by air are likely to be air force.

- A “residual” military presence in Iraq is another major issue.

In a withdrawal conducted under administrative conditions, it will be possible to position a “force” of trainers, suppliers, SOF jihadi hunters and force protection people wherever they are needed. The force protection element of this force might be a reinforced heavy brigade. Altogether the benign atmosphere presence might be 20,000.

In a “contested” withdrawal, the existence of these forces will be problematic from the beginning. A “residual” force with less than a reinforced heavy division and appropriate air support as the basis of its security would be a very risky venture over the long run. This force would number something in the area of 35,000 to 40,000 people. The logistical problems involved in supplying this force or any sized force overland would be enormous.


Curious

The Iraq army would not to be in a position to defend Iraq from an invasion from any of these countries because of lack of air power.

Posted by: Mike CA | 04 August 2007 at 04:11 PM

My random take:

- The overall pentagon policy will stay roughly the same. Bush administration is incapable to create new direction and congress is too divided to exert change. So from the largest force in Iraq point of view, it'll be pretty much the same (maybe add or reduce troop level slightly)

- Iraq government will continue to weaken further. Within 5 yrs all major civilian social service and infrastructure will cease to function. (no more fully functioning university, no more fully functioning health care service, anything tied to electric grid to function properly will be gone. No functioning modern transportation system. All heavy industry will be gone . Iraq economy will slowly cease to exist. Rule of law will dissolve as there is no central government, no functioning national court system, etc, etc.)

what this means, meaningful international trade and investment will cease to exist and will take decades to restart.

- Iraq will turn into factions, probably divided along ethnic/geographic line with large remnant of Saddam military, organized armed based on religious group, and organized crimes/gangs.

That's for next 2 years if we are lucky.

After that the fun begins.
- I for one think, Hillary will get elected. She will play super macho. (border war with Iran trying to eliminate some political factions in Iraq, massive escalation, carpet bombing in fringe area, more international diplomacy)

- But it really won't change a thing. Iraq is a dead country. Sort of like Fallujah, except the size of a nation. People should watch Fallujah, because it's a preview of things to come.

- Iraq will turn into battleground between Iran, Israel, Saudi, after we left. We are setting up all primary conditions for this to happen.

So, in term of getting out or not. It's really not a question we can answer nicely anymore.

Iraq has all the condition of an opening of regional war. Either we get out now or later, we pretty much has to come back in again to fight middle east war. (somewhere in Saudi border, Israel, Lebanon, The gulf etc)

It'll be very bloody. millions of people will die.

David Habakkuk

SusanUnPc:

Why not download the OpenOffice suite from www.openoffice.org?

It's free, and will open the full range of Microsoft documents -- not just Word, but also Powerpoint.

Carol Lam

http:..www.senate.gov
Thank you for your vote against the FISA abomination.

Please stop the genocide in Iraq by US occupying forces. Ask what the Penagon plans to do to give emergency aid.
____

http://progressiveindependent.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=103&topic_id=31292

Water taps run dry during the peak of Baghdad summer heat

STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press
August 2, 2007 11:30 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) - Much of the Iraqi capital was without running water Thursday and had been for at least 24 hours, compounding the urban misery in a war zone and the blistering heat at the height of the Baghdad summer.

Residents and city officials said large sections in the west of the capital had been virtually dry for six days because the already strained electricity grid cannot provide sufficient power to run water purification and pumping stations.

Baghdad routinely suffers from periodic water outages, but this one is described by residents as one of the most extended and widespread in recent memory. The problem highlights the larger difficulties in a capital beset by violence, crumbling infrastructure, rampant crime and too little electricity to keep cool in the sweltering weather more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion.

Jamil Hussein, a 52-year-old retired army officer who lives in northeast Baghdad, said his house has been without water for two weeks, except for two hours at night. He says the water that does flow smells and is unclean.

Two of his children have severe diarrhea that the doctor attributed to drinking what tap water was available, even after it was boiled. ''We'll have to continue drinking it, because we don't have money to buy bottled water,'' he
said.

Adel al-Ardawi, a spokesman for the Baghdad city government, said that even with sufficient electricity ''it would take 24 hours for the water mains to refill so we can begin pumping to residents. And even then the water won't be clean for a time. We just don't have the electricity or fuel for our generators to keep the system flowing.''

http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/article.jsp?Section=WORLD&ID=565062429059712736


Did the Green Zone have water? Bottled or otherwise?

This is what genocide looks like.

And I bet that the water and electric utilities have been "privatized" as per Naomi Klein's article

Woe is Baghdad.
Trapped.
Alone.
Parched.

Pray for Rain For The Iraqis, That God Took Pity When Man Would Not and Shame the Ones Who are Doing this Horror to the Iraqis and all of Us.

Duncan Kinder
Iraq currently does not have an air force that compares to Syria, Iran, Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The Iraq army would not to be in a position to defend Iraq from an invasion from any of these countries because of lack of air power

What sane country would want to invade Iraq?


With respect to Susan's question about .doc format, you can download Open Office, and open source equivalent of Microsoft Office, available for free, which can read .doc format. CD ROMs are also available.

Also, at one time you could download for free from Microsoft's website a viewer which could open, read, and print out .doc format items. I believe you still get this.

John Shreffler

susanUnPC: email me at john@shreffler.com if you need .doc files converted to RTF. My Mac does that very easily, provided your email program allows me to send it as an attachment.

dano

What about the permanent bases, if they are to remain? (Speculative question I know, since neither WH nor Pentagon have admitted to them.) Seems like they'll have to be resupplied by air, and the protective forces will have to be considerable. And how many are there? How many are there now, vs. how many to remain?

Susan - if you have a Gmail account then you can use Google Docs to open .doc. (If you have a Mac then you can use TextEdit.)

Pat - MS Word will save in RTF in a 5second motion (literally). When you do the Save choose option rtf instead of doc.

confusedponderer

Susan,
maybe this is the solution to your dilemma, from the evil monopolist himself ;)

Col,
the program freePDF allows to generate documents in that format. It's easy to use; one selects it like one selects a printer and it then produces the PDF file in an instant. It requires Ghostscript installed as well.

Both files can be found here. Page is in German, but rather self explaining. I use it at work and privately, and it works satisfactory. All programs are freeware.

CP

I have a full suite of Adobe products. pl

David J.

susanUnPC:

i agree with dano, try Google Docs

http://docs.google.com/

login with gmail account

click "Upload"

enter the url of a word file on the web

click "Upload File"

then read text in the online editor

very simple

b

curious writes:

- Iraq government will continue to weaken further. Within 5 yrs all major civilian social service and infrastructure will cease to function. (no more fully functioning university, no more fully functioning health care service, anything tied to electric grid to function properly will be gone. No functioning modern transportation system. All heavy industry will be gone . Iraq economy will slowly cease to exist. Rule of law will dissolve as there is no central government, no functioning national court system, etc, etc.)

what this means, meaningful international trade and investment will cease to exist and will take decades to restart.


But that is the state TODAY not five years from now.

You are quite a bit behind history ...

Will

for those that don't want to spring for expensive microsoft office products, there is a free alternative that is just as good or maybe even better. It is compatible and opens office documents, spreadsheets, powerpoints, databases, etc. Also creates them.

it is openoffice. just do a google search for open office or go to the site
www.openoffice.org

Duncan Kinder

Answering my own question, "What sane country would want to invade Iraq?" the Washington Post has published "Turkey to Warn Iraq on Rebel Sanctuaries: Cross-Border Attack on Separatists Appears Likely If Baghdad Fails to Act".

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