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07 November 2007


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Excellent plan but unfortunately has a timetable, this administration doesn't like timetables.

I assume the division would be a permanently based unit, like the 2nd Infantry in Korea, and staffed by one year, hardship tours.

My question is, would the Politicos and their special-interest masters be keen on giving up the bases in 2015?

Also, how would we then prevent the Sunnis and Shiites or the Kurds and Turks from going at it with such a reduction in forces?

If we had your proposed concert in place, my questions would be answered but we have to wait on the election timetable for that answer.

Ken Hoop

I like Dennis Kucinich's and Ron Paul's plans better.
But then soft imperialism will remain soft imperialism.

Mad Dogs

Having just finished reading the Bergen/Cruikshank article, I'm sitting here still scratching my head.

The reason for the itch, is just who are we supposed to be supporting?

Arming and funding the Sunnis so as to use them as front-line forces against AQI? These same Sunnis who then seem to have more than a little antipathy to Shia, and more than a little willingness to engage in Shia cleansing?

Arming and funding the "national" government's troops and police, which by-in-large are Shia, and use them as front-line forces against...who, AQI? And who have shown a propensity toward ethnic/religious/tribal cleansing of Sunnis?

Whose side are we on? Or perhaps the better question is: Is there a side for us?

There is certainly much to be "lost" by the US, but try as hard as I can, I fail to see that choosing either "side" amounts to a "gain".

The Iraqi Shia will never again submit to Sunni dominance.

The Iraqi Sunni see Iran dominance in every Iraqi Shia word and deed, so an Iraqi Sunni submission is not on offer either.

And the US is stuck in the middle of this mess whether we want to be or not. Leaving is bad. Staying is bad.

Based on my reading of the Bergen/Cruikshank article, it appears that while they seem to vote for staying, it didn't seem that they were all that happy about their choice, and more importantly, that they were not at all confident their choice improved the chances of achieving the desired end result.

Not a pretty picture, and not likely to get pretty anytime soon.


pl: The "worst case" in Iraq would involve a general uprising against our remaining forces with the active intervention (direct or indirect) of Iran. A planning assumption like that is not a prediction. It is merely a planning assumption.

As you know, the Islamic Dawa Party and Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq have a real tight bond with Iran that goes back decades.

The United Iraqi Alliance has can never be trusted.

Southern Iraq of today not France of 1944 (e.g: This evening French, American and Senegalese troops marched triumphantly down the Champs Elysee to ecstatic cheers of Parisians, young and old.)

When they are ready, i.e. when the beast has been drained of its blood (and treasure), they will throw down the body of the occupying force and saw off its head.

There's not a damn thing we can do about it.

The US has been fuct, out flanked, since March 2003.


You 'explain the logic of your numbers again':

. . . based on the assumption that there would be an Iraqi government considered legitimate by the US and the UN and that government would want a continuing US presence for a few additional years.

I just have to ask what your assumptions are as to when any government installed by The Occupier will be considered legitimate by Iraqis?



When 160,000 troops and equal number of contractors can’t make the road to Bagdad International Airport safe, what will a single division be able to do? There will always be opposition to a foreign occupation by force.

The one and only chance that American troops will remain in Iraq is that it is part of a Middle East peace settlement and their presence has Iranian blessing. Americans by treaty are in Iraq to protect a group, Kurds or Sunnis, from further ethnic cleansing.

But, sooner or later, the deferred bills for the war will come due and a broke federal government will pull back the troops to Fortress American, once again. The crashing dollar is a symbol of the coming turmoil. An upheaval driven by climate change, over population and peak oil. It’s coming, even without the worse case scenarios arising from bombing Iran or the Fundamentalist take over of Pakistan ever happening.

But if the USA still has a Navy and keeps the shipping lanes open the future may not turn into a Mad Max World but one with few cars and a lot of electric trains.


Thank you Col. Lang for posting this.
I guess the old saying "it's a lot harder getting the horse back in the barn..." again proves to be all to true.


Vigilante: I just have to ask what your assumptions are as to when any government installed by The Occupier will be considered legitimate by Iraqis?

Installed by The Occupier?


Who do you think the Islamic Dawa Party and Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq are?

Where do you think their leaders were in exiled during the twenty plus years prior to the deposing of Saddam Hussein?

Whom do you think they supported in The Iraq-Iran War?

When exactly did they become pro-American and anti-Iranian?

You think that the US installed the Iraqi Parliament whose majority has long and extremely close ties to Tehran?

Here's a little hint to get you going in the right direction....look into the past Viggy.....

Iraq's Hussein; Arab who smote the Persians is riding high on the victory. By ALAN COWELL. The Gazette. Oct 9, 1988. [snip]

When Iraq's Shiites showed signs of restiveness at the beginning of the war with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's revolutionary Shia state,
President Hussein moved quickly and brutally to deal with them.

He responded to an assassination attempt on Deputy Prime Minister Tariq
Aziz by executing Mohammad Bakr al-Sadr, one of the nation's most prominent Shiite clerics and the leader of the pro-Khomeini Al Daawa
Party, and his sister Amina bint al-Huda.

"Membership of the Shiite-based Al Daawa Party was made retroactively
punishable by death," wrote two experts on the region, Shahram Chubin
and Charles Tripp, in their recent book, Iran and Iraq at War (Westview). "Thousands of Shia in Najaf, Karbala and Al-Thawra township in Baghdad were arrested; and a campaign was initiated to expel from Iraq any Iraqi who had even the remotest connection with Iran, by birth, marriage or name."

Martin K

Mad Dogs: Very well summed up. The logical position at this stage would be a couple of big bases in Kurdistan and some SF/specialist help to the government. The original battleplan as of 2003 was to have 5000 in Baghdad at this point, I think. The worst thing is that we are loosing Afghanistan now, as a consequence. And the stans are firmly back under Russia.

Digression: Is there any good book on the US/Rumsfelds play in the Great Game? Talk about quick international movement..


Whether we leave today, tomorrow or five years from tomorrow the only difference is the personel we lose in between.

Babak Makkinejad


The expulsion "from Iraq any Iraqi who had even the remotest connection with Iran, by birth, marriage or name" was going on long before the Iran-Iraq War; it began in earnest in the 1970s.

Another flower of Arabism.



"In addition to combating Al Qaeda,,"

Exactly what would our mission be against Al Qaeda?

Do you mean the Al Qaeda in Iraq part of the Sunni resistance? Would we be conducting classic counter-insurgency against them. How could we do this with such a small footprint, and would we still be busting down doors and conducting air strikes against "high value" "terrorists".

Or is this somehow to discourage Al Qaeda from setting up terrorist training camps for attacks outside of Iraq, in Europe and the U.S.? In which case how do we distinguish those camps from the Sunni resistance camps.

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