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10 June 2015

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Lord Curzon

Colonel,

Something like this, perhaps?

https://twitter.com/Hayder_alKhoei/status/608037953277947905

VietnamVet

Colonel,

It is too bad you were banned from NewsHour. It is our loss. The latest Iraq discussion tonight needed you:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/can-obamas-plan-defeat-destroy-islamic-state/

Iraq is being kicked down the road as long as it can keep the money rolling to military contractors. There are only three Nations that can seize Northern Iraq back from the Islamic State; Turkey, Iran or the USA. After up to 15 combat tours, the US Army is worn out. An invasion by the other two would put the Sunni Shiite Holy War into high gear. Religious revivals ignore secular boundaries. The Arab Monarchies should be feeling the ground shaking beneath their feet.

The problem is that current ruling western ideology, selfish greed, cannot build a coalition of sovereign states able to plan for a secure peace; tell the truth, or assure their citizens a bright future that is worth defending. All it can do is start new wars fought by puppets and surrogates; that go terribly wrong.

Malahumba

"We own it but cannot fix it."

This reminds me of something that happened after World War 2.
The Russians were dismantling entire factories in Germany,
shipping the parts to Russia, and then were unable to put them together again. Owning something is only half the story!

Malahumba

"We own it but cannot fix it."

This reminds me of something that happened after World War 2.
The Russians were dismantling entire factories in Germany,
shipping the parts to Russia, and then were unable to put them together again. Owning something is only half the story!

William R. Cumming

P.L. and ALL: I ask again was the disbanding of the Iraq Army the fundamental flaw in ending some semblance of secular order in Iraq and any good open source material describing the decision to disband the Iraqi Army?

I focus on Paul Bremer for the error am I correct to do so? He has apparently latched on to some Republican Presidential candidates. Perhaps a replay of the John Brennan role in the Obama Campaign in 2008?

r whitman

The aim of the current US administration is to do as little as possible and make no major changes or commitments for the next 18 months. Then the next President can make any changes he/she wants and blame failures on the Obama administration.

turcopolier

WRC

It was the fundamental purpose of the invasion and occupation of Iraq to destroy the Iraqi state and its institutions to begin again on a "day zero" basis. Brenner was merely a tool. He was sent to revolutionize Iraq and he did that. pl

oofda

WRC- Bremer has the gall to criticize the Obama administration for removing troops from Iraq- and makes no comment or admission of the fiasco he spawned by disbanding the Iraqi Army. He has no self-awareness nor shame apparently. I recall that US Army generals tried to tell him that Iraqi generals had offered the services of their units in keeping order. Bremer blew them off and haughtily replied that the Iraqi Army was no more. He was wrong, and should be reminded of his error whenever he steps on the public stage.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/paul-bremer-iraq-us-troops-107888.html

ex-PFC Chuck

Serendipitously there is a post this morning on Naked Capitalism that addresses this exact question, albeit in another context, and responds with a meta-level explanation that could well have driven the Bremer decision, if in fact it was his decision and he was not just executing orders from above. Here is the relevant paragraph:

"The sheer imbecility of American leaders is brought into glaring light by Kissinger’s praise for George Dubya Bush’s attempt at “transformation of Iraq from among the Middle East’s most repressive states to a multiparty democracy.” I can pinpoint the exact day and event that the Iraq war was lost, thanks to George Packer’s 2005 book The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq, On pages 110 to 112, Packer discusses the November 15, 2002 meeting of Condoleezza Rice and Steve Hadley of Bush’s National Security Council, with representatives from various conservative stink tanks to review plans for rebuilding Iraq after the USA invasion. The meeting ended when Chris DeMuth, then president of the American Enterprise Institute, cut off discussion. QUOTE “Wait a minute. What’s all this planning and thinking about postwar Iraq?” He turned to Rice. “This is nation building, and you said you were against that. In the campaign you said it, the president has said it. Does he know you’re doing this? Does Karl Rove know?”END QUOTE"

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/06/if-you-are-not-building-a-nation-then-what-the-fuck-are-you-doing.html

Of course this won't come close to settling the matter, which will be fodder for PhD theses in History and International relations for decades to come.

bth

Col. so is the US trying to set up an autonomous base structure in each of the three demographic areas (Sunni Arab, Kurd, Shia)?

turcopolier

bth

Dunno, intriguing thought. BTW Habbaniya and Taqaddum are literally across the road from each other. pl

Babak Makkinejad

There was a US commentator here - intimately familiar with the situation in Afghanistan - who attributed failure there to US Hubris - when I asked him.

Might be the same in Iraq as well.

turcopolier

Babak

That might have been me. We Americans have a bad case of hubristic confusion. In the Newshour last night I listened to Zinni, Flournoy, and Panetta all assure the universe that "we" know how to handle situations like Iraq. It was left to Colonel Bacevich to tell the world that this was incorrect and in fact "we" have no idea how to "handle it." pl

Joe100

Col Lang -

How likely is it that Sunni tribal groups would trust the US sufficiently to accept our support given that they were abandoned the last time around?

Or is this an opportunity that could be effectively pursued with the right/appropriate US leadership (relevant special forces) or simply the least bad option for these tribes??

Fred

WRC,

What is missing from Iraq’s current problem is the full use of potential soldiers in the population. As we ‘know’ from our exceptionalism is that everyone is equal. What the Iraq Army needs to do therefor is start recruiting women and homosexuals. They’ll have twice as many recruits, even more since all those now ‘free’ people will want to be defending those ‘rights’ brought about courtesy of the neoconservative world view (you know, the real, real reality of how the world works, not that pre end of history bunk). Why just as American women (and LGBTs) can openly serve and fight in combat why so can the New Iraqi’s! If nothing else when they run away they sure won’t be doing it any faster than the men.

turcopolier

fred

It seems that the PR career field in the US military is an opportunity for the LGBT folks. pl

turcopolier

Joe100
FB Ali thinks that our first betrayal closed the possibility of cooperation with the Anbar Sunni tribes. I am inclined to think that we could have revived our cooperation a couple of years ago if we had been willing to ignore the Baghdad government but that the opportunity is now gone. The best we can probably manage is to get Jordanian SF to support the tribes on a UW basis after Anbar get through falling. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

oofda, Don't you recall the clause in the oath that all neo-cons take that says, "Never admit you even could have been wrong! Never say you're sorry!"

ex-PFC Chuck

America's Finest News Source suggests we in the USA have another option:
http://www.theonion.com/article/experts-say-best-option-now-keeping-nation-comfort-50617

LeaNder

Strictly that wasn't the Russsians only, as far as I know. Maybe it was less thoroughly done by other European allies.

In the larger context I have read the argument at least for the West, that it may even have helped to have to recreate the tools. Made them more up to date occasionally.

I Something don't like your reading of "own it", and the accompanying easy association. I read "own it", differently.

LeaNder

Sorry, I am in a hurry.

Something I don't like is your reading
Or
I Somehow don't like your reading.
Somehow I don't like your reading.

LeaNder

There were rumors that this was the ultimate aim. But then, how would Iran fit in?

Is the problem solved that was among the next planned targets in some eyes? Mr. Faster Please, comes to mind. Onward brave soldiers, lets take Syria first and then Iran.

turcopolier

LeAnder

More America is a conspiracy nonsense. pl

turcopolier

LeAnder

No idea what you are talking about, what is it that you do not like? My reading? I learned to read when about three years old and have been proficient since. pl

Fred

Col.,

Indeed. One day I'm sure, for equality's sake (of course), we'll have to have some service chief named "Caitlyn" to please that vocal but still small voting block. Ability to lead in war optional. Apparently losing another war is of no concern to the current generation of politicians.

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