Lifelifeiraqsurgelessonslearned

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:47 AM

was the iraq surge effective? should it be repeated?

was the surge of 30,000 troop strength (generally achieved by extending already overexrended units) effective for its stated goal

a temporary surge that would provide time, space, and security for the new Iraqi government to reconcile the country’s warring ethnic groups and factions, while incorporating minority groups into the largely Shiite, Baghdad-based power structure.

is that goal even possible? did we learn any lessons? is increasing american troops in the now much larger battlefield a good idea? how about rules of engagement?

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176252/tomgram%3A_danny_sjursen%2C_surging_to_failure/#more

America’s man in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, was already in the process of becoming a sectarian strongman, hell-bent on alienating the country’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities. Even 60,000 or 90,000 more American troops couldn’t have solved that problem because the surge was incapable of addressing, and barely pretended to face, the true conundrum of the invasion and occupation: any American-directed version of Iraqi “democracy” would invariably usher in Shia-majority dominance over a largely synthetic state. The real question no surge cheerleaders publicly asked (or ask to this day) was whether an invading foreign entity was even capable of imposing an inclusive political settlement there. To assume that the United States could have done so smacks of a faith-based as opposed to reality-based worldview -- another version of a deep and abiding belief in American exceptionalism.

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Reply was the iraq surge effective? should it be repeated? (Original post)
rampartb Mar 2017 OP
Muddling Through Mar 2017 #1
rampartb Mar 2017 #2
Muddling Through Mar 2017 #3
mrwordsworth Mar 2017 #4
rampartb Mar 2017 #5

Response to rampartb (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 08:01 PM

1. Military or political?

It achieved the immediate military goal of creating space and time for the newly formed Iraqi government to stabilize. For the political goal to be achieved U.S. military presence would have to remained in significant levels for some years to follow.

How many years did we remain in post-WW2 Germany?

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Response to Muddling Through (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:57 AM

2. we are still in germany after 70 odd years with no end in sight

is that your vision for iraq, syria, afghanistan, and soon iran ?

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Response to rampartb (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 06:43 PM

3. Well, that's the question isn't it?

If we're going to be "nation building" we need to plan on an ongoing presence. IMHO, Obama's decision to pull the troops out at the time he did was a major error made for partisan political goals at the expense of keeping the gains our military had achieved and guaranteed we would need to re-deploy troops removed in error.

The Bush administration erred greatly in not anticipating that a US military presence would be needed for several years after the creation of a new government that was the rationale for the original invasion. They also seriously overestimated the willingness of the American public to support an extended deployment in the region.

No, that is not my vision for Syria or Iran; we could deploy troops for limited military objectives without committing to an extended presence in Syria, Iran would best be left alone except for limited strikes as necessary. Re Afghanistan and Iraq; we started a process of transforming both countries and the sacrifices made would best be acknowledged by trying to finish the job instead of leaving it half-done.

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Response to rampartb (Original post)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 12:40 PM

4. One could make the argument that we should never put our military lives in danger

Because their fight will be turned political and their sacrifice will be for nothing when the levers of power change hands.

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Response to mrwordsworth (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 01:26 PM

5. i would not say "never," but warfare should be reserved

for broad national bipartisan emergencies that can nit be solved by any other means. once declared, war should be waged with maximum intensity and ended with unconditional surrender of the opponent as soon as possible.

make no mistake, obama was elected to END the war, something neither ms clinton or mccain was likely to do.

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