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View Full Version : No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup


Pitt Gorilla
06-14-2007, 09:23 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/13/AR2007061302357.html?sub=new

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2007; A01

Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday.

The report -- the first comprehensive statistical overview of the new U.S. military strategy in Iraq -- coincided with renewed fears of sectarian violence after the bombing yesterday of the same Shiite shrine north of Baghdad that was attacked in February 2006, unleashing a spiral of retaliatory bloodshed. Iraq's government imposed an immediate curfew in Baghdad yesterday to prevent an outbreak of revenge killings.

Yesterday's attack adds to tensions faced by U.S. troops, who are paying a mounting price in casualties as they push into Iraqi neighborhoods, seeking to quell violence that the report said remains fundamentally driven by sectarianism.

Iraq's government, for its part, has proven "uneven" in delivering on its commitments under the strategy, the report said, stating that public pledges by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have in many cases produced no concrete results.

Iraqi leaders have made "little progress" on the overarching political goals that the stepped-up security operations are intended to help advance, the report said, calling reconciliation between Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni factions "a serious unfulfilled objective." Indeed, "some analysts see a growing fragmentation of Iraq," it said, noting that 36 percent of Iraqis believe "the Iraqi people would be better off if the country were divided into three or more separate countries."

The 46-page report, mandated quarterly by Congress, tempers the early optimism about the new strategy voiced by senior U.S. officials. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, for instance, in March described progress in Iraq as "so far, so good." Instead, it depicts limited gains and setbacks and states that it is too soon to judge whether the new approach is working.

Sectarian killings and attacks -- which were spiraling late last year -- dropped sharply from February to April, but civilian casualties rose slightly, to more than 100 a day. Despite the early drop in sectarian killings, data from the Baghdad morgue gathered by The Washington Post in May show them returning to pre-"surge" levels last month.

Suicide attacks more than doubled across Iraq -- from 26 in January to 58 in April -- said the report, which covers the three months from mid-February to mid-May.

Violence fell in Baghdad and Anbar province, where the bulk of the 28,700 more U.S. troops are located, but escalated elsewhere as insurgents and militias regroup in eastern and northern Iraq. In Anbar, attacks dropped by about a third, compared with the previous three months, as Sunni tribes have organized against entrenched fighters from al-Qaeda in Iraq, the report said.

Overall, however, violence "has increased in most provinces, particularly in the outlying areas of Baghdad province and Diyala and Ninewa provinces," the report said. In Diyala's restive capital of Baqubah, U.S. and Iraq forces "have been unable to diminish rising sectarian violence contributing to the volatile security situation," it said.

Unlike earlier quarterly reports, which the Pentagon began issuing in 2005, the latest makes no reference to the possibility that Iraq is drifting toward civil war. It attributes the bulk of the violence to "sectarian friction" that reaches deep into Iraq's Shiite-dominated government and security forces.

While most Iraqi units are performing "up to expectations," it said, some Iraqi leaders "bypass the standard chain of command" to issue orders on sectarian grounds. It cited "significant evidence" of attacks on Sunni Arabs by the predominantly Shiite government security forces, which have contributed to the displacement of an estimated 2 million Iraqis from their homes.

Shiite militias, which have engaged in the widespread killing and sectarian removal of Sunni residents in Baghdad, now enjoy wide support in the capital, the report said. "In Baghdad, a majority of residents report that militias act in the best interests of the Iraqi people," it said, while only 20 percent of respondents polled nationwide shared that view. Maliki's promises to disarm militias have not produced a concrete plan, the report said.

Mass-casualty attacks on Shiite targets by Sunni insurgents, including the group al-Qaeda in Iraq, have increased Shiite wariness of reconciliation, the report said. "The Shi'a dominated government is vulnerable to pressure from large numbers of economically disadvantaged, marginalized Shi'a" who offer "street-level support" for Shiite militias.

The report came as top congressional Democrats sent a letter to President Bush yesterday urging him to start a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"The escalation has failed to produce the intended results," wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.).

Republicans responded to the report as simply one more in a string of downbeat assessments. "People are saying it's a mixed bag when it comes to the surge, and that's the best face you can put on it," said a Senate Republican aide familiar with the report.

Michael E. O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, emphasized the continued high overall level of violence in Iraq, saying he had expected it to drop 10 percent as a result of the increase in U.S. troops. "It bodes very badly for the political sustainability of this mission in Iraq," he said.

In an assessment of the Iraqi government's progress on key political benchmarks, the report says that new legislation on distributing Iraqi oil revenue, completed in February, has yet to be presented for parliamentary debate, and that implementing laws have not yet been drafted. "Strong resistance" remains to allowing the mostly Sunni former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to hold government jobs, and promised legislation on that issue "could be delayed by months." Constitutional reforms have been partially drafted but not yet submitted to the Iraqi parliament, and decisions on dates for new provincial and local elections "may be delayed until the fall."

Iraq's economic progress is also mixed, with some success in controlling inflation, while oil production remains stagnant and demand for electricity outstrips lagging supply.

Staff writers Josh White and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.

jAZ
06-14-2007, 10:26 PM
My only hope (and I think it might be a bit dilusional) is that increase peace in Baghdad will allow for greater freedom to negotiate in the Parliment.

But I don't think the issues keeping the people from negotiating the split of oil revenues has anything to do with the physical security of the room they sit in in the caplitol.

patteeu
06-15-2007, 06:45 PM
So what?

The strategy wasn't advertised as a means to reduce overall violence in Iraq (in the short term). It was advertised as a means to reduce violence in the capital city. If overall violence is staying about the same and it is at the same time shifting from Baghdad and Anbar to other parts of the country, it sounds like the strategy is achieving a level of success.

Furthermore, if suicide attacks have "more than doubled" and overall violence is about the same, it looks like we are having a positive impact on the people who can be moderated. Those that cannot, particularly the al Qaeda element, are the real enemies of the Iraqis who want stability and security. It's absurd to declare the new strategy a failure weeks after the full complement of troops have moved into position just because al Qaeda is surging it's own attacks for the consumption of the CNN stringers and those in America who have gone wobbly.

And btw, before you post the "American casualties have risen during the surge" story, I'll point out that that was an expected consequence of the new strategy too so it's hardly a sign that the strategy is not working.

Pitt Gorilla
06-15-2007, 08:09 PM
So what?
If overall violence is staying about the same and it is at the same time shifting from Baghdad and Anbar to other parts of the country, it sounds like the strategy is achieving a level of success.Didn't you just answer your silly question?
:shake:

mlyonsd
06-15-2007, 08:41 PM
Sounds to me like Petreus's prediction months ago that the violence would increase is true.

Mr. Kotter
06-15-2007, 08:44 PM
Sounds to me like Petreus's prediction months ago that the violence would increase is true.

Ssshhhhh....you'll break the rhythym of the circle jerk. That is rude. :whackit:

Donger
06-15-2007, 08:47 PM
Is anyone really surprised by this?

When the hell did we start telegraphing our military strategy to the press? Seriously?

Can you imagine in WWII, us saying, "We are going to take Iwo Jima! We are going to land on February 19, 1945. Oh, and here's our landing beach map!"

As an historian, it just seems REALLY f*cking weird to me...

mlyonsd
06-15-2007, 08:54 PM
Ssshhhhh....you'll break the rhythym of the circle jerk. That is rude. :whackit:

They've been given their liberal blogger's instructions for the next couple months in that they can help the surge fail by making it happen in the minds of the American public. Way too easy to predict.

Pitt Gorilla
06-15-2007, 08:56 PM
Ssshhhhh....you'll break the rhythym of the circle jerk. That is rude. :whackit:I guess I must have missed the circle jerk; I'm not surprised that you didn't, though. :)

mlyonsd
06-15-2007, 08:58 PM
I guess I must have missed the circle jerk; I'm not surprised that you didn't, though. :)

It started a couple weeks ago with a thread about the surge failing. It will continue from this point forward. Not only on the planet but by the dim bulb dems with no nads.

Mr. Kotter
06-15-2007, 09:09 PM
They've been given their liberal blogger's instructions for the next couple months in that they can help the surge fail by making it happen in the minds of the American public. Way too easy to predict.Yeah, in just a cursory perusing of the liberal websites....DU/MoveOn/Slate/Salon/TalkingPoint/Crooksandliars/etc.

...they've definitely, and clearly, received their talking points memos. It's soooo pathetically predictable. :rolleyes:

Pitt Gorilla
06-15-2007, 09:12 PM
Yeah, in just a cursory perusing of the liberal websites....DU/MoveOn/Slate/Salon/TalkingPoint/Crooksandliars/etc.

...they've definitely, and clearly, received their talking points memos. It's soooo pathetically predictable. :rolleyes:Are you suggesting this writer got the story from a liberal website?

NewChief
06-15-2007, 09:16 PM
Yeah, in just a cursory perusing of the liberal websites....DU/MoveOn/Slate/Salon/TalkingPoint/Crooksandliars/etc.

...they've definitely, and clearly, received their talking points memos. It's soooo pathetically predictable. :rolleyes:

Interesting. I didn't see a story about it on either slate or salon. Your cursory perusing skills must be much more advanced than mine.

NewChief
06-15-2007, 09:19 PM
Weird. Just glanced over DU, and I didn't see anything there either.

NewChief
06-15-2007, 09:21 PM
Ditto on Crooks and Liars.

NewChief
06-15-2007, 09:24 PM
I hate to say it, but it's a nogo at TPM and Moveon.org for me as well. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, as I'm only scanning the front pages in a cursory fashion.

'Hamas' Jenkins
06-15-2007, 09:32 PM
Kotter, mylons, patteeu, et. al have to be near :Lin: for all the ridiculous spinning motions going on.

Dizzy yet?

Ugly Duck
06-15-2007, 11:40 PM
Violence fell in Baghdad and Anbar province, where the bulk of the 28,700 more U.S. troops are located, but escalated elsewhere

Operation Whac-a-Mole going as predicted....

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61G061HCCDL._AA280_.jpg

Mr. Kotter
06-15-2007, 11:41 PM
NC: follow the links, and click away--it's there with just a couple of clicks...

A link on the front page of TalkingPoints, takes you to: http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003431.php

http://www.crooksandliars.com/index.php?s=surge

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/06/15/lieberman/index.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2168400/

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1120121

http://pol.moveon.org/virtualmarch/

Logical
06-15-2007, 11:48 PM
NC: follow the links, and click away--it's there with just a couple of clicks...

A link on the front page of TalkingPoints, takes you to: http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003431.php

http://www.crooksandliars.com/index.php?s=surge

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/06/15/lieberman/index.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2168400/

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1120121

http://pol.moveon.org/virtualmarch/


What is the point of this post?

Logical
06-15-2007, 11:50 PM
So what?

The strategy wasn't advertised as a means to reduce overall violence in Iraq (in the short term). It was advertised as a means to reduce violence in the capital city. If overall violence is staying about the same and it is at the same time shifting from Baghdad and Anbar to other parts of the country, it sounds like the strategy is achieving a level of success.

Furthermore, if suicide attacks have "more than doubled" and overall violence is about the same, it looks like we are having a positive impact on the people who can be moderated. Those that cannot, particularly the al Qaeda element, are the real enemies of the Iraqis who want stability and security. It's absurd to declare the new strategy a failure weeks after the full complement of troops have moved into position just because al Qaeda is surging it's own attacks for the consumption of the CNN stringers and those in America who have gone wobbly.

And btw, before you post the "American casualties have risen during the surge" story, I'll point out that that was an expected consequence of the new strategy too so it's hardly a sign that the strategy is not working.

Even for you this logic is straining credibility in an amazing way. I think you might have spun yourself into a deep hole here.

Mr. Kotter
06-15-2007, 11:53 PM
What is the point of this post?

It was directed to NewChief...and his apparent inability to find the pretty clear campaign that is being waged by liberal sites/blogs of convincing everyone, if nothing else....prematurely....that the surge has "failed."

Logical
06-16-2007, 12:03 AM
It was directed to NewChief...and his apparent inability to find the pretty clear campaign that is being waged by liberal sites/blogs of convincing everyone, if nothing else....prematurely....that the surge has "failed."

OK but you do realize this report that Pitt posted is based on the governments own findings.

Mr. Kotter
06-16-2007, 12:06 AM
OK but you do realize this report that Pitt posted is based on the governments own findings.

One reporters interpretation, and I'd argue...prematue, assessment. Yeah.

Logical
06-16-2007, 01:00 AM
One reporters interpretation, and I'd argue...prematue, assessment. Yeah.
Sometimes I wonder if you read these articles?
...only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday.

patteeu
06-16-2007, 05:59 AM
Didn't you just answer your silly question?
:shake:

If you're saying that the general tone of this article is deceptively negative based on the original expectations for the surge, then I guess I did.

patteeu
06-16-2007, 06:01 AM
Even for you this logic is straining credibility in an amazing way. I think you might have spun yourself into a deep hole here.

How so?

patteeu
06-16-2007, 06:11 AM
OK but you do realize this report that Pitt posted is based on the governments own findings.

The findings aren't the problem. It's the lack of clarity that this particular measure of merit isn't related to the concept behind the surge strategy. If the reporter wanted to evaluate the surge, she should have evaluated it on the basis of whether or not it's achieving it's stated objectives (less violence in Baghdad and Anbar especially of the sectarian reprisal variety, better stability and reconstruction opportunities in Baghdad neighborhoods touched by the US reinforcements and their Iraqi counterparts as well as the Anbar province, and progress on the political front).

There is room for both praise/optimism and criticism/skepticism on the basis of these relevant measures. On the optimistic side, reprisal killings are down, reconstruction activities are up, and cooperation with sunni tribal leaders against al qaeda is up. On the skepticism side, the central government is still having trouble with the big issues like the allocation of oil revenues, Sadr is becoming increasingly belligerent toward the US forces, and we're still having trouble with Iraqi security forces not showing up to hold up their side of the bargain in some cases.

Mr. Laz
06-16-2007, 06:40 AM
They've been given their liberal blogger's instructions for the next couple months in that they can help the surge fail by making it happen in the minds of the American public. Way too easy to predict.
wow ...... you've turn full-on neocon fluffer now.

jAZ
06-16-2007, 07:49 AM
... the surge('s)... stated objectives (less violence in Baghdad and Anbar especially of the sectarian reprisal variety, better stability and reconstruction opportunities in Baghdad neighborhoods touched by the US reinforcements and their Iraqi counterparts as well as the Anbar province, and progress on the political front).
For my own information, can you provide a link to a Jan 2007 document identifying such explicitly narrow goals?

What I find on the WH website recently makes major references to Baghdad as you mention... but isn't as exclusively narrow as you describe it.

In fact, I just found his speech transcript from Jan 10th and his stated goal is: "The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security".

He goes on to explain that special focus is given to Baghdad because "Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital."

So the reason for the emphasis on Baghdad is because that's where the vast majority of the violence has been.

The "surge" has moved the violence around, but overally it hasn't increased the security of Iraq. In fact, it's worse today according to the Pentagon.

The reality is that the solution to our problems in Iraq is not even remotely under our own control. We are 100% dependant upon the Iraqis settling their historical sectarian disputes over power and control in the region. The notion that physical security of Baghdad is the primary barrier to bridging those disputes seems to me to be a complete joke.

You can move the violence away from the physical location of the capital, but that doesn't address the question of power and control that's at the heart of the remaining divide.

I think the surge was mostly an illconceived American political effort to benefit the Republican party by hopefully improving the media coverage by "changing strategy" and moving the violence away from the core of the media outlets coverage in Baghdad.

The Party has become dominated by the NeoCons who won't let our occupation of the nation end anytime soon. But the political pressure from the public is to do just that. I think that's the real problem that this surge was crafted to address. How do we keep support for continued occupation indefinately (50 years as Bush recently put it).

It was too little too late of an action to truely be an effort to secure Iraq itself. That would have required going in with something like double or triple the forces at the time we invaded (as I said at the time on this board).

This incremental and narrowly focused action was never enough to accomplish our stated objectives of securing Iraq.

dirk digler
06-16-2007, 08:19 AM
The findings aren't the problem. It's the lack of clarity that this particular measure of merit isn't related to the concept behind the surge strategy. If the reporter wanted to evaluate the surge, she should have evaluated it on the basis of whether or not it's achieving it's stated objectives (less violence in Baghdad and Anbar especially of the sectarian reprisal variety, better stability and reconstruction opportunities in Baghdad neighborhoods touched by the US reinforcements and their Iraqi counterparts as well as the Anbar province, and progress on the political front).

There is room for both praise/optimism and criticism/skepticism on the basis of these relevant measures. On the optimistic side, reprisal killings are down, reconstruction activities are up, and cooperation with sunni tribal leaders against al qaeda is up. On the skepticism side, the central government is still having trouble with the big issues like the allocation of oil revenues, Sadr is becoming increasingly belligerent toward the US forces, and we're still having trouble with Iraqi security forces not showing up to hold up their side of the bargain in some cases.

That is a very even handed post patteeu. Job well done and I agree with pretty much everything you said.

jAZ
06-16-2007, 08:53 AM
That is a very even handed post patteeu. Job well done and I agree with pretty much everything you said.
I agree, particularly the latter paragraph.

Mr. Kotter
06-16-2007, 09:15 AM
Sometimes I wonder if you read these articles?

Any "facts" at this point in the surge....don't, conclusively, prove anything. Six months from now, a year from now...yeah. At this point, it is interpretation by a journalist.

jAZ
06-16-2007, 09:38 AM
Any "facts" at this point in the surge....don't, conclusively, prove anything. Six months from now, a year from now...yeah.
No "facts" well ever "conclusively prove anything" when talking about a negaive. That's a bogus standard.

What I find bizarre is that you would put forward a window of 1 year to 1.5 years before judgement. First, you are just making updates as much as anyone else.

But also, because the date of 6 months (today basically) is the first date the Pentagon themselves put forward.

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/17188499.htm

Hell, even Republicans are publicly saying a deadling of 9 months (September 2007).

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Sessions_GOP_will_be_ready_by_0527.html

mlyonsd
06-16-2007, 10:00 PM
wow ...... you've turn full-on neocon fluffer now.

If you're happy with the super intelligent democratic leadership brought forward in the November election than you deserve what you got.

Better enjoy it because the dems are setting themselves up for losing congress in '08.

chagrin
06-16-2007, 11:05 PM
This circle jerk of "debating" you have going on here aside.

You idiots realize that War is a chess match, right? You make a move, your opponent makes a move, and it continues. If you turn up the heat, they will turn up the heat.
You don't need an MBA or a PHD or even be an English teacher to understand this.

What did you expect?

And after the new President takes over, let's assume it's a Democrat, Congress will continue the troop surge, continue the war with no troops coming home - all the while claiming victory for their party and voters and then the freakshow here will be saying things like "oh we know it's going to take time to bring the troops back, it won't happen overnight but you see, we will end this war"

Actually I am quite looking forward to it. You've been crying like little girls (or the Boston Red Sox Organization and its fans) for 8 years now and you think your time is near, this is going to be fun.

chagrin
06-16-2007, 11:07 PM
What I find bizarre is that you would put forward a window of 1 year to 1.5 years before judgement.


My point exactly, when your own party's time frame comes around you'll be saying the same thing

Ugly Duck
06-17-2007, 01:17 AM
If the reporter wanted to evaluate the surge, she should have evaluated it on the basis of whether or not it's achieving it's stated objectives (less violence in Baghdad and Anbar especially of the sectarian reprisal variety....

Its true that sectarian killings are still below the maximum peak of last year, and there was a dip when we first surged because Sadr told the Mahdi Army to lay low.... but sectarian killings are trending up again, not down. It would be nice if this was just us vs AQ with democracy-loving Iraqis rooting for us (a hopeful mantra we hear repeated often). But instead, we are caught in the middle of a civil war, and our surge and AQ's meddling won't change that. Remember, far from rooting for us, a majority of Iraqis support the killing of US troops.

Morgue Data Show Increase In Sectarian Killings in Iraq

By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, May 24, 2007; Page A01

BAGHDAD, May 23 -- More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again.

From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The data showed that the same number of bodies were found in all of January, the month before the launch of the Baghdad security plan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052301780.html

'Hamas' Jenkins
06-17-2007, 06:50 AM
If you're happy with the super intelligent democratic leadership brought forward in the November election than you deserve what you got.

Better enjoy it because the dems are setting themselves up for losing congress in '08.

Personally, I'd expect the Dems to lose the Senate and the Presidential election in '08, but by the time '12 rolls around, look for a substantial political realignment.

go bowe
06-17-2007, 12:50 PM
Any "facts" at this point in the surge....don't, conclusively, prove anything. Six months from now, a year from now...yeah. At this point, it is interpretation by a journalist.yeah, those damned journalists make up shit all the time...

and why would facts be "facts" with you?

the facts are the findings of the army's own report...

or are those "facts" wrong too?

go bowe
06-17-2007, 12:58 PM
This circle jerk of "debating" you have going on here aside.

You idiots realize that War is a chess match, right? You make a move, your opponent makes a move, and it continues. If you turn up the heat, they will turn up the heat.
You don't need an MBA or a PHD or even be an English teacher to understand this.

What did you expect?

And after the new President takes over, let's assume it's a Democrat, Congress will continue the troop surge, continue the war with no troops coming home - all the while claiming victory for their party and voters and then the freakshow here will be saying things like "oh we know it's going to take time to bring the troops back, it won't happen overnight but you see, we will end this war"

Actually I am quite looking forward to it. You've been crying like little girls (or the Boston Red Sox Organization and its fans) for 8 years now and you think your time is near, this is going to be fun.interesting rant...

we're idiots and you're an expert on military matters?

right...

and you can predict what a democrat president and a democrat congress will do after the '08 elections?

and a freakshow?

you should know all about that...

Direckshun
06-17-2007, 01:24 PM
So what?

The strategy wasn't advertised as a means to reduce overall violence in Iraq (in the short term). It was advertised as a means to reduce violence in the capital city. If overall violence is staying about the same and it is at the same time shifting from Baghdad and Anbar to other parts of the country, it sounds like the strategy is achieving a level of success.
And how well did that work out with Fallujah?

I've seen a political cartoon parodying our experience in Fallujah -- a soldier with a shoe whacking the city of Fallujah under its heel. Cockroaches (appropriate metaphors for insurgents) scattered under the shoe and just relocated on other places on the map.

Our surge was completely and utterly inadequate. It was nothing more than a substitute for all the soldiers we've lost to injury and death, to get the number of troops back up to its prewar levels.

To contain a country of 25,000,000 people, you need far more than 150,000 troops. You need at least twice that, maybe half a million troops. Maybe more.

Otherwise, you're left with this deadly game of musical chairs, where I'm sure we'll be reading articles in 12 months about some other place on Iraq's map that we have to squash with a shoe.

go bowe
06-17-2007, 03:58 PM
Kotter, mylons, patteeu, et. al have to be near :Lin: for all the ridiculous spinning motions going on.

Dizzy yet?hold on...

are you seriously accusing mlyons and patteeu of being spinners? you?

everybody knows that it's kotter who's spinning the planet, much like atlas is holding it up...

it's kotter, i tells ya...

Ugly Duck
06-17-2007, 07:43 PM
You idiots realize that War is a chess match, right? You make a move, your opponent makes a move, and it continues.

So what kind of match is it when its a civil war is between two native factions (Sunni & Shia), but there's an occupying power (US) stuck in the middle of it waiting for foreigners (AQ) to shoot at them? We make a move against AQ, the civil war continues. AQ makes a move, the civil war continues. Nothing that we do or fail to do will stop the civil war. Nothing AQ does or fails to do will stop the civil war. The Iraqis are going to fight it out amongst each other regardless of what the US or AQ sez or does. If the US and AQ send soldiers into the middle of the conflict, all we can do is die. The presence of the US or AQ is not going to stop the Sunni & Shia from killing each other.

HolmeZz
06-17-2007, 07:49 PM
You idiots realize that War is a chess match, right? You make a move, your opponent makes a move, and it continues.

If you ignore the fact that we aren't fighting a war and we have no defined opponent, that's a terrific analogy.

Ugly Duck
06-17-2007, 08:33 PM
If you ignore the fact that we aren't fighting a war and we have no defined opponent, that's a terrific analogy.

And chagrin called you an idiot.....

Mr. Kotter
06-17-2007, 09:05 PM
If you ignore the fact that we aren't fighting a war and we have no defined opponent....

Do you honestly, REALLY, believe that? :rolleyes:

:shake:

Direckshun
06-17-2007, 09:30 PM
Do you honestly, REALLY, believe that? :rolleyes:

:shake:
That's absolutely right.

George W. Bush has made it abundantly clear that we are to fight the vague concept of Terror.

Once every single person on the planet no longer feels Terror in any way, our troops can rest easy.

Logical
06-17-2007, 09:59 PM
That's absolutely right.

George W. Bush has made it abundantly clear that we are to fight the vague concept of Terror.

Once every single person on the planet no longer feels Terror in any way, our troops can rest easy.

In the name of
the Father
the Son
and the Holy Ghost
Amen

Logical
06-17-2007, 10:02 PM
So what kind of match is it when its a civil war is between two native factions (Sunni & Shia), but there's an occupying power (US) stuck in the middle of it waiting for foreigners (AQ) to shoot at them? We make a move against AQ, the civil war continues. AQ makes a move, the civil war continues. Nothing that we do or fail to do will stop the civil war. Nothing AQ does or fails to do will stop the civil war. The Iraqis are going to fight it out amongst each other regardless of what the US or AQ sez or does. If the US and AQ send soldiers into the middle of the conflict, all we can do is die. The presence of the US or AQ is not going to stop the Sunni & Shia from killing each other.

I think it equates to Star Trek Chess.

banyon
06-17-2007, 10:05 PM
That's absolutely right.

George W. Bush has made it abundantly clear that we are to fight the vague concept of Terror.

Once every single person on the planet no longer feels Terror in any way, our troops can rest easy.

just like the next war we will win: the war on jealousy! We will eliminate that from the face of the earth too!

BucEyedPea
06-18-2007, 07:59 AM
and the War on Poverty...the War on Drugs!

patteeu
06-19-2007, 06:12 AM
For my own information, can you provide a link to a Jan 2007 document identifying such explicitly narrow goals?

Fred Kagan's plan, which is the basis for the President's new strategy, can be downloaded from this web page (http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.25396/pub_detail.asp). I'm not sure how to give you a direct link because it's in the form of a javascript popup.

patteeu
06-19-2007, 06:24 AM
And how well did that work out with Fallujah?

I've seen a political cartoon parodying our experience in Fallujah -- a soldier with a shoe whacking the city of Fallujah under its heel. Cockroaches (appropriate metaphors for insurgents) scattered under the shoe and just relocated on other places on the map.

Our surge was completely and utterly inadequate. It was nothing more than a substitute for all the soldiers we've lost to injury and death, to get the number of troops back up to its prewar levels.

To contain a country of 25,000,000 people, you need far more than 150,000 troops. You need at least twice that, maybe half a million troops. Maybe more.

Otherwise, you're left with this deadly game of musical chairs, where I'm sure we'll be reading articles in 12 months about some other place on Iraq's map that we have to squash with a shoe.

I'm not going to argue against the idea that more troops would make the job easier. The keys to our current strategy seem to me to be a combination of political reconciliation to reduce the scope of the insurgency and Iraqi security forces to first supplement US forces and eventually take the lead in the counter-insurgency activities. Neither of these keys have materialized to an adequate degree yet although, as I pointed out in a previous post, there have been hopeful signs here and there such as the decision by some Sunni tribes to turn on al Qaeda.

patteeu
06-19-2007, 06:26 AM
That's absolutely right.

George W. Bush has made it abundantly clear that we are to fight the vague concept of Terror.

Once every single person on the planet no longer feels Terror in any way, our troops can rest easy.

:rolleyes:

Sometimes I think the people who say things like this really believe it. Surely you're not one of them.

Direckshun
06-19-2007, 09:17 AM
The keys to our current strategy seem to me to be a combination of political reconciliation to reduce the scope of the insurgency and Iraqi security forces to first supplement US forces and eventually take the lead in the counter-insurgency activities. Neither of these keys have materialized to an adequate degree yet although, as I pointed out in a previous post, there have been hopeful signs here and there such as the decision by some Sunni tribes to turn on al Qaeda.
"The keys to our current strategy"?

They've been the stated goals of this military since Iraq fell and the insurgency began. It hasn't worked for us in Fallujah. It's likely not going to work for us in Baghdad. We've been doing this for 4 years and we're just spinning our wheels with this glorified game of whack-a-mole.

I'm not a pitch-black pessimist, though. I do see occasional signs of hope, but what's truly heartbreaking is that these signs are still always ass-backwards or mixed victories. We've got Sunnis fighting off Al Qaeda? Fantastic. All we had to do was personally arm them ourselves, and considering that most of them were shooting at us a month ago, that's one rock-solid alliance we've built.

Iraq has turned into the most unequivocably miserable stories of my lifetime. And it's been so poorly managed that we've resorted to arming our enemies to kill off other enemies, with seemingly zero foresight as to who those enemies will shoot at once their enemies are killed off. This madness is enough to kill even the strongest of legacies.

Direckshun
06-19-2007, 09:20 AM
:rolleyes:

Sometimes I think the people who say things like this really believe it. Surely you're not one of them.
There's a part of me that would crave the opportunity to see an alternate universe where this war would have been started and managed by a Democrat.

I'd love to see smart folks like yourself exercise less ideological homerism and unleash some blood-in-the-water logic to point out to those crazy Democratic supporters of this broken-intelligence, civil-war-inducing, wheel-spinning political endeavor, that they're literally doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results -- not to mention repeating history by drowning a powerful empire in a Middle Eastern quagmire.

And we'd see just how seriously you'd take focus-grouped phrases like "War On Terror" at the end of the day.

patteeu
06-19-2007, 04:01 PM
"The keys to our current strategy"?

They've been the stated goals of this military since Iraq fell and the insurgency began. It hasn't worked for us in Fallujah. It's likely not going to work for us in Baghdad. We've been doing this for 4 years and we're just spinning our wheels with this glorified game of whack-a-mole.

I'm not a pitch-black pessimist, though. I do see occasional signs of hope, but what's truly heartbreaking is that these signs are still always ass-backwards or mixed victories. We've got Sunnis fighting off Al Qaeda? Fantastic. All we had to do was personally arm them ourselves, and considering that most of them were shooting at us a month ago, that's one rock-solid alliance we've built.

Iraq has turned into the most unequivocably miserable stories of my lifetime. And it's been so poorly managed that we've resorted to arming our enemies to kill off other enemies, with seemingly zero foresight as to who those enemies will shoot at once their enemies are killed off. This madness is enough to kill even the strongest of legacies.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by bringing up Fallujah in these two posts. What comparison are you trying to make because I don't really see the connection.

Direckshun
06-19-2007, 04:35 PM
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by bringing up Fallujah in these two posts. What comparison are you trying to make because I don't really see the connection.
Pool up some troops and comb the insurgency out of Fallujah.

It worked for Fallujah, but the insurgency intensified in surrounding areas.

Now we pooled up some troops to comb out the insurgency in Baghdad. And it's translated the exact same way.

Doing the same thing, expecting different results. Definition of insanity.

Guarantee we'll be doing this in Najaf in about 12 months.

Ugly Duck
06-19-2007, 08:34 PM
Pool up some troops and comb the insurgency out of Fallujah.

It worked for Fallujah, but the insurgency intensified in surrounding areas.

Now we pooled up some troops to comb out the insurgency in Baghdad. And it's translated the exact same way.

Doing the same thing, expecting different results. Definition of insanity.


Like I said.... Operation Whac-a-Mole all over again....

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61G061HCCDL._AA280_.jpg

patteeu
06-19-2007, 09:47 PM
Pool up some troops and comb the insurgency out of Fallujah.

It worked for Fallujah, but the insurgency intensified in surrounding areas.

Now we pooled up some troops to comb out the insurgency in Baghdad. And it's translated the exact same way.

Doing the same thing, expecting different results. Definition of insanity.

Guarantee we'll be doing this in Najaf in about 12 months.

Fallujah was a Sunni dominated town of comparatively little importance. Baghdad is a city of mixed ethnicity that is by far the largest urban center in the country and it's the seat of government. Bringing security to Fallujah was both easier and far less strategically valuable than bringing security to Baghdad.

If we are doing the same thing in Najaf in 12 months after succeeding in Baghdad, we will be in great shape.

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 08:57 AM
Fallujah was a Sunni dominated town of comparatively little importance. Baghdad is a city of mixed ethnicity that is by far the largest urban center in the country and it's the seat of government. Bringing security to Fallujah was both easier and far less strategically valuable than bringing security to Baghdad.

If we are doing the same thing in Najaf in 12 months after succeeding in Baghdad, we will be in great shape.
The different size and scope of the operations doesn't disguise the fact that they're the exact same strategy, executed to the exact same result.

But you seem to be okay with that, because you think the results have been good.

It's not. We're going to comb through some other city in about 6 to 12 months, and then another, and then another, and then we'll realize that we're having to comb through cities we combed just 12 months ago but didn't have the numbers to maintain.

It's already happened. Baghdad's been combed over several times.

The solution? It's possible it's out there somewhere, but I don't think we're going to find it in our time in Iraq, and I definitely don't think we're going to find it with this administration.

Radar Chief
06-20-2007, 09:03 AM
Maybe we just need a catch phrase that embodies the partisan talking points while ignoring obvious differences in strategy and allowing partisan ideologues to high-five after parroting it. Like “operation whack-a-mole”. :shrug:

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 09:06 AM
Maybe we just need a catch phrase that embodies the partisan talking points while ignoring obvious differences in strategy and allowing partisan ideologues to high-five after parroting it. Like “operation whack-a-mole”. :shrug:
Maybe we need different results for a change and perhaps the miserable nicknames will end.

Radar Chief
06-20-2007, 09:07 AM
Maybe we need different results for a change and perhaps the miserable nicknames will end.

Or simple recognition of what’s going on, I’d think that’d to it also. :shrug:

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Or simple recognition of what’s going on, I’d think that’d to it also. :shrug:
I like my suggestion better as it would actually improve things on the ground in a country we're trying to control.

Radar Chief
06-20-2007, 09:12 AM
I like my suggestion better as it would actually improve things on the ground in a country we're trying to control.

It assumes you would get reports of the differences, or that you’d even read them.

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 09:17 AM
It assumes you would get reports of the differences, or that you’d even read them.
God damn, if we did do all that, and I did read them, I'd laminate the print out and wear them around my neck like a disco chain.

Radar Chief
06-20-2007, 09:26 AM
God damn, if we did do all that, and I did read them, I'd laminate the print out and wear them around my neck like a disco chain.

The differences are out there in print, though you won’t read much about them in the MSM. It’s obvious, though, since you keep repeating this “Fallujah, same as it ever was” mantra that you have no interest in recognizing clear differences.

patteeu
06-20-2007, 11:37 AM
The different size and scope of the operations doesn't disguise the fact that they're the exact same strategy, executed to the exact same result.

But you seem to be okay with that, because you think the results have been good.

It's not. We're going to comb through some other city in about 6 to 12 months, and then another, and then another, and then we'll realize that we're having to comb through cities we combed just 12 months ago but didn't have the numbers to maintain.

It's already happened. Baghdad's been combed over several times.

The solution? It's possible it's out there somewhere, but I don't think we're going to find it in our time in Iraq, and I definitely don't think we're going to find it with this administration.

You're wrong. It's not the exact same strategy. One specific difference is the commitment this time to hold/maintain the areas that the current approach clears. Your apparent reduction of the current strategy to a simple increase in troop numbers is not a fair characterization, IMO.

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 11:37 PM
The differences are out there in print, though you won’t read much about them in the MSM. It’s obvious, though, since you keep repeating this “Fallujah, same as it ever was” mantra that you have no interest in recognizing clear differences.
And you're refusing to recognize the basic similarities.

It's called adjusting the scope of the issue to satisfy your POV. Not necessarily a new tactic, but one that's nonetheless beneathe you.

Direckshun
06-20-2007, 11:50 PM
You're wrong. It's not the exact same strategy. One specific difference is the commitment this time to hold/maintain the areas that the current approach clears. Your apparent reduction of the current strategy to a simple increase in troop numbers is not a fair characterization, IMO.
We've been trying to hold and maintain Baghdad with a higher-than-normal troop level since we knocked down the Saddam statue.

But I know there are a lot of intricacies of an occupation that vary the situation on the ground from day to day, and our military is a modern-age fighting force capable of changing on an hourly basis -- this ain't your forefather's minutemen, that's for sure.

But for all the tactical manuvers that have been executed by the dozens of men that have been asked to remedy this occupation, it's phenomenal how consistent the results have been. And part of the reason is that we simply aren't able to adjust adequately to just about anything, ever. An overwhelmed and overworked military doesn't have a lot of options in its playbook to begin with.

I advocate major, incredibly impossible change. More troops. Actual functional PR campaigns, both legit and propagandha. A wholehearted effort to actually assimilate our troops to Iraqi culture and a working understanding of basic Farsi so it's not like we're occupying another goddamn planet. So on and so forth. 'Cause tweaking the playbook isn't bringing about any significant improvements, and the successes we have seen have been cockeyed or mixed victories to begin with.

It's clear the changes needed to control this country, build it, and prevent a civil war will not be provided by this President or any future administration. If that isn't enough of a clue to pull out now, I'm not sure what else you reasonably need.

Radar Chief
06-21-2007, 06:46 AM
And you're refusing to recognize the basic similarities.

It's called adjusting the scope of the issue to satisfy your POV. Not necessarily a new tactic, but one that's nonetheless beneathe you.

The different size and scope of the operations doesn't disguise the fact that they're the exact same strategy, executed to the exact same result.

Since you fail to acknowledge, or even recognize, the inaccuracy of this statement, I’m not all that worried about what you think is “beneath me”.

BucEyedPea
06-21-2007, 07:35 AM
4 + years in Iraq = control of 1/3 of a city

Only reason Anbar is turning around, is because the Sunni's are now going after them too. Not from the surge.

Ugly Duck
06-21-2007, 07:42 AM
Maybe we just need a catch phrase that embodies the partisan talking points while ignoring obvious differences in strategy and allowing partisan ideologues to high-five after parroting it. Like “operation whack-a-mole”. :shrug:

Then you should become a Republican. The catchy catch-phrase has been the basis of WH communication since Karl Rove got his alcove in the Oval Office. Stay the course, the way forward, etc, etc, etc...

Ugly Duck
06-21-2007, 07:46 AM
assimilate our troops to Iraqi culture and a working understanding of basic Farsi so it's not like we're occupying another goddamn planet.

Farsi is what the Persians in Iran speak. Don't the Arabs in Iraq speak Arabic?

Radar Chief
06-21-2007, 08:19 AM
Then you should become a Republican. The catchy catch-phrase has been the basis of WH communication since Karl Rove got his alcove in the Oval Office. Stay the course, the way forward, etc, etc, etc...

“I know you are but what am I”? :spock: I’d claim this argument to be “beneath you”, but you know, not so much. ;)

Ugly Duck
06-21-2007, 08:35 AM
“I know you are but what am I”? :spock: I’d claim this argument to be “beneath you”, but you know, not so much. ;)Aw c'mon now.... BushCo has been spewing slogans like they're on Viagra:

Mushroom Cloud

Freedom is on the March

It's Hard Work

We're Making Progress

Turned the Corner

Stay the Course

When Iraqis Stand up, We'll Stand Down

The Way Forward

Blah

Blah

Blah

Radar Chief
06-21-2007, 08:39 AM
Aw c'mon now.... BushCo has been spewing slogans like they're on Viagra:

Mushroom Cloud

Freedom is on the March

It's Hard Work

We're Making Progress

Turned the Corner

Stay the Course

When Iraqis Stand up, We'll Stand Down

The Way Forward

Blah

Blah

Blah

Well yea, and that, like, never happened before “Bushco, Cheneyburton” came along. ROFL

BucEyedPea
06-21-2007, 08:48 AM
I see RadarCon is resorting to his nervous Nelly use of laughing smileys again and debating like a 5 year old.

Radar Chief
06-21-2007, 08:51 AM
I see RadarCon is resorting to his nervous Nelly use of laughing smileys again and debating like a 5 year old.

Yea, and I’m, like, the only one doing that.
Or so your obsession with me would have you believe. :hmmm:

BucEyedPea
06-21-2007, 08:55 AM
Yea, and I’m, like, the only one doing that.
Or so your obsession with me would have you believe. :hmmm:
Sometimes you initiate, other times you don't. So what?
PS I'm not obsessed with you. I've given you the last word the last three go arounds, at least even though you project that I wanted it.

Radar Chief
06-21-2007, 09:04 AM
Sometimes you initiate, other times you don't. So what?

I’m responding to UD in a similar way to how he posted. Oddly you don’t castigate him for the same type of behavior. :hmmm:

PS I'm not obsessed with you.

Right, that’s why you don’t follow me from topic to topic picking at whatever you think will gain you some leverage while ignoring others using the exact same tactics.

I've given you the last word the last three go arounds, at least even though you project that I wanted it.

Wow, you actually keep track of that sorta thing? :eek: But your not obsessed, right? :shrug:

patteeu
06-21-2007, 03:00 PM
4 + years in Iraq = control of 1/3 of a city

Only reason Anbar is turning around, is because the Sunni's are now going after them too. Not from the surge.

The Sunnis are going after them now, in part, because of our change in strategy. Instead of reaching out primarily to religious leaders or not reaching out at all, we've been actively courting tribal leaders who have previously been inclined to work with the insurgency or stand on the sidelines.

BucEyedPea
06-21-2007, 03:39 PM
The Sunnis are going after them now, in part, because of our change in strategy. Instead of reaching out primarily to religious leaders or not reaching out at all, we've been actively courting tribal leaders who have previously been inclined to work with the insurgency or stand on the sidelines.
Maybe that's why, we started working with alQaeda awhile back: part of a black ops to get them to switch their allegiances? Just a thought.

I'm not absolutely certain, it's our change in stategy that came first though, or if we seized the opportunity of their changed sentiment and then worked with it.I'll have to check out my impeccably accurate sources to see if this is date coincident to the surge over at antiwar.com. :p

Ugly Duck
06-22-2007, 07:14 AM
The Sunnis are going after them now, in part, because of our change in strategy. Instead of reaching out primarily to religious leaders or not reaching out at all, we've been actively courting tribal leaders who have previously been inclined to work with the insurgency or stand on the sidelines.

Sunnis going after AQ & other foreign jihadists doesn't neccessarily mean that they are on our side. Its not a polyannic "us & the Iraqis vs AQ" situation. Instead, there's an ugly mix of various groups hating each other more than they "love democracy." And most of them want to kill us regardless of how they feel about one another.

go bowe
06-22-2007, 01:12 PM
Yea, and I’m, like, the only one doing that.
Or so your obsession with me would have you believe. :hmmm:radarcon?

you and neverous nellie in a grocery cart? ...er i mean in the same sentence, is a little hard to picture...

but most of the moonbat loony toons that come out of that pea-brained badgirl-clone is a little hard to picture too...

go bowe
06-22-2007, 01:42 PM
The Sunnis are going after them now, in part, because of our change in strategy. Instead of reaching out primarily to religious leaders or not reaching out at all, we've been actively courting tribal leaders who have previously been inclined to work with the insurgency or stand on the sidelines.you're absolutely 1000% entirely right about this...

it seems so simple, but the policy makers haven't figured it out yet...

when you invade and occupy a country which has tribal rule in many areas, you might want to talk to the tribal leaders and try to enlist their support against the common enemy, aq in irac...

like within the first 3 or 4 years ! ! !

ChiefaRoo
06-23-2007, 01:35 AM
This thread title is dumb. Our guys just started attacking late this week. I guarantee you the bad guys who aren't hiding or running away are dying at a profound rate in comparison to any deaths we are taking.

Ugly Duck
06-23-2007, 08:27 AM
I guarantee you the bad guys who aren't hiding or running away are dying at a profound rate in comparison to any deaths we are taking.That reminds me of a line from Woody Allen's "Love and Death." Just before the Russians went to battle against Napoleon, an officer explained the battle to his young troops:

"I we kill more French, we win.
If they kill more Russian, they win."

Sounds like we're winning in Iraq. Staying the course is hard work, but we're making progress. Now that we've turned the corner, freedom is on the march. The insurgency is in its last throes as we continue the way forward.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 10:59 AM
Maybe that's why, we started working with alQaeda awhile back...

Link? Or elaboration? You aren't talking about Bosnia here are you?

I'm not absolutely certain, it's our change in stategy that came first though, or if we seized the opportunity of their changed sentiment and then worked with it.I'll have to check out my impeccably accurate sources to see if this is date coincident to the surge over at antiwar.com. :p

:) :LOL:

patteeu
06-23-2007, 11:01 AM
Sunnis going after AQ & other foreign jihadists doesn't neccessarily mean that they are on our side. Its not a polyannic "us & the Iraqis vs AQ" situation. Instead, there's an ugly mix of various groups hating each other more than they "love democracy." And most of them want to kill us regardless of how they feel about one another.

No, you're right that it doesn't. However, in this case, they are clearly cooperating with us as opposed to independently acting against a shared enemy.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 11:05 AM
you're absolutely 1000% entirely right about this...

it seems so simple, but the policy makers haven't figured it out yet...

when you invade and occupy a country which has tribal rule in many areas, you might want to talk to the tribal leaders and try to enlist their support against the common enemy, aq in irac...

like within the first 3 or 4 years ! ! !

Yes, it appears that this was a flaw in our original approach. Fortunately, our "stay the course" perseverance was never as rigidly inflexible as it's detractors tried to claim. Hopefully we will continue to learn from our past mistakes.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 11:07 AM
That reminds me of a line from Woody Allen's "Love and Death." Just before the Russians went to battle against Napoleon, an officer explained the battle to his young troops:

"I we kill more French, we win.
If they kill more Russian, they win."

Sounds like we're winning in Iraq. Staying the course is hard work, but we're making progress. Now that we've turned the corner, freedom is on the march. The insurgency is in its last throes as we continue the way forward.

Now you're talking! :)