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View Diary: Joementum in Iraq (144 comments)

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  •  Not to be troll rated- but are the (none)
    Iraqi ground troops ready?
    •  Probably not, but... (none)
      ...There's absolutely no reason to think they ever will be. In all likelihood, things are only going to get worse for the Iraqi government. At this point, the two main options are Korea or Vietnem: stay there essentially forever (only with active insurgency as oppose to an armistice) or leave and allow the inevitable to occur. Militarily, the former option simply isn't realistic; we're going to run out of troops soon, and - whereas in Korea we could negotitate a stable if tense armistice - our soldiers on the ground are going to continue to die indefinitely.

      "Say what you will about Bill Clinton, we never had to worry about whether he had gone crazy." - John Aravosis

      by Ben Grimm on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:40:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are right (none)
        You are exactly right.  And this is what is scary.  This is going to be a fact that that fascist president cannot and will not swallow.  Or for that matter, that torture-loving Mussolini wannabe Cheney
    •  No, they're probably not. (4.00)
      However, I also suspect that as long as our troops are there to take most of the flak and do most of the work their level-of-effort and willingness to put forth 100% is diminished.  

      I believe that if they're given a timetable on which we're leaving the "oh, shit" factor will kick in and they will improve.  Also, more of the old Iraqi army may come out, too, so they don't have to be working under US command.

      I try to view this from the perspective of "how would I feel if another country came in to the US and removed an unlawfully elected ruler from our government, then stuck around and screwed things up."

      •  Funny (none)
        Republicans are so into personal responsibility and accountability when it comes to the poor in this country, but when it comes to the Iraqis, they'll coddle them for as long as it takes. Make the Iraqis stand up for themselves!
    •  I don't see (none)
      a poorly trained, ridden with ethnic strife and compromised Iraqi military force to ever militarily replace 150,000 well-trained US/Allied troops and state of the art military equipment.
      •  you're absolutely right (none)
        How is the Iraqi army supposed to level a city the size of Fallujah on their own?

        "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
        -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

        by Leggy Starlitz on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:46:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •   a little story... (none)

        There was a fox chasing a rabbit, and the rabbit got away. When the fox was asked why he couldn't catch his quarry, he replied "I was only running for my supper, he was running for his life."

        The same thing applies here. The iraqi military will be fighting for their country, for the chance to actually have a decent place to live. They will fight very hard, when it comes down to it, or they won't, and they will reap the rewards either way.

        It is unlikely the insurgents will be as gung-ho about killing Iraqis as they are about killing US troops. In addition, the modern weaponry isn't very useful in urban combat. The result of all these thigns is that the Iraqi forces can probably do fairly well on their own, though it will surely be a bumpy ride.

        In either case, they were given a chance, now they need to seize it, or they will return from whence they came. That, is the end result of this little exercise.

        •  However, we are not training (none)
          Iraqi armies, we are training Iraqi militias. Shiites are not going to fight for Kurds and vice-versa. They'll fight for their regions in a divided Iraq. Problem with your analysis is that you are dividing parties into 3 groups-

          1. US/International troops.
          2. Iraqi Army.

             with 1 and 2 aligned against the 3.

             The actual alignment is-

          1. US/International troops.
          2. Kurdish/Peshmerga.
          3. Shiite forces-
             a) sadr's militias
             b) AlBadr and allied militias.

          1. Ba'athists.
          2. Al-Qaeda elements.

               1) is allied with 2) and 3). The alliance between 2) and 3) is very shaky. Sadr has absolutely no love for Kurds. None. 4) and 5) are allied together. The dynamics are wholly different than what you implied. Shiites and Kurd forces won't get ANY support in Sunni areas and likewise for Ba'athists in Northern and Southern Iraq. If it was simply Iraqi forces and people versus insurgents dream scenario, I might agree with you but ground reality is very different.


          •  I like your analysis... (none)
            here is the abbreviated plan and analysis I put forward last week. What do you think?

            Daily Kos

            the problem is that the Shiia are basically in control and the Sunni's don't feel like they have a stake in the government.

            Furthermore, you have the Syrians training and funding the insurgency, because they fear that a Shiia dominated Iraq aligned with Iran will overrun them in the future.

            In my view, the only way to create a half-way stable Iraq is to talk the Shiia into letting some Bathists into the government and to find a way to get the Sunni's greater representation in the government.

            Furthermore, it would be helpful if other countries like Saudi Arabia would participate in brokering a deal.

            Finally, the reason why there are so many people willing to support the insurgency or join the opposition is because they have been tortured or a family member tortured by US troops or a family member killed at a checkpoint or suffered some other form of indignity. Raw story ran a great story on this last week.

            If we are to encourage lawful behaviour and promote justice and the rule of law we ourselves must lead by example and adhere to the rule of law and act in a proper way and that means strictly adhering to the Geneva Conventions.
            Long-standing army regulations required adherence to the third convention for enemy soldiers and we should honor the protections found in the conventions.

            Furthermore, we need to try to turn checkpoints over to Iraq's and reduce our presence as much as possible and we need to bring in other middle eastern countries to try to help stablize the country as well.

            The problem I see is that we have lost the moral high ground as militias are doing their own thing and no one is really adhering to the rule of law and we have lost some credibility with the new government.

            We might be able to turn the situation around but "staying the course" is not going to get it done. It seems to me that Bush is so stubborn that he would rather go down in flames than make proper changes that would increase the probability of success. Sending out talking points to the right wing disinformation machine to scream about Dems wanting to "cut and run" does not do anything to move the debate forward.

            One other thing; I would like to see the administration support Abdul Mahdi for Prime Minister instead of that rat Chalabi. From what I have read I think Mahdi is best suited to bring everyone together. Just my observation from a distance.

            "When the government fears the people, that is Liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

            by RichardG on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 06:40:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  That's a good question. (none)
      No troll rate from me.  I don't think there has ever been an objective assessment of the Iraqi forces' ability to handle PX runs, let alone anything serious.  We've all been kept in the dark.  The best the real trolls can offer is conjecture from somebody over at World Nut Daily or some similar RW rumor mill.  If anyone has better information than I do (which is next to nothing), I'd be happy to hear it.
    •  No but... (none)
      Everyone is ready for combat when they can call in Willie Pete to eliminate their enemies at a moments notice.  
    •  what lieberman said (none)
      Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to "lead the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that that number should double by next year. If that happens, American military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to come.

      I have no idea if this is true.
      •  Shia militia will then use US air power . . (none)
        . . to call in airstrikes on their opponents in the ongoing Iraqi civil war.  So the Iran-backed Shia militia should be able to win most battles when US air power is used to destroy anyone they want to target.  Once they're dead, they are then immediately identified as "terrorists" just like the US does now.

        So US air power will essentially be directed from Iran once the "Iraqization" of the war is completed in 2007 or whenever the Bushite scum want to pretend that they have "won" this illegal war on a small country that posed no serious threat to the US.

        •  Seymour Hersh writes about this... (none)
 an excellent article in this week's New Yorker.

          It's interesting to me that Repubs have always raised tremendous hell about the possibility of our troops being under UN command (in Kosovo etc.), but in this case we may well end up in a situation where our airstrikes are being called in by Iraqis.

          •  Indeed Sy does write about this... (none)
            he says quite a bit more on the issue of US air strikes directed by Iraquis.

            For one thing, US air force generals are really, really, really (yes, really!) against this.

            Can you imagine the fallout of a missle launched from a US plane that was targeted on the ground by Iraqui forces... and the target turned out to be some hospital where "opposition" forces were holed up?

            The use of US air power directed by Iraqui generals is not going to happen... I hope.

      •  Isn't it amazing how fast the Iraqi army (none)
        has gotten to be self-sufficient?  A month or so ago, a general said that only one or two divisions were ready!  (I don't remember the general, otherwise I'd link it.)
    •  Do you mean Iraqi troops or Shia troops? (none)
      There is no Iraq, only Kurdistan, Sumer and the Sunnis.
    •  Ready for what? (none)
      In terms of combat training, they will eventually learn. But, a bigger issue is their allegiance. I don't know to what authority they will report.

      The still larger issue is the direction of the country.  Let's assume the elected government manages to stabilize the country, with representatives of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds participating. I have no idea where that coutry will be headed. Is it a good idea that the country will have a functional, cohesive army, right next to Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? In order to police the development there, Ameria is likely to have to have permanent military presence, and this is the best case.

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