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Many colonial wars end badly.   Here are a few bad endings:

1) Columns of retreating colonial forces cut to pieces by vengeful locals. examples: first Afghan War.   Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. 6th Army in Stalingrad.  

2) Colonial army trapped in garrison and slaughtered or surrender.  examples:  Dien Bien Phu. Khartoum.  Al Kut.  

3) strong Colonial army assault  a local stronghold and are bloodily defeated.  examples: Teutoberg Forest.   Battle of New Orleans.  The shocked imperial power settles for a defeat.

what then will happen in Iraq as the US is finally defeated as now seems probable?

Because the US has massive airpower, a retreating army could get out without being slaughtered or forced into a humiating surrender.  The perimeter of any isolated  garrison could be defended as well.  Airpower scatters the forces that could concentrate to overrun a US base.  

   Case three is the most likely outcome.  The intransigent nature of the Bush admin will I think, demand one last set piece battle in Iraq.   Some proof that the US remains master of the field of battle in the conventional sense.  A victory to have before the negotiated end, one last gamble.  A single city to be beseiged and obliterated.    I think the US will be bloodily repulsed when this battle occurs.   The Iraqis will dig in and show what they are capable of and the US will bow and exit.

Case three has arguably happened already.  Iraq bore the full brunt of the US Army in a set piece assault and has amazingly continued fighting longer than Germany and  Japan  in WW2.     But Bush will require one last show of phoney dominance before the war is finally settled.  A section of Sadr city or a small Suni city around baghdad will be singled out and the end game will play itself out.  

Originally posted to Salo on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 06:34 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

    very interesting dairy. I hope Bush, Cheney, Rumesfeld, and Rice pay for this.

  •  what I'm afraid of is that before we leave Iraq, (0+ / 0-)

    as we inevitably shall sooner or later, we'll stain ourselves with a couple of real massacres (easy to do almost without thinking, from the air), just out of spite - it would be very Bushian

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 11:01:23 PM PST

  •  Haven't given much thought to this... (0+ / 0-)

    But your description is probably solid.  Bush won't give up without a fight, and remember Nixon said we would leave VIet Nam "Like a cowboy out of the saloon, with both guns blazing..."  Of course it didn't turn out that way, but I think that is how Bush sees it.  So, the only questions is who is going to get it?  Somehow, I don't think it will be the Sunnis.  My bet is on Sadr city.  Maybe try to take out Moqtada as a two-fer.  God help us...

    "Truth, justice and the American way."

    by Sourmash on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 12:40:05 AM PST

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