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We have created a hotbed of threat in Iraq.  Call it whatever you will, the debate is over, the situation is "grave and deteriorating."  We went to fight the terrorist there so we would not have to fight them here, and instead created a magnet, attracting terrorist who want to learn how to fight the US.  What do we do now?  We are left with only a few options.

We can, as some have suggested, follow the pattern of Vietnam, increase the troop levels, and watch the death count rise exponentially.  I, however, want to see Americans stop dying (what a fucking liberal right?).  We can also just split, pull out our troops and pray to whatever god you pray to that the terrorist we leave wont show up at our doorstep a decade later.  Or we can revisit what may have been one of the only successful tactics from the cold war; containment.

The tactic of containment is most widely attributed to George F. Kennan.  In 1947, Kennan, "With the publication in Foreign Affairs of ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct,’...introduced the term ‘containment’ to the world." (John Levis Gaddis, "Strategies of Containment" p.26)  This was the plan of the Cold War.  A plan that called for patience and competence.  A plan that took into account, not only goals, but capabilities.  This administration has proven incapable of understanding this interaction between desires and capabilities.  

So how does containment relate to Iraq?  Obviously I am not talking about this in the same sense as the Cold War.  Back then, the object was to prevent the Soviets from extending their spheres of power and influence.  The threat we face now from Iraq is the insurgents that have had years to fight the US.  They hate us more than before, and they have a far greater understanding of our strategies.  This is certainly a group of people whose influence we want to contain.  How do we do that?

Most importantly, we need to control the Iraqi borders.  We cannot allow insurgents to make their way out of Iraq.  However, this containment has to go farther than just physical movement.  We have to dampen their communication abilities as well.  There have already been reports of Iraqi insurgency tactics showing up in Afghanistan.  Our technological advantage when it comes to communication gives us an advantage on this. This strategy not only would allow us to withdraw troops from the cities and relocate them along heavily fortified areas at the borders.  It also calls for a redeployment of all aspects of our strategy.

Aside from containing the insurgency that threatens our security, we can also focus on containing external influences from Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc...  Our nation should absolutely want as much of the world as possible to take part in correcting the Iraq problem, but only in a way that is transparent and cooperative.  If external actors are funneling weapons, money, or soldiers into Iraq, the only way we can attack that is to lock the borders down.

Some may argue that containment is an old strategy for an old enemy.  In part, you are right.  Our enemies have evolved, and our strategies must follow suit.  However, throwing out an idea because it was used in the past is not acceptable.  We can adapt the once used strategies of containment to the new threats of today.

Originally posted to Rusty5329 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 02:31 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is this snark? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasbobbo, GreyHawk, Owllwoman

    You don't really believe we went to Iraq to fight the terrorists there so as not to fight them here?We went to steal their oil, and we're now building 14 big permanent bases to keep watch over it.

    The US does not face any threat from the insurgents in Iraq - they're Iraqis who simply want their country not to be occupied by a foreign invader (us, just in case your wondering). The last thing the insurgents (= the old Iraqi army, that we treated like shit and reneged on our deals with it, morphed into a resistance) has no intention whatsoever of invading our country, they just want to kick us out of their country.

    I'm for containment all right - the containment of US forces within the US, and not sending them on crazy neocolonial adventures to steal other countries' resources.

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

    by Lepanto on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 02:38:16 PM PST

    •  I don't think this is a snark (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Maybe a troll??????????????????????????????????????

      •  Not a troll. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Tho some of his speech is not as articulate as usual, hence the confusion.

        I think some of who he's referring to as terrorists are folks who are just helping the insurgents fight off the invaders (us).

        The whole concept of containment, however, applies to several important areas, namely:

        1. Preventing border crossings of weapons, ammo, drugs, money and personnel (either direction)
        2. Ensuring adequate coverage and protection of troops, supplies, etc. from any "in and out" strike teams
        3. Providing secure borders and a foundation for Iraq's own army to "stand up" to the task of guarding their nation upon our withdrawal
        4. Protecting our butts as we withdraw, whenever that is.

        That's why containment is important, and those reasons don't touch on the strategy and tactics of why established secure borders allow better search and rescue, recon, etc.

        Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
          Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
        Tempest even in reason's seat.

        by GreyHawk on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:15:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  contain what? the "us against them" ideology? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or the tactic of terror?

    "step on the gas & wipe that tear away..." - the beatles

    by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 02:44:12 PM PST

    •  In response to both of you... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Lepanto - What I believe about why we went to war there does not matter, it does not change what we are told.  If that is why we went there, and no I don't believe it is, we certainly failed.  We also attracted terrorist from outside Iraq to the nation.  These terrorist have infiltrated parts of the insurgency, though they certainly are not the majority.  You are right that the majority there just want us to leave them alone.  And these insurgents do not threaten us.  But the terrorists that we brought there and would be leaving there are a threat to us.  And the most dangerous threat is one that knows who you are and what you do.  That is a real threat, unlike Saddam.  And I do not believe in "crazy neocolonial adventures," like this one has been.  I do believe in cleaning up messes I make.  I do believe we made a mess, and with our Democrats regaining control, I want to see bold action taken to clean up after this infantile administration.

      Rasbobbo – To answer you; sort of.  Tactics that were evolved by the Iraqi insurgency fighting our forces were taught to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.  More importantly than containing tactics, is containing the connectedness of terrorist in Iraq, that we trained to fight us more efficiently, with the rest of the world.  The country has widely accepted the utter incompetence of this debacle, it is time to start fixing it.

  •  bush uses terror as a tactic so I would (1+ / 0-)
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    think that the Iraq Peoples have learned terror quite well.  Then remember the peoples of Fallugah that were burned alive by us.  I think that Iraq has a lot to offer any religious nuts out there.

  •  Containment does cause harm to the people (1+ / 0-)
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    of the Country involved.  I am against it as a policy.  I would love the World to put us in containment for a long time.  Think of it-no more wars.  We have most everything we need here to survive.  Oil might be tight but we could get by if we started producing ethonal.

    •  I ask you this... (1+ / 0-)
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      ...would the harm done to the Iraqi's because of a containment strategy really be worse then the harm being done to them now and for the last three years.  If we get our troops out of the cities and away from the civilians the violence directed at us comes with us.  I am not talking about perfect, I am talking about improvement.

    •  Who's happier? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Russians or the Iraqis?

      If saving everyone was on the table I'd vote for it, otherwise I'll take the best we've got and I haven't seen a better option than containment.

  •  The containment strategy is being used at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the borders between US and Mexico ...

  •  Rusty, I thought your title meant containment of (0+ / 0-)

    Bush, Cheney and their locking 'em in the WH restroom without a key for a few days while the FBI conducts an investigation into their various and sundry crimes.


    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:17:16 PM PST

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