Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 12/2/2007 9:56:40 AM EDT
I'm writing a paper on maintaining troop presence in Iraq, and I needed some help coming up with good reasons for it. I have some, but I have no doubt overlooked a few because my brain is fried from driving home from Atlanta all night. So, if you guys would be kind enough to post the reasons you think we should stay there, that would be great. If you can support them, that is even better.

Also, since i know we have a number of Ron Paul supporters here, if you don't support maintaining troop presence overseas, PLEASE don't post here. I'm trying to write a paper, not start a political debate.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:06:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenQ:
I'm writing a paper on maintaining troop presence in Iraq, and I needed some help coming up with good reasons for it. I have some, but I have no doubt overlooked a few because my brain is fried from driving home from Atlanta all night. So, if you guys would be kind enough to post the reasons you think we should stay there, that would be great. If you can support them, that is even better.

Also, since i know we have a number of Ron Paul supporters here, if you don't support maintaining troop presence overseas, PLEASE don't post here. I'm trying to write a paper, not start a political debate.


This guy pretty much hits the nail on the head:

denbeste.nu/essays/strategic_overview.shtml

And the ARF thread it comes from is right here:

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=77&t=644096

Just ignore the Paulistinians in that thread, and you'll be fine...
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:14:16 AM EDT

The IA is still pretty far away from independent capacity in some key areas. While we might not be kicking down doors in Sadr city, the Iraqis will still our "back office" type help.

Intelligence. I don't have an optic on what Iraqi capabilities are, or ours for that matter. I would venture to guess that on the technical side, we have an edge over Iraqi capabilities.

Airlift/CAS. The IAF is still in its formative stages. Also, for the foreseeable future, development will focus on forces for COIN missions like observation/assualt/theater lift/training vice integrated EW/strike/tanking packages of a modern AF.

Medical. Our combat medical is undoubtably the best in the world, at this point. We definitely owe our Iraqi allies some help in this matter. Plus, selfishly, it does maintain the skills and experienced cadre we've built up over the past few years.

Heavy logistics. Iraqis don't have the infrastructure to import and distribute the bulk beans, bullets and POL that a modern Army needs. Of all the critical defiecencies, this is probably the least critical, i.e. the Iraqis are getting the hang of this. But I'm not a logistician, either.

Force Protection. You've got all these nurses, airplanes, and intel geeks in Iraq. They need people to man the gate. Patrol areas. Rescue trapped forces. They need air support, and air cover. Air cover requires tanking and maintenance and ammo troops.
TCNs to run DFACs. Mail troops. Construction troops. Etc, etc. etc.

So you see, you start with a minimalist idea for a footprint, and suddenly it grows.

Like anything else, its a tradeoff. A small force for force protection duties limits its role as a QRF. Intel geeks need to eat, too, so you need DFACs. All of sudden, a sprawling tent city develops, and your orginal small FP unit is overwhelmed trying to protect a small city, when it planned for a hamlet.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:20:52 AM EDT
Thanks a lot guys, those links were very helpful dave, and some of what you said made good sense screechjet, but I don't understand much of the military terminology, what does it mean?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:27:35 AM EDT

IA=Iraqi Army
CAS=Close Air Support. Aircraft shooting bad guys on the ground in support of friendly troops.
IAF=Iraqi Air Force...also not to be confused with the Israel Air Force, of slightly higher capability.
COIN=Counter Insurgency. Fighting insurgents. Used to be known a Low Intensity Warfare, unitl everyone understood what a lie that was.
EW=electronic warfare. Combat in the electronic spectrum. Jamming of radios type stuff.
POL=Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants. Stuff that helps machines go.
TCN=Third Country Nationals. Anyone not Iraqi or by usage not integral to MultiNationalForces-Iraq (US, BRIT, Poles, etc.) Turkish truckdrivers and Pakistani cooks.
DFAC=Dining Facility
QRF=Quick Reaction Forces. Troops used a fire brigade mode, to react to tactical emergencies.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:37:57 AM EDT
Don't forget the maritime side of things.

No one can match our capacity to protect vital interests at sea (tankers and other merchant ships), near shore (oil platforms), on shore (port facilities), and inshore (smaller terminals, cities, villages, etc.)

We owe it to the Iraqis to pass on that knowledge and experience. We have been doing a lot of training, but it isn't something you pick up overnight. It can take years to field a full-fledged maritime force or forces capable of protecting all of those assets.

We can help provide some equipment, as well as help them find other equipment.

We also need to maintain the security presence around all those assets while training the Iraqis. It can get very manpower intensive when you combine those two missions.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:53:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenQ:
Thanks a lot guys, those links were very helpful dave, and some of what you said made good sense screechjet, but I don't understand much of the military terminology, what does it mean?


Post a list of the ones you need translated, we'll do it...


Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:54:51 AM EDT
Screechjet pretty much took care of it, but thanks anyway
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 11:08:26 AM EDT
you also have to account for the fact that a considerable number of IA/IP providing the security in iraq are completely dirty themselves. the government has to be up and running at full speed before it can start weeding out the force.

i watch firefights between AIF and iraqi forces 3-4 times a day from only a couple hundred meters out. a lot of them are pretty hardened fighters, but they still lack the training and equipment to give the ones that are on the ball and honest a chance at complete success. it takes time, but its coming.

infrastructure is rebuilding and people are starting to resume their lives. it is a task we can definately accomplish, but things move a lot slower here than in the rest of the world, a lot of people dont understand that.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 11:51:30 AM EDT
To Dave A, or anyone with a good answer,

Do we have any solid sources of what the USS Clueless guy is saying about "Reform in the Middle East" or "Iraq as the Model of reform"?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:27:34 PM EDT
I'm flattered that someone thought it worthwhile to link to my "Strategic Overview". Thank you.

But there was a different post I made which more directly addresses this question:

http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/10/No-exitVictorystrategy.shtml

It explains why I think we'll have a substantial force (about two infantry divisions) in Iraq for the next 30 years. (Or at least, why we should, though what will happen if Hillary is elected is anybody's guess.)
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:33:58 PM EDT
Because we want a return on our investment. Is there any other reason?
Pulling out now would be the equivalent of dropping millions on a start up business and then throwing your stocks in the street and walking away.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:37:11 PM EDT

I'm flattered that someone thought it worthwhile to link to my "Strategic Overview". Thank you.

But there was a different post I made which more directly addresses this question:

http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/10/No-exitVictorystrategy.shtml

It explains why I think we'll have a substantial force (about two infantry divisions) in Iraq for the next 30 years. (Or at least, why we should, though what will happen if Hillary is elected is anybody's guess.)



First, welcome to the board. USS Clueless is a pretty good blog.

Hillary is already hedging her bet on Iraq with "Consult with the Generals/Timeline for Withdrawl" strategy. Well, that sounds an awful lot like the W line.

Hillary isn't writing any checks on the campaign that she'll have to cash as POTUS. The funny thing was that, up until recently no one else on the Democratic side was calling her out on it.

Make no mistake, the war is the central issue to the decisive core of Dem voters. They are starting to get the feel that there won't be any hanging off the skids of helicopters withdrawl from Iraq under Hillary, and the defections are starting.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:54:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Make no mistake, the war is the central issue to the decisive core of Dem voters. They are starting to get the feel that there won't be any hanging off the skids of helicopters withdrawl from Iraq under Hillary, and the defections are starting.


Is it just me, or has the "anti-war" movement lost a lot of steam? Seems like all the various protests have diminished recently.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:58:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Steve_in_Washington:

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Make no mistake, the war is the central issue to the decisive core of Dem voters. They are starting to get the feel that there won't be any hanging off the skids of helicopters withdrawl from Iraq under Hillary, and the defections are starting.


Is it just me, or has the "anti-war" movement lost a lot of steam? Seems like all the various protests have diminished recently.


Yeah, Dems have been keeping quiet too.

Jack Murtha made the mistake of saying the surge is working.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 6:22:51 PM EDT

Is it just me, or has the "anti-war" movement lost a lot of steam? Seems like all the various protests have diminished recently.



Well, the conspiracy theorist in me would say that this just suggests how shallow the anti-war position was the in the country as a whole, and how orchestrated the anti-war movement has been from national level Democratic operatives.

Shallow in the sense that it really only had legs while the Surge looked like Tet Part II; American causulties with no end in sight.

The difference, of course, is that we had the initiative and a plan for the Surge. Flush out the enemy, co-opt the co-optable elements, corner and kill the rest.

Additionally, Hillary is many things, but kid yourself not, stupid isn't one of them.

She understands the strategic rationale for the war, even if 95% of her supporters don't.

So, Hillary understands the lessons of the Carter presidentcy, namely that Democrats remain very vunerable on foreign policy, and the only solution to that tactical problem is a pretty dynamic, unassalably pro-US foreign policy.

A potential Clinton foreign policy would be much more Kennedy/Johnson than Carter. That's just how she'll roll, IMHO, and the press will cheer her on.

Additionally, the few remaining adults in the national security/foreign policy part of the Democratic tent know that 1) Obama is worse than wrong, he's stupid and 2) Rallying to Clinton is their only hope.

So, that's the way I see it. My Democratic friends don't like hearing that Hillary won't pull us out of Iraq, but the smart ones don't argue, either.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 6:29:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenQ:
I'm writing a paper on maintaining troop presence in Iraq, and I needed some help coming up with good reasons for it.


I am a USG all source analyst with 30+ years of experience.

One criterion that the U.S. has for committing forces is known as "strategic interest" or vital strategic interest.

Iraq fits that requirement, not only for its geopolitical relevance, but for its natural resources.

While it may appear that the U.S. commits our military for no apparent good reason, it is simply untrue. Iraq is strategically important.

China will increasingly compete with the U.S. in areas where no one is looking. (Africa & South America).

Where there's oil, China is looking to make deals. They are courting Sudan, Iran, Brazil and Venezuela, among others.

You cannot have heavy industry without secure energy (oil) sources.

Jim
Top Top