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I found that site to be very enlightening. Even after being hit with mortars and rockets nearly everyday for 4 months at a site about 26 miles northwest of Baghdad, It's still hard to conceive of the numbers as they accumulated day by day. As the daily reports in the media have failed to shock or surprise, this site shows the magnitude. It hasn't stopped yet, even though the headlines have moved to the third page.

Unfortunately, our country as a whole is not impacted by the war in any identifiable way unless you’re associated with it through a loved one or neighbor. We haven't rationed anything, or had to Rally a war effort in any way. If more people could actually see or experience the futility and the waste of life, we probably wouldn't still be there. If the cause is just or right enough, we can readily and justifiably step up to the plate and finish the job, but this is getting ridiculous.

America could have saved Social Security and built a brand new school in every town in America for what it's costing to rebuild Iraq. Promised free medical care for Veteran retirees is doubling in price over the next three years because it cost too much...? Who’s really paying the price for this war? A veteran, Retirees...Teachers who still can't get paid what they're worth because of fiscal cutbacks...The list goes on and on. It would be nice to worry about taking care of our own decaying society for a while.

For those that say that we had to fight this war for the twin towers...Remember that was Bin Laden out of Afghanistan...different war. Iraq was the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" issue. Still no WMD's, but our kids, fathers, mothers, neighbors and friends are still dieing over there.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just a little frustrated with the whole thing by now. God bless the troops who are still flowing into Iraq to clean up the mess resulting from their lack of action to police their leaders. Any people with the will and fortitude can change the course of their own lives. Saddam is reduced to a sideshow freak and his sons are gone forever and anyone associated with his regime is an outcast. Let the Iraqi people take it from here!
 

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Rant

But what is it worth to keep the nut-jobs off of our soil? If we would pick up and leave, every extremist in the middle east would break out with "We defeated the Great Satan! Now let's go defeat him in his home."

Even with the problems we have here, would you want to have to worry about roadside bombs, RPGs, and suicide bombers daily?
 

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But we're winning over there. The Iraqi's have embraced us in the name of god and democracy, or didn't you get that cut & paste email? I didn't think so.

I agree that we're all paying the price, in ways we can't begin to imagine. But that won't change now, and pulling out is unfortunately about the worst thing we could do. I never liked this "war" and still don't like it, but we're in it for a long, long time. The current administration knew we'd be there for years, or else they're really out of touch with reality. But it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission, even if you're gambling the lives of thousands of dedicated soldiers.

As for those who think our "mission" in Iraq will keep the nut-jobs off our soil, have you forgotten that they were already here (and still are)? Iraq is nothing more than a temporary distraction to them, and a training ground for the next wave of ultra-terrorists. This ain't over by a long shot, and those who put us there still need to be held accountable.

Now you can interpret that last sentence as referring to the terrorists if you wish (but note that they had nothing to do with Iraq before we invaded). Or you can interpret it as referring to the current administration who pushed the real "war on terror" to the back burner to pursue an ill-conceived and poorly executed vendetta against someone who was never a real threat to us. So now were stuck there, with little progress and no hope of an exit in the foreseeable future. So no real change there, no matter how many Iraqi's stand up and say otherwise.
 

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The question "why Iraq" is no longer valuable , as most have an opinion one way or the other. Traditional liberal internationalist assumptions that have been the driving force in U.S. foreign policy for decades have again tried to accomplish the, almost, impossible and do it on the cheap. Our troops won the war, but were neither prepared , nor trained, for the long-term occupation.
Unfortunately, Americans were again asked to blindly support a war in which the administration was unwilling to admit the costs and risks involved with such an expansive vision. The saddest part is that Iraq is another repetition of foreign policy failure with unknown, global, costs and risks.
 

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I agree with what everyone is stating. I read some where, wish I could remember where that if it was treated any different we would be fighting it here, like someone else stated. I was told it is like fighting cockroaches. You can not kill one cockroach at a time, you must go find the breeding grounds and kill it there.

My brother in law has come back from a second tour. Pretty high in rank, stated when I asked it the second tour was any better. He stated yes. Stated far less incidents. He is with a EOD company.
 

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patrick2000 said:
The saddest part is that Iraq is another repetition of foreign policy failure with unknown, global, costs and risks.
i think the saddest part is that the end results of our little expedition seem likely to bite us on the arse. sooner or later we will have to leave iraq to the iraqis. will they be willing to fight for democracy? freedom? will the new power that fills the vacuum be friendly to the u.s.?

will we be safer in the end?

is democracy radiating outward throughout the arab world?

what do you think?

someone made a comment about the breeding ground of cockroaches. well we just injected a huge dose of Miracle Grow into that breeding ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"Doing it on the Cheap"........ We're supposed to be able to fight to wars on two fronts with the available standing military forces. As it is, we're not at war and can hardly man the single "Police Action" without calling up the reserves. The AirForce is poised to cut over 30,000 more positions. It's just a matter of time before they stretch themselves so thin that the balloon pops! I work with people that are going on 6 month deployments every 14 months. You can only be asked to do that for so long before you jump ship and start stocking shelves at Home Depot just to get a little stability. The Military force 30 years ago was 65% unmarried, today 77% married, most with children. Any idea what the divorce rate is? It's high!

The German ocupation worked because we occupied that country at a 4 to 1 ratio. We occupy Iraq at a 98 to 1 ration. We're so thin over there that we're helpless to stop them. If it's slowing down over there, it's because the insurgents are getting bored. I had a billion $'s worth of assets protecting my patch of ground, yet two untrained, nearly illiterate iraq rebal wannabees could prop a tube and shoot at will with very little chance of being caught. The environment was what we call "Permisive". The local population doesn't actualy support them, but it watches with indifference as it happens without trying to stop it. They know that as long as we don't actualy catch them helping, we'll continue to build their schools , power stations, Water treatment facilities and community centers. They're just indifferent enough that we won't stop funding them and the bad guys can operate without being stopped by the population. It might be slowing down, but it will never be over until we leave.
 

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KBandit said:
will we be safer in the end?

is democracy radiating outward throughout the arab world?

what do you think?

someone made a comment about the breeding ground of cockroaches. well we just injected a huge dose of Miracle Grow into that breeding ground.
Gerhard,
American nationalism is rooted in a belief in the superiority of American ideas rather than ethnic superiority. Because of this ideology, American rejection of ethnic nationalism creates a multitude of misunderstandings regarding the pride and power of of ethnic nationalism in multinational states.
This interplay is has produced a foreign policy riddled with structural and institutional problems. Unfortunately, the general public pays minimal attention to foreign policy and therefore are easily manipulated to support that which is not in their best interest.
 

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meese said:
The current administration knew we'd be there for years, or else they're really out of touch with reality. But it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission, even if you're gambling the lives of thousands of dedicated soldiers.
QUOTE]

Meese.

An of touch administration and electorate may be the answer. Anyone with a general knowledge of the effects of foreign policy would surely agree that 9/11 was not a surprise, shocking yes, a surprise I think not. However, in post 9/11 there was minimal debate about past policy. The prominent approach was to rally around the president, and call for action. I believe this situation would have played out differently if the American public had taken prior initative to educate themselves about the effects of foreign policy. Unfortunately, most depend on mainstream media outlets that provide a daily dose of oversimplified, short sound bite, information. In this case the sheep felt better protected by listening to the shepherds command.
 

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Patience....

WPNorton said:
"Doing it on the Cheap"........ We're supposed to be able to fight to wars on two fronts with the available standing military forces. ....
Howdy Wayne,
The doctrine you're describing was the Cold War era plan to "fight a winning war" against one major adversary while "fighting a holding war" against another. Any country on this planet that believes that they could challenge the U.S. while we are engaged in Iraq would find that their country would be reduced to rubble in short order.... by conventional forces. We don't have to occupy Iran to completely destroy every major element of their infrastructure. As I understand it, the U.S. is using no Navy Carriers for Iraq. At the deployment rate available, 6 out of 11 carrier groups, plus one additional for "surge", means that the U.S. could field over 500 fighter aircraft from the sea alone. Add Diego Garcia and other "non-publisized" bases and Iran would find itself living in a shattered and broken environment within 60 days.


WPNorton said:
The German ocupation worked because we occupied that country at a 4 to 1 ratio. We occupy Iraq at a 98 to 1 ration. We're so thin over there that we're helpless to stop them. If it's slowing down over there, it's because the insurgents are getting bored. .....
I have given this a lot of thought. I strongly believe that the force configuration is very calculated to achieve a very precise objective.

If the U.S. were to occupy the entire country to the levels needed to ensure peace and tranquility, then the Iraqi's are not responsible for the societal condition. By keeping the levels to the bare minimum to capture and kill the terrorists then it becomes the responsibility of the population to contribute to the reduction of the violence.

It should be clear to everyone that the U.S. is not seeking to increase control of Iraq because the force structure and level is far too low to do this. By the U.S. not taking responsibility, the Iraqis must step up to create a peaceful existence. With the terrorists killing Iraqi citizens (and that is the primary "dots" on the link you posted), the Iraqi population will learn that they must become opponents of the terrorists. This is evidenced by the 100+ fold increase in tips coming in to the Iraqi forces and, by extension, to the U.S. forces in order to eliminate the violence from their communities.



.
 

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BillyOmaha
Howdy Wayne,
The doctrine you're describing was the Cold War era plan to "fight a winning war" against one major adversary while "fighting a holding war" against another. Any country on this planet that believes that they could challenge the U.S. while we are engaged in Iraq would find that their country would be reduced to rubble in short order.... by conventional forces.
BillyOmaha,

You might want to do a little more research on this , as the official documentation claims multiple wars are possible.

For example the , Project for the New American Century, (PNAC), "Rebuilding America's defences" 2000:12-2003 clearly states that one of its "four core missions for military forces: [...is to] fight and decisively win multiple , simultaneous major theatre wars" (iv).

You are probably correct in your assumption of the U.S. winning, a one simultaneous war, but is it possible using conventional means?

Maybe this is an optimistic claim, however it is a product of post-cold war ideology in dealing with world disorder. Is it possible? who knows. Military might comes in many forms, so troops alone may not be the basis on which it was proposed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Howdy back to you Billy
By the U.S. not taking responsibility, the Iraqis must step up to create a peaceful existence. With the terrorists killing Iraqi citizens (and that is the primary "dots" on the link you posted), the Iraqi population will learn that they must become opponents of the terrorists. This is evidenced by the 100+ fold increase in tips coming in to the Iraqi forces and, by extension, to the U.S. forces in order to eliminate the violence from their communities.
The dots represent Coalition Force casualties. not Iraqi citizens. There is Iraqi mititary included but it's generaly accepted that mititary and civilian citizens are two distinct groups, even though the military members are technicaly citizens.

If you remember back to the initial Iraqi Liberation, the Iraqi people we're chanting BUSH'S name and waving American flags. The common misperception of other countries is that we have the power and the money to fix EVERYTHING...right now! Three years later and still no critical infrastructure to support many cities and villages. They have grown increasingly intolerant of our occupation when the handouts didn't come as fast as they though it should. I'm not sure where you are collecting the data to say there's a 100+ increase in tips. The environment is becoming more permissive towards the insurgents or freedom fighters (the word terrorist doesn't really apply to most of these situations). I've watched steaming video from UAV's showing insurgents running from house to house while evading ground forces in hot pursuit. One in ten would turn them away. Your right, until the Iraqi people step up, this will never be over. I'm saying that the Iraqi people have no reason to step up as long as we're there. They will never have pride of ownership in their own government if they don't take a stand for themselves. We've spent enough, died enough and divided ourselves as a community enough. They need to sink or swim. If they Sink, so be it.... they get the government they deserve.

I know there's no easy answer to the mess that's been created. but continuing to weaken our own countries standing, losing more American troops and reducing a record surplus into a record deficit for a country that thinks were immoral lunatics....just doesn't make sense anymore. Lets Hope that progressive Middle Eastern countries like QATAR will continue the trend torwards civil rights and democracy. We'll never be able to force it down their throats.
 

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National Military Strategy (NMS)

patrick2000 said:
BillyOmaha
Howdy Wayne,
The doctrine you're describing was the Cold War era plan to "fight a winning war" against one major adversary while "fighting a holding war" against another. Any country on this planet that believes that they could challenge the U.S. while we are engaged in Iraq would find that their country would be reduced to rubble in short order.... by conventional forces.
BillyOmaha,

You might want to do a little more research on this , as the official documentation claims multiple wars are possible.

For example the , Project for the New American Century, (PNAC), "Rebuilding America's defences" 2000:12-2003 clearly states that one of its "four core missions for military forces: [...is to] fight and decisively win multiple , simultaneous major theatre wars" (iv).

You are probably correct in your assumption of the U.S. winning, a one simultaneous war, but is it possible using conventional means?

Maybe this is an optimistic claim, however it is a product of post-cold war ideology in dealing with world disorder. Is it possible? who knows. Military might comes in many forms, so troops alone may not be the basis on which it was proposed.
Gents,
You are both a little off on the current National Military Strategy (NMS) with respect to the number of fronts we will be prepared to "Swiftly Defeat" and the number of fronts we will "win decisively".

I quote from the current NMS (Jan 2004): http://www.oft.osd.mil/library/library_files/document_377_National Military Strategy 13 May 04.pdf

****************************************************
" The objectives of the NMS help define attributes and capabilities that the Joint Force requires and directly contribute to objectives of the 2004 NDS. These attributes and capabilities are important in determining the required size and design of the Armed Forces. Protecting the United States, preventing conflict and surprise attacks, and prevailing against adversaries will require forces appropriately sized and shaped in accordance with the NDS force-planning construct. The force must be sized to defend the US homeland while continuing to operate in and from four forward regions to deter aggression and coercion and set conditions for future operations. Even when committed to a limited number of lesser contingencies, the Armed Forces must retain the capability to swiftly defeat adversaries in two overlapping military campaigns.
Additionally, when the President calls for an enduring result in one of the two, the force must have the capability and capacity to win decisively.

Campaigns
• Campaigns to “swiftly defeat” the efforts of adversaries are undertaken to achieve a circumscribed set of objectives aimed at altering an adversary’s unacceptable behavior or policies, swiftly denying an adversary’s operational or strategic objectives, preventing attacks or uncontrolled conflict escalation and/or rapidly reestablishing security conditions favorable to the United States and its partners.
• Campaigns to “win decisively” are undertaken to bring about fundamental, favorable change in a crisis region and create enduring results. They likely entail lengthy periods of both combat and stability operations; require regime change, defense, or restoration; and will include a significant investment of the nation’s resources and time.

2004 National Defense Strategy"
**************************************************

Iraq clearly falls in to the definition of both a "swift defeat" and a "decisive win". I won't engage in a debate of why we are in Iraq and whether or not it is worth it. IMO those answers are crystal clear and the corner stone of why I'm proud to be an American and a member of our Military Forces.
 

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those answers are crystal clear and the corner stone of why I'm proud to be an American and a member of our Military Forces.
thank you, sir, for your service. we can all agree that our men and women in uniform continue to do a superb job.
 

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Lets Keep the Facts Straight

Phat Boy,
This isn't an attack and I understand your frustration, but I feel it's important to keep the facts straight. A periodic review of history, facts and future costs can be even more sobering than http://www.obleek.com/iraq/index.html

The US lives lost to date during OIF stand at 2,271 and pail in comparison to our nations recent historical losses during conflict, with the only exception being the Gulf War:

World War I = 116,708
World War II = 407,316
Korean War = 33,651 + (Non combat deaths unknown for Korean War)
Vietnam War = 58,168
Gulf War = 293

The cost of OIF is projected to be in the neighborhood of $300 Billion and is in line with recent historic conflicts.

Cost in billions of 1990's $$:
World War I = 196.5
World War II = 2,091.3
Korean War = 263.9
Vietnam War = 346.7
Gulf War = 61.1

If we stay the course and do OIF right, IMO the projected cost of $300 Billion is a small price to pay for democracy, stability and freedom in a region of the world that is so critical to global safety and security. Note: Of the $61.1 Billion spent on the Gulf War, $54 Billion was reimbursed to the US by Coalition forces and Victim nations. A similar percentage reimbursement is estimated for OIF.

WPNorton said:
... It's still hard to conceive of the numbers as they accumulated day by day. As the daily reports in the media have failed to shock or surprise, this site shows the magnitude. It hasn't stopped yet, even though the headlines have moved to the third page.
The loss of just one American life is a tragedy, but I would offer that a sobering review of our historic conflicts numbs the "shock or suprise" value one could expect with OIF.

WPNorton said:
...America could have saved Social Security and built a brand new school in every town in America for what it's costing to rebuild Iraq....
Your comment above is not supported by the facts. The cost to save Social Security is estimated ( http://www.socialsecurityreform.org/fastfacts/index.cfm ) to be $27 Trillion over the next 75 years which is nearly 10 times the cost of all our wars combined since 1914.

The cost to to modernize our public schools nationally is estimated ( http://www.nea.org/nr/nr000503.html ) to be $321.9 Billion which could be off set by the cost of OIF, but I seriously doubt if any other foreign nations will reimburse us 80% + of that cost.
 

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nothing is going to change until everyday gents like us make a stink in public. on my little white suburban street no one will even discuss politics or the war because they don't want disagree with anyone or cause controversy.

apathy is so rampant amongst the soccer moms and nascar dads that I think the only way to shock them out of their stupor would be re-instituting the draft or perhaps $10 per gallon gas.

granted ... we've all got it really good... but we are killing humans in this war and are viewed by most of the world as the fat, lazy aristocrats. when the masses view the oppressers like this disaster lurks.

we certainly are not going to "teach" them democracy.

can u imagine if another country invaded us... how may nutjobs with guns would there be setting off bombs and doing everything possible send the message "get out of my homeland."
 

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KBandit said:
thank you, sir, for your service. we can all agree that our men and women in uniform continue to do a superb job.
Thank you Gerhard from all the Soldiers, Airman, Marines and Sailors!
 

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Wasn't going to get in this thread but damn,, if you want to see how we are really doing in Iraq, well come visit me and I'll take you out and you can talk to the troops who have been there since the beginning!! I see them every day, they are proud of the job they are doing over there but they are pissed off and frustrated with nobody talking about the schools electricity water freedom the Iraqi people have...

The Iraqi people are working very hard to make this new democracy work.. These boys tell me that we are winning in a dramatic fashion.. The police and the army are new but really dedicated to their country....

Most of the bombers have been foreigners with the help of the Sunni's, but even they have gotten tired of Al Queada since the last elections.. They all want peace but its a new concept to them......

And the Prez said at the very beginning of this that it was going to take a long time and that we had to stay focused.. But every body thought this was going to be over in a week or two,well its going to take a little longer boys........

Oh and don't forget when we pat $60.00 a barrel for oil so does every body else, we pay $3.00 a gallon and Europe pays $ 8.00 a gallon only because of their commie socialist welfare programs have to be paid for or their gas would be the same as ours....

Anyway, owning the last big bar heading south out of town I get to see these Marines coming back all happy to be alive and proud of the job they have done.. I also get to see them moody when they are packing up to go back, so before you talk a bunch of shit about our government or our commitment to this cause talk to a bunch of Marines who have been there a couple of times

Semper Fi Ray, stay safe out there.........regards Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #19
they are pissed off and frustrated with nobody talking about the schools electricity water freedom the Iraqi people have...
Your right, the media has simmered down on all but the casualty count and that's hardley news worthy anymore

The Iraqi people are working very hard to make this new democracy work.. These boys tell me that we are winning in a dramatic fashion.. The police and the army are new but really dedicated to their country....
The Iraqi people are bleeding us for everything we will give them. We'll just have to disagree about this one. The ICDF (Iraqi Civil Defense Force) was trained at my base. They proved to be completely untrustworthy, undisciplined and irresponsible with any amount of authority. The minute supervision looked the other way, they would loiter, fire weapons for amusement, intimidate local businesses into giving them money, run the other way like cowards when confronted with hostility....and the list goes on. I'll have to take your second hand word for it that they have turned into disciplined and dedicated warriors since I saw them less than two years ago. I took this picture Pete, I didn't just hear about it from someone else.



And the Prez said at the very beginning of this that it was going to take a long time and that we had to stay focused.. But every body thought this was going to be over in a week or two,well its going to take a little longer boys........
I can't help but notice the Sarcasm in that one Pete. I really don't think any of us thought this would be over in a week or two....should we expect ten to twenty years though?

.... so before you talk a bunch of shit about our government or our commitment to this cause talk to a bunch of Marines who have been there a couple of times
Once again...I really don't need to talk to “a bunch of marines" across a bar to get perspective. I'm surrounded by military men and women that live this fiasco. I have 65 of my close coworkers over there right now. And while I worked primarily with the Army, I have a deep respect for all the service members putting their necks on the line, not just the Marines. And let’s not forget that if it wasn't for a community of people concerned about the actions of their government or as you put it "Talking a bunch of shit about their government ", America would still be owned by the Mexicans, Canadians and French....so some polite discussion amongst friends once in a while isn't so out of order. I love America but the Bush administration isn't "America". I'll also acknowledge that it's much easier to be critical on the sidelines than it is to be the guy pulling the trigger. At some point we should question what direction our leaders are taking us. It's kind of like being married, you can love her to death, and never want to leave her, even though you don't always agree on ...(insert your topic here).

This has been a very enlightening thread and I appreciate all the very informative viewpoints. Thank you all for your perspectives.
 

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