Thursday, December 15, 2011

... and Iraq concludes.

I will leave this without much commentary. I called victory a little over three years ago; this just wraps things up. The end game isn't playing out the way I would like it to, but elections have consequences.

This war was the right thing to do. The tactical performance of our military will stand the test of time. Since the Prussian infantry marched through Europe, the world has never seen a finer military. BZ.



I'm on the same page CDR.  I thought we'd have a garrison for the next 50 years ala Germany/Japan/Korea.  The diploma-genius in the White House couldnt work out a simple SOFA though so here we stand.  I will always look back on my year (03-04) with pride.  God Speed the fallen and lets pray the Iraqi's dont blow the chance we've given them and that we are'nt facing our own weapons 5 years down the road.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Dunnt Mattis look thrilled to be there? 

ewok40k said...

Tactically brilliant, strategically:removing saddam was removing region's prime balance to Iran... ouch!
And no you can't station there troops for 50 years simply because they are VERY not welcome there (as opposed to the Germany/Japan post WW2) - imagine 50 years of bombing attacks on US troops... after 10 years we would give up - heck we are pretty much on the same stage with AFG. Plus, you have introduced democracy there and the first thing newly elected government was doing was asking for US to leave. The difference with post WW2 Europe is nobody save few communists wanted Stalin there. The purpose of the NATO was summed up as keeping US in, Soviets out and Germans down.
Now all that remains is to watch how the Iraqis themselves sort their things out. I dont have high hopes...

Skippy-san said...

The war was most assuredly the wrong thing to do. Whatever tactical success we may have experienced is outweighted by the long term strategic damage the war and the overall impact of our inflated presence in the Middle East have done to our long term strategic, economic, and foreign policy needs wrt to the rest of the globe. We fiddled while Rome burned and as a result we assured ourselves the multi-polar world will arise, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Our decline as a military and economic superpower began the day we invaded Iraq.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>Our decline as a military and economic superpower began the day we elected a Chief Executive who despised the military and believed in enforced socialism.  It was hastened by the election of a Chief Executive who despises this country and believes in enforced communism.

ewok40k said...

Yep, name one nationalised by Obama factory... and I can name a few millionaires Obama made richer... While the failure is there we should name it properly, crony capitalism.
As for military failure it begun when politicians sold the society the idea of war without own casualties and financial burden.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Crony capitalism for his financial benefactors, bald communism for the rest of us.  Indeed.  Call it like it is. 

Nationalized Obama factory?  General Motors.  Chrysler.   When the Federal government mandates management changes in your business, it is nationalized.  Other industries?  Health insurance is to be nationalized.  Communism.  It is the avowed philosophy of so many in his administration.  And his philosophy, as well.

As for military failure, we haven't had that.  Our failure has been political.  And it is failing more now than ever. 

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Ok, I'll bite.  You said that Tactically, we did this right.  How did we screw it up operationally and strategically.  I"m mostly interested in operationally.

cdrsalamander said...

I assume that Q is to Skippy?

Jay said...

Elections do indeed have consequences. I wonder, had Al Gore won in 2000, would he have attacked Iraq, or kept the no-fly zones in place, and focused on Afghanistan and AQ?

I doubt that Iraq will turn out to have been a good idea, but I hope to be proven wrong, at the very least for the peace of mind of the families who lost Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and the wounded. Full understanding may take at least a decade from now, as we see the long-term effects.

Military success (short term, and against the Iraqi forces) was never in doubt.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

A polite but firm letter from Al Gore to Bin Laden denouncing the pollution caused by the 9/11 attacks would probably have been the extent of it. 

ewok40k said...

As far as I know, GM and chryslers have all their shareholders in place, and well-off, instead of being shipped to labor camps in Alaska as enemies of the state.
Health insurance? Welcome to civilized world like Germany Japan and other "communist" countries.
A military failure started in Somalia, when bunch of ragtag local militia LOST a battle 1000:20 and forced US to withdraw because politicians couldn't stomach few casualties. Imagine if that was reaction after Little Bighorn, we would have Lakota's still prowling the plains :P

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Well, the bonded shareholders in both GM and Chrysler received less per share in the bailout than did the unbonded shareholders (who happened to include heavy UAW membership), which was in direct contravention to US law.  They may see things a little differently. 

Those whose money was given to labor unions would likely tell you that they were bullied by their own government and openly spoken of by their president as enemies of the state.  While they aren't in a gulag, they had assets that were rightfully and lawfully theirs taken from them to distribute as political favor to organized labor.  

As for statist health care, your assertion that nationalizing the health sector in a nation of 310 million people of disparate races and ethnicities is the "civilized world" is entirely off base.  The "single payer" system in the state I reside will likely drive out the two largest employers (General Dynamics and IBM) because it will increase their costs to provide threefold.  You were wrong about your assertion in 2009, and wrong about it now.  It will be just another plan for the "givers" to fund the "takers".   And it will be a disaster. 

You consider one battle in which we had 18 killed and killed 500 to be a "failure"?  Whether the politicians run for cover or not is irrespective of the military effort.  Tet.  Fallujah and Ramadi. 

Sorry ewok, your points are less than valid.  Crony capitalism for the politically favorable, enforced communism for the rest of us.  Political and not military failure.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No, ewok, you are mistaken.  Obama has surrounded himself with self-avowed communists.  Self-avowed.  Van Jones.  Valerie Jarrett, whose father was Vernon Jarrett.  Frank M. Davis was his mentor.  Bill Ayers.  Anita Dunn.  Sonia Sotomayor.  Donald Berwick.

The parallel would be true if Bush had surrounded himself with self-avowed fascists.  But he didn't. 

Anonymous said...

I got called an "oil mercenary" by a poli sci professor in Wilmington, NC back in '95. I saw red and we ended up in the hall where he rapidly retracted his remark (he refused to do so once we were back in class though - thus began my experience with intellectual cowardice.). I spent a long time maintaining political polarity with the America haters like him because I despised the sight of them.

However, inicdents like that and my own service kept me from objectively measuring the full effect of our foreign policy in the ME  from the last 60 years- Eisenhower to Obama. I really haven't quantified for myself how much of the violence against us has been blowback and therefore preventable, but I am leaning towards more than I expected.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

That "blowback" seems somewhat overstated.  It is telling to read the Tripoli Ambassador's response to Jefferson's entreaties about the Barbary States making war on a nation which had not harmed them:    
"It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was their right and duty to make war on them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."    
That was 1785, just nine years into our nation's history, before we even had much of a foreign policy.  It could have been written last month.  So no, our foreign policy in the Middle East is NOT the cause of the hatred toward America and the West.  It is but a convenient excuse for American liberals and Muslim extremists.</span></span>

ewok40k said...

And he made Clinton State Sec, and Gates Def Sec... and this is what counts in real world.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Yes, Hillary Clinton, who made no secret of her loathing people in uniform when First "Lady".  Gates was Bush's SecDef whom Obama chose to retain.

Sorry, ewok, domestic policy also counts in this "real world".   And the philosophies of forcible redistribution of the wealth have primacy in this Administration.

Latent Infantry NCO said...

Overstated by who? I just said I wasn't able to quantify it. BTW, Guest=LINCO in this instance. My cookie jar was empty.

Have no love for Islamic people or culture and I am fully comfortable with defining our current enemy as radical islam, not terrorism. Liberal? Not hardly.

But, it is not wrong to question whether or not we as a people have received the best bang for our buck from the foreign policy we have supported financially and physically for the past 25-40-50 years in the ME.

And, if you ask me to accept that we have understood the Islamic mind since 1785 then I will ask you to explain why we can't successfully deal with them as we did then, with Letters of Marque and Reprisal and punitive expeditionary strikes instead of nation-building and the use of capital assets to defend these new nations and not our own.

UltimaRatioRegis said...


Asking whether we got the best bang for the buck is one thing.  Perfectly legit.  But the meme of "we brought it on ourselves" regarding Islamic hatred and intransigence, to include 9/11 or any other instance of the anti-Western rhetoric is quite another. 

I never asked you to accept that we have understood the Islamic mind.  We don't.  Nor do they, ours.  My point is that they have been consistent and unyielding in their hatred of the West, long before there was a United States, and will continue to be so.   Our actions should always account for our known inability to understand them.  Which is not to say cater to them.  Speak plainly and back up your words.  If they choose to ignore such, and it leads to their destruction, I have little problem with that. 

The idea that our foreign policy is the reason for their animosity is not one grounded in fact.  Your words seemed to connote that it was.

Latent Infantry NCO said...

Really? I think I understand the Islamic mind pretty good and I don't think militarily preventing them from interfering with commerce or travel is a bad thing. I was granting you that point. But, why are we on the hook to give them a new nation in the process? Do we get a little America in the ME for our efforts? No. Is it worth exposing the soft underbelly of the post Cold War US military as we are now doing? Heck no.

Further, the fact that 9/11 was done by mostly Saudi and Yemeni boys, not Iraqi and not Afghani boys, fellas that had cut their teeth fighting in causes the US was sympathetic to, should not be overlooked.

The idea that foreign policy and posting troops in foreign countries doesn't generate animosity is not rooted in fact either - ask anyone that pulled gate duty in ROK,WG, or Japan in the last 60 years.
Right or wrong - actions have reactions.

pk said...


they're still around up in that country its just that now they drive peekup trucks with rifles in the rear window.


UltimaRatioRegis said...

You understanding the Islamic mind is irrelevant.  It is the institution of the US foreign policy apparatus that needs to, and that understanding is spotty, to say the least. 

The rest of your points are entirely valid, with the caviat that the reaction of animosity is a luxury of the living.  Which, at times, both WG and Japan needed reminders of.  We could have done to them what they did as occupiers.  Mounds of corpses don't protest much.  That always seemed to end the discussion.