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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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The Iraq War: "A Major Debacle"

When you see a statement like, "The Iraq war has become a major debacle" you start to question who is saying it.

Well, it is being said by the United States DoD National Defense University. Specifically by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official. He pretty much lays the blame squarely at the feet of Donald Rumsfeld's piss poor handling of the war. IMO he is pretty dead on with his report.


http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/34101.html
Quote:


Pentagon institute calls Iraq war 'a major debacle' with outcome 'in doubt'

WASHINGTON — The war in Iraq has become "a major debacle" and the outcome "is in doubt" despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute.

The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush's projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions.

The report carries considerable weight because it was written by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official, and was based in part on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations.

It was published by the university's National Institute for Strategic Studies, a Defense Department research center.

"Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle," says the report's opening line.

At the time the report was written last fall, more than 4,000 U.S. and foreign troops, more than 7,500 Iraqi security forces and as many as 82,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed and tens of thousands of others wounded, while the cost of the war since March 2003 was estimated at $450 billion.

"No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans' benefits or the total impact on service personnel and materiel," wrote Collins, who was involved in planning post-invasion humanitarian operations.

The report said that the United States has suffered serious political costs, with its standing in the world seriously diminished. Moreover, operations in Iraq have diverted "manpower, materiel and the attention of decision-makers" from "all other efforts in the war on terror" and severely strained the U.S. armed forces.

"Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there (in Iraq) were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East," the report continued.

The addition of 30,000 U.S. troops to Iraq last year to halt the country's descent into all-out civil war has improved security, but not enough to ensure that the country emerges as a stable democracy at peace with its neighbors, the report said.

"Despite impressive progress in security, the outcome of the war is in doubt," said the report. "Strong majorities of both Iraqis and Americans favor some sort of U.S. withdrawal. Intelligence analysts, however, remind us that the only thing worse than an Iraq with an American army may be an Iraq after a rapid withdrawal of that army."

"For many analysts (including this one), Iraq remains a 'must win,' but for many others, despite obvious progress under General David Petraeus and the surge, it now looks like a 'can't win.'"

The report lays much of the blame for what went wrong in Iraq after the initial U.S. victory at the feet of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. It says that in November 2001, before the war in Afghanistan was over, President Bush asked Rumsfeld "to begin planning in secret for potential military operations against Iraq."

Rumsfeld, who was closely allied with Vice President Dick Cheney, bypassed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the report says, and became "the direct supervisor of the combatant commanders."

" ... the aggressive, hands-on Rumsfeld," it continues, "cajoled and pushed his way toward a small force and a lightning fast operation." Later, he shut down the military's computerized deployment system, "questioning, delaying or deleting units on the numerous deployment orders that came across his desk."

In part because "long, costly, manpower-intensive post-combat operations were anathema to Rumsfeld," the report says, the U.S. was unprepared to fight what Collins calls "War B," the battle against insurgents and sectarian violence that began in mid-2003, shortly after "War A," the fight against Saddam Hussein's forces, ended.

Compounding the problem was a series of faulty assumptions made by Bush's top aides, among them an expectation fed by Iraqi exiles that Iraqis would be grateful to America for liberating them from Saddam's dictatorship. The administration also expected that "Iraq without Saddam could manage and fund its own reconstruction."

The report also singles out the Bush administration's national security apparatus and implicitly President Bush and both of his national security advisers, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, saying that "senior national security officials exhibited in many instances an imperious attitude, exerting power and pressure where diplomacy and bargaining might have had a better effect."

Collins ends his report by quoting Winston Churchill, who said: "Let us learn our lessons. Never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. ... Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think that he also had a chance."

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 07:51 AM
 
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I do not like Rumsfeld, however, had the war been run like the surge from the get go, I believe things would be totally different today.

I also believe that these mid-eastern assholes like repression and respect cruel leaders. We are seen as weak and that is why AQ is able to operate where they want too (without our intervention.) We, as a nation, mis-understand the culture and the mind-set over there. Just as the British, French and Russians have in the past.

The press and the public do not have the stomach for what needs to be done, if we really want to win this war. Just like Viet Nam...no one really wanted to win it except the Cong.

Some how we expect that once they get a taste of American culture their eyes will open and come running into our culture with arms wide-opened. Too bad we can't learn from the missionary work that has taken place. No great gains have been made there either until the approached was changed.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 10:20 AM
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Some very good insight available in that piece. I predict many other like it in the coming months and years. There's been dozens, maybe hundreds of books published on the subject already. I like how he put words to what alot of us have been feeling, but lacked the field expertise, and knowledge of what was actually going on on the ground to be able to accurately portray with words just how fucked up the situation there actually is right now.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 10:22 AM
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangVilla
I do not like Rumsfeld, however, had the war been run like the surge from the get go, I believe things would be totally different today.
I really think that's the end of it; hesitation created the problem we have right now.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOHC
I really think that's the end of it; hesitation created the problem we have right now.
Bush should have ended it all in the Gulf War, but couldn't pull the trigger.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I say we pull all our troops out and pay blackwater to kill them all.

R

Pull are troops out let Iran take over this will in turn scare the crap out of the Sadia's then they will want are protection. i.e. lower fuel.

I don't see why ANYONE care's if civil war brakes out hell let them fight for a few
years then go back to whats left we will be looking pretty good or UN forces.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98COBRA#770
I say we pull all our troops out and pay blackwater to kill them all.

R

Pull are troops out let Iran take over this will in turn scare the crap out of the Sadia's then they will want are protection. i.e. lower fuel.

I don't see why ANYONE care's if civil war brakes out hell let them fight for a few
years then go back to whats left we will be looking pretty good or UN forces.
Because Iran will scoot right in when we leave. You think oil is high at $115 a barrel? Try $200-$250 if that happens...

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertnut
Bush should have ended it all in the Gulf War, but couldn't pull the trigger.
The UN didn't want him to.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AL P
The UN didn't want him to.
I know. It would have been a massacre, too. We had them flanked, and it would have been all over CNN...The Lib's would have had a field day with that footage.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98COBRA#770
I say we pull all our troops out and pay blackwater to kill them all.

R

Pull are troops out let Iran take over this will in turn scare the crap out of the Sadia's then they will want are protection. i.e. lower fuel.

I don't see why ANYONE care's if civil war brakes out hell let them fight for a few
years then go back to whats left we will be looking pretty good or UN forces.
Interesting...

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertnut
I know. It would have been a massacre, too. We had them flanked, and it would have been all over CNN...The Lib's would have had a field day with that footage.
True dat. They had a field day with the massacre of armored units on the road back to Iraq.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertnut
Because Iran will scoot right in when we leave. You think oil is high at $115 a barrel? Try $200-$250 if that happens...
How do you figure?

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It is time we acknowledged a basic feature of human discourse: when considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one is not. Religion is the one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra
How do you figure?
How do you figure it wouldn't?

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertnut
We had them flanked...
Flanking is a tactical action, not a strategic advantage.

Give me a dollar.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangVilla
The press and the public do not have the stomach for what needs to be done, if we really want to win this war. Just like Viet Nam...no one really wanted to win it except the Cong.

Yep, War is a dirty, nasty business, people get killed, shit gets blown up... try and conduct a war in a humanitarian way, and this is exactly what you get... a freakin' debacle, with no clear path out.

Not sure who to blame, but the people who planned the strategy, without a clear objective and exit plan would be at the top of the list.... and while GWB will get blamed for most of it, the piss poor planning was not his fault.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimmeabeer
Flanking is a tactical action, not a strategic advantage.
It was when they had nowhere to go. I wasn't expecting George fucking Patton to be on the board...I guess I stand corrected.

*It's such a rarity, somebody flag this thread for further reference*

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