Tuesday, October 30, 2007
13) Destabilizing the region.
14) Undermining the security of NATO ally Turkey.
15) Emboldening Iran.
16) Weakening reform movement in Iran
17) Strengthening Islamist militants in Pakistan.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
1) Breeds new terrorists.
2) Undermines the U.N.
3) Undermines moderate Arabs.
4) Gives POW status to criminals. Civil authorities should handle.
5) Diverts resources away from civil authorities and puts these resources into the military. This is counterproductive.
6) No WMD. War is unjustified.
7) Undermines Civil liberties.
8) This is a Civil War. Not our fight.
9) We are creating new enemies in addition to new terrorists.
10) We took a good leader out and replaced it with anarchy. I am defining anarchy in this case as being constant warfare, chaos and civil strife.
11) Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11/01.
*12) President Bush is a warmonger. He started the war to get back at Saddam. After all, Saddam took a shot at killing his father.
Pretty solid case. Please let me know if you have any additional that you would like me to add.
Friday, October 26, 2007
"Without doubt, our security at home is connected to Iraq's future. One can observe radicalized youth from across the region entering Iraq. This serves as an urban training ground for this generation of militants, successors of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. These mujahedeens will most likely also plan future operations-but our prolonged presence in Iraq will not deter this."
I find this interesting for a number of reasons. Many people believe that the war in Iraq is basically an internal one. Some outside influence is helping the ‘insurgents’, but overall, they originate from within Iraq. So, many militants who what to kill Americans are going into Iraq. There, they are obtaining combat experience and skills that will enable them to go out into the rest of the world and create more problems. The conclusion is that our presence in Iraq will in no way deter this. Implied is the idea that our presence in Iraq helps them.
Some questions to ponder:
If we leave Iraq, where will these guys go? Home? And hang up the guns? The combat experience they now have will enable them to attack schools and shopping malls far more effectively than attacking our men who carry machine guns. Do you believe that they will go home and call it quits? Some undoubtedly will. What about the rest?
The war in Iraq has been going on for 4 and ½ years. This war is breeding new terrorists and building an army of enemies of the United States. I expected this new army to have shown itself by now. Why have we not been hit in other parts of the world during this time? Other countries are being hit. Why not us?
The United States has not been hit directly since 9/11/01, except in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suspect many reasons exist. I have studied thousands of biographies of soldiers. They site countless reasons why they risked and gave up their lives. The most common that I found was that they were fighting to protect their way of life.
Robert E Lee did not like owning slaves. He found them "difficult to motivate and manage". Yet he fought for slavery. He was a wealthy man, and a smart one. Can you think of a worse cause to risk and lose everything? This includes your life. Many southerners that fought and died in the U.S. Civil War did not own slaves. Lee claimed that he fought for Virginia. He was more loyal to the state than the Federal government.
Many southerners were as well. One contributing reason was by doing away with slavery; the social order would be upset. Poor whites could have fought because at least the slaves were below them, in the pecking order. That would be gone, they would be right in there with them. Rich ones depended upon the labor they provided. The southern way of life would be changed, radically. They fought to prevent this. The strange part about it is, the war itself sped up the entire process. Believe it or not, this is not uncommon.
Particularly in modern history, wars commonly have spread technology. Cultural contact is usually increased during wartime. Someone is generally winning, and occupation during and after wartime is common. Cultural contact cannot be avoided. Cultural contact in Iraq is on a large scale. The ex-French president himself said: "democracy is not a process. It is a culture." In other words, we are attempting to implant a foreign culture in an Arab country. The Arab community is far more loyal to the ‘tribe’ and other more local influences than the central government. No wonder a war is going on there. Talk about changing the way of life for the people who live in that part of the world. Protecting your way of life is the leading cause for becoming a soldier. The question that I am struggling with is: Where is the army that this is producing?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
During wartime, the armed forces are constantly being stretched. The system is designed to function in this type of environment. The idea in warfare is to push so hard that the enemy cannot push back hard enough to beat you. If the two sides are anywhere near equal in strength and abilities, then the war must last long enough for one of them to get so tired that they either surrender or quit. Are we really that tired? Is our enemy really that strong?
Even if you do not agree that we should have our army in Iraq, you have to admit, this is a war. Standard guerrilla warfare. Compared to other wars in our history, this one is small. Our military has handled far worst disasters than what we are seeing in Iraq. We have lost more than 4000 men in a day. We have sustained far greater losses and loss of equipment that had gone on for years. And we are at the end of our tether?
No. We can sustain a much greater effort if we wish to. The problem is not how our military is ‘stretched’ to the breaking point. The problem is that we believe that the war is not worth it. The war is not worth the losses already sustained. Any additional effort to win is wasted effort and pointless. In this case, we really are tired of the war. Psychologically tired, not physically. I do not buy the hypothesis that our armed forces are ‘stretched’ to the limit. As with all guerrilla wars, we have a stronger military, better training, better weapons, and greater numbers. (Combatants) We may not win the war, but it will not be because our enemy is militarily stronger than we are.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The U.S. Congress voted in favor of a resolution acknowledging as genocide the Turkish slaughter of Armenians in the period 1915-1918. The timing of this resolution can be for many reasons. One influencing factor is the war in
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I would like to clarify point #2 in the differences between
The government of
Many people believe that the war in
1) In both cases, we (The U.S.) are fighting a guerrilla war with conventional forces.
2) The enemy has an opposite ideology.
3) In both wars, the enemy is obtaining material support from outside the country.
4) The population of the
5) An increase in violence was and is being seen as signs of losing the war.
6) Politically, the wars are disasters for the political party who engaged in fighting in the first place.
I am certain that I have missed many. Please feel free to comment.
1) Opposite overall situation. In
2) The beginning of
4) War in
I am certain that I have missed some here as well. The overall point is that NO two wars are the same. Significant differences ALWAYS exist.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Many people are comparing the war in
In January, 1944, General Eisenhower was appointed supreme commander in
After the war,
In 1956, reports began to come into President Eisenhower’s office. Small groups of armed men (Generally, 6 to 10) would enter a small village in
Terrain: Swamps and forests. Economy: Agrarian. Population: Spread out in small villages, population generally between 100 and 500 people. One large city,
It would have been unprofessional and completely out of character for Eisenhower not to brief his replacement in what he had been doing.
Did you ever see the movie JFK? You know, the movie that claimed that JFK was killed because of a memo that he sent out a week after he took office? The memo said that he wanted the war ended by January 1st, 1964. He was setting a political deadline because he was thinking re-election. (I am guessing here.) In any case, the implication is that he needed to change the plan. Here we have a man whose military experience was command over 10 men for a few months. He had his command destroyed by an enemy ship running over his. He was going to change the military plan that had been created by one of the better military minds that this country has ever produced.
His idea was to use the officers coming out of training in guerrilla warfare and have them speed up the effort in
General Eisenhower knew the army. I am certain that this is why he did not have them get involved in the first place.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I mention Piracy because of it’s similarity with today’s terrorists. Pirates have been around since the dawn of time. They still exist today. Pirates wear civilian clothes; do not carry their weapons openly. They target civilians and use military weapons and tactics. They have no support. No government will openly side with them. The primary difference between pirates and today’s terrorists appear to be overall objective. Pirates attack for personal gain. Today’s terrorists are seen as being political.
How people and governments deal with piracy has been clear for more than 2000 years. I am not advocating that we do this with terrorists, but pirates were generally executed when caught. Some were spared when it was known that they spared people whom they could have killed. Or else it was known that they had rendered other useful service.
Terrorists who are captured are generally of far more value alive than dead. Getting valuable information out of them is tricky, at best.
I know that the civil problem with not allowing terrorists an American version of legal justice is a major concern. However, my specialty is warfare. I know that if we allow suspected terrorists the same legal rights that you and I enjoy as Americans, we will place an additional strain upon our soldiers. It will create the environment where it just may be better to go ahead and kill him than to take the chance that he will get away. Obviously, this can be counterproductive in numerous ways. Food for thought.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I spoke with an acquaintance last night. He has seen this web site and mentioned that my post from Monday, 10/8/07 leads one to believe that I am saying that mankind is becoming more violent. After re-reading it, I agree with him. This is incorrect. Mankind is only as violent as he ever was. I was attempting to point out that because technology is advancing, the wars he wages are becoming more destructive. A full-fledged nuclear war between the old Soviet Union and the United States could have arguably end human life on this planet. No war in all of recorded history could have ended with even being close to this possibility. Some estimates were that the aftermath would see humans set back to the Middle Ages, possibly further. The discussion that I was undertaking was designed to point out how much more destructive the modern, major wars have and can become. This is the trend that I am referring to. The wars of the future will continue to become more destructive as humans discover new, more powerful ways to kill each other.
Monday, October 8, 2007
The 20th century was by far the most violent century in all of recorded history. The vast majority of that violence was in the first half, namely World Wars I and II. The 19th century had been the most violent century before that. The 18th century had held the record before that. The same reasons that wars tend to become more violent as they progress apply to the larger view over the centuries. Toss in the fact that technology allows for larger armies. I would expect this trend to continue.
It makes sense that after the larger wars, things become quiet for some years. Exhaustion from war requires time to recover. Maybe human violence is like earthquakes. Maybe we need the smaller wars to relieve the stress? Otherwise, WATCHOUT! It has been more than 60 years since the last major war. Not that
Friday, October 5, 2007
Reading wartime news reports well after the fact can be enlightening. Naturally, the reporters and editors do not have the information that we can have access to many years later. However, it can reveal what they are good at, and what they are not so good at.
Wartime news reporting is exceptionally accurate at reporting the politics of the day. Even during peacetime, reporting is VERY good at this. After all, the information is public knowledge. Reporting also is very talented at political analysis. Almost everything that you see/hear/read has a heavy filter through a political view.
Wartime news reporting is good at reporting friendly losses. Far less information is available to report on in the larger wars. In the smaller conflicts and battles, this information tends to be far more numerous and accurate. Wartime reporting is inconsistent when reporting enemy losses. In low intensity wars, reporting tends to be more accurate. In larger affairs, it is off the mark a great deal more often.
Wartime reporting fails miserably when doing analysis, other than through a political outlook. A classic example is the Washington Post dated October, 15, 1943. The political statements and analysis are first-rate. Militarily speaking, it would appear that although the allied forces were doing well in some areas, the overall situation is not all that bright. I can go into considerable detail here, but at this stage in the war, the allies were so dominate that it is difficult for me to understand how they could have been so far off. Yes, I have much more information that they were denied.
During the Vietnam War, I remember hearing the argument that the
The ‘Tet’ offensive is another good example. In 1968,
Remember the 30 day war between
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
On BBC.com I found an article titled '
It stands to reason that if the enemy suspected this might occur, they will do one of two things: Coerce someone to do it for them. Or pick someone who is more expendable. In both cases, make certain that they do not have any evidence upon them that will allow us to determine which is which. From our point of view, we really will have no way to know. The main problem here is that the choice is: Are you a policeman or a soldier? In combat situations, you cannot be both. Deception and ambush are long established valid tactics in warfare. However, entrapment by police is illegal. Are we going to make our soldiers be policemen, or be soldiers?
I am guessing that in
Monday, October 1, 2007
Historians view the American Civil war as the first of the modern wars. They cite many reasons for this. One reason is