WHY Iraqification is a failure

  1. The stated goal of our current 'stay the course' is the Iraqification of the conflict. By training and placing their own military in charge, we can begin to withdraw, so the assessment goes.

    Or, as has been said, "As they draw up, we'll draw down."

    de Atkine | Why Arabs Lose Wars

    "Leadership may be the greatest weakness of Arab training systems. [A] sergeant first class in the U.S. Army has as much authority as a colonel in an Arab army. . . . A veteran of the Pentagon turf wars will feel like a kindergartner when he encounters the rivalries that exist in the Arab military headquarters.”

    The link is a long, two part article from 2002 that explains why this idea isn't working.

    Simply put, we are at cross-culture with each other, militarily speaking.

    This is a long but fascinating read.

    It explains WHY the military victory was relatively easy, but the transition to open gov't is proving impossible.

    It also explains why the culture seems so adept at small, assymetrical warfare techniques that need little hierarchical planning or technical expertise and that depend upon brutal shows of strength. It also gives insight into WHY such brutality is not treated the same way WE would treat such brutality, for example, 9/11.

    Finally, it explains why the conflict is descending into sectarian differences.

    At its heart, America is a much different culture. I can look at a fellow American and see just that: an American. In Arab cultures, religious, social, and family context is everything.

    If anything, this article gives clear rise to the concept of partitioning Iraq and enforcing peace by enclave separation. That's something I wouldn't have said before reading this.

    If you are interested in the dynamics of this conflict at all, read this long, two part article. It's an eye-opener.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 24, '06
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    This whole deal is why Pres. Bush 41 didn't take out Saddam in '91.

    And, it's why Republicans hounded Pres. Clinton all throughout his term about the dangers of 'nation building'. I suppose they are learning the lesssons of their own teachings.

    Something had to be done after 9/11, and not just chasing terrorists. The dynamics of the region that creates terrorist needs to be changed. And that dynamic is tied in many ways to despotic leadership that creates dismal lives. I still believe that the solution here is tied to attacking the leadership of the radical fringe in 2 ways: taking them out directly and changing the dynamics of the populations they bully to make them the kind of population that won't as easily cave to such men.

    But, maybe that was a tad too idealistic. . . and that's sad, because that means there is going to be lots more killing, on both sides. Because, if this is the case, then the only way to prevent terrorists attacks is to foster a greater fear in those that wish to foment fear. And that has a cost, both in lives and conscience.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I think that if we had actually gotten the electricity and water working, rebuilt what was bombed, guarded ammunition, and disarmed (or maybe hired Saddams army), and guarded the public ministries that were looted perhaps the "insurgency" would be minor.
    I think is our military had done the job instead of corporations that didn't bid on their contract, didn't do the work, but were paid it would have been done.
    I asked here on allnurses.com three years ago, "Why not hire Iraqis to do the work with our military?"

    The people of Iraq tried! They voted!
    We bombed them and now blame them for not created a democracy the way we want it done.

    I wonder how it would have been if the number of Americans killed were the same as that of Iraqi people.
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I think what the war planners saw was an immense power vacuum that would be created by Saddam's fall because HE had rooted out all competition.

    The thinking was that we could go in and help create a new leadership class from wholecloth.

    I think the failure was in not imagining that many wannabe despotic leaders were only being kept in check by Saddam and that even Saddam risked dangers in killing them all. Instead, he merely pitted them against each other and kept a close eye on them. He needed them to maintain local order, but needed them kept in check so that they didn't have much higher aspirations.

    The result of his fall is that these despotic wannabes NOW have the freedom to express their despotic dreams. And so, people like Sadr are out there, claiming their territories.

    So, because WE are not taking direct actions against those despots due to political considerations and how our own actions would affect the factions in the gov't, those despot wannabes merely view us as referees in their own power struggles.

    It's time that we stop being referees and give those despot wannabes the same pause they had before: stick your head out, and it'll be nailed back down.

    Iraqification of quelling violence is a failure. That doesn't mean we can afford to just pack our bags. It DOES mean that our military leadership now needs to more directly ponder the Americafication of dealing with the despot leaders.

    We aren't the 'referees' for sectarian violence, and it's time to stop acting like it.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  6. by   VeryPlainJane
    As of tomorrow, the US has spent more time in Iraq than fighting WWII.
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from VeryPlainJane
    As of tomorrow, the US has spent more time in Iraq than fighting WWII.
    Not true.

    The U.S. spent less than 3 weeks in direct combat operations in Iraq and more than 3 yrs in direct combat operations in Europe.

    While it might be true that the U.S., as of tomorrow, has spent as much TIME in Iraq as we did during direct combat operations in Europe, it is a comparison of apples and oranges.

    In reality, we spent more than 50 YEARS managing the aftermath of WWII in Europe. Indeed, you can credibly argue that today, 66 yrs later, we are in fact, still there.

    Maybe we should be arguing for an immediate withdrawal from Europe. After all, we have more decades invested there than we have years in Iraq. . .

    And the cost of THAT other war: 8 trillion dollars between 1946 and 1996.

    And the cost in lives: Tens of thousands of lives, in Korea, Viet Nam, Afganistan, Angola, Nicarargua, Cuba, El Salvador, Hungary, Romania, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Poland, Bosnia, etc. etc. The cost in American lives: countless plane crashes, loss of subs, operational deaths, intelligence deaths, deaths related to nuclear testing, etc. etc.

    And lets count the millions of lives that occurred as a result of purges designed to retain cold war power - kind of sorta like sectarian violence, eh?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 24, '06
  8. by   Roy Fokker
    While it might be true that the U.S., as of tomorrow, has spent as much TIME in Iraq as we did during direct combat operations in Europe, it is a comparison of apples and oranges.

    In reality, we spent more than 50 YEARS managing the aftermath of WWII in Europe. Indeed, you can credibly argue that today, 66 yrs later, we are in fact, still there.
    Question: Do you think that WWII was really a "victory" for the allies and the nations allied with them?
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Question: Do you think that WWII was really a "victory" for the allies and the nations allied with them?
    Yes, I do.

    But, WWII was created from the seeds of WWI. The Cold War was created from the seeds of WWII. The current anti-American biases were created from the seeds of the Cold War.

    Even Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea hold their seeds in the Cold War. American involvement in Korea was obviously a hot spot in the Cold War.

    Iraq and the greater Middle East have been played as Cold War battles for decades.

    Iran? British involvement in Iran created the seeds for the overthrow of the Shah and the Cold War is STILL in play there, as evidenced by Russia supplying them with 'defensive' missiles this weekend.

    On a larger note, the failures of the League of Nations is evident in the body created as a result: the UN.

    We are captive to our history.

    Did we 'win' WWII? Not in the context that our current geopolitical positions remain an extension of WWII, surely.

    But: WWII made America a pre-eminent power. Until that time we had some capital as a result of WWI, but we were a backwater, second World nation still trying to break out.

    As a result of WWII, the battles we have fought since then have been very minor by comparision to the men and armament involved in WWII. Had we lost, fascism would have created constant conflict and required many more lives to overthrow.

    The World is a much better place these days. The standard of living is up, the world over. So is population, a direct result of, if not relative prosperity, then at least, lack of global warfare. The information and media revolution has destroyed virtual, if not real, borders.

    (Let me suggest before I go on, Roy, that I understand there is a difference between the technical definitions of 'democracy' and 'republic'. I am equally aware that most don't know the difference and the term 'democracy' is now a hybrid term that doesn't represent the classic definition.)

    Democratic nations are on the dramatic rise, excellerating after 1989. Democratic Peace Theory suggest that Democracies rarely go to war with each other:

    Democratic peace theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In a nutshell, the theory is that democracies rarely war with each other because democracies themselves, except in self-defense, cannot long sustain war due to the influences of voters that shun such concepts long term. Case in point: the popularity of the concept of war in Iraq is suffering from the same pressures. Now, combine that with the inner turmoil of war in BOTH warring nations, and the formula is in place to either drastically reduce the popularity of such wars, or, to avoid them in the first place. Or, to put it more directly, Democracies cannot long sustain being held accountable to an electorate in military operations in which they are the agressors. If both of two disagreeing democracies can neither long withstand being an aggressor nation, then the rationale for war is abated.

    Indeed, a key component in trying to establish a democracy in Iraq IS the Democracy Peace Theory: by helping to create democracies in the Middle East, we reduce the chance of future war.

    Woodrow Wilson coined the phrase that sums up Democracy Peace Theory: "The World must be made safe for democracy."

    In fact, there has NEVER been a war where the principle participants were two mature democracies fighting each other (The War of 1812 being a possible exception but the British Monarchy still retained much of the power structure not invested in an electorate). This concept is known as 'dyadic peace'. It is not necessarily true that democracies are less warlike in and of themselves (monadic peace), but the dynamic or dyad between two democracies strongly works against warfare between the two.

    Do I think the world is better off because of WWII: I'd give that an unqualified yes. And as a direct result, the allies did gain a victory.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 25, '06
  10. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Yes, I do.
    To be honest - I don't. If I just consider Eastern Europe for example.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    But, WWII was created from the seeds of WWI. The Cold War was created from the seeds of WWII. The current anti-American biases were created from the seeds of the Cold War.
    Uhhh no. Current anti-American "biases" depend on which geo-political area you are looking at.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Even Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea hold their seeds in the Cold War.
    Iran and Iraq have their "seeds" MUCH MUCH before the Cold War actually. Infact, there was seething discontent in "Iraq and Palestine" a few years BEFORE WWI.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    American involvement in Korea was obviously a hot spot in the Cold War.
    One of many, many, many, many...

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Iraq and the greater Middle East have been played as Cold War battles for decades.
    I don't disagree at all. In fact, colonial interference and artbitrary "distribution" of boundries was what invented the 'causus belli' for most major partied in the ME.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Iran? British involvement in Iran created the seeds for the overthrow of the Shah and the Cold War is STILL in play there, as evidenced by Russia supplying them with 'defensive' missiles this weekend.
    How convenient that you overlook the US assistance to the Shah and the SAVAK??!!!

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    On a larger note, the failures of the League of Nations is evident in the body created as a result: the UN.
    I am the last to claim any allegiance to the UN - but I am also the last to state that the US has NOT BENEFITED from the UN when it so desired! Infact - so have the other 5 "Security council" members!

    The UN can stick its nose outta the US for all I care - heck, shift the headquarters to Geneva is they want!


    BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT ---- if you are trying to pin the League of Nations onto the UN --- you have a LOT of explaining to do as they are neither similar nor comparable!

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    We are captive to our history.
    Indeed - we seem to learn NOTHING from it...

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Did we 'win' WWII? Not in the context that our current geopolitical positions remain an extension of WWII, surely.
    Hell - we didn't win WWII in the geopolitical situation as of June 1945! Our objective in Europe was to prevent a totalitarian takeover of eastern Europe; hence why we went to war with totalitarian Germany.


    Guess what happened at the end of that war?

    Similar conclusions can be drawn about the Pacific theater.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    WWII made America a pre-eminent power.
    Ofcourse it did! It sold the American people that socialism was workable! That "America was the defender of world peace" (never mind what the founders said!) .... an attitude that lasts till this day.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Until that time we had some capital as a result of WWI, but we were a backwater, second World nation still trying to break out.
    "Backwater" ???? "Trying to break out" ?????

    America was a nation minding its own affairs (for the most part). Apparently this isn't enough?

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    As a result of WWII, the battles we have fought since then have been very minor by comparision to the men and armament involved in WWII. Had we lost, fascism would have created constant conflict and required many more lives to overthrow.
    Wishfull thinking! Not to mention that this obfusciates the reason fascism reared it's head in Europe in the first place!

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Democratic nations are on the dramatic rise, excellerating after 1989. Democratic Peace Theory suggest that Democracies rarely go to war with each other
    Except when they want to! The US is "technically" a 'Democracy' by your definition ---- but can you state how many wars is has been involved in the past 100-150 years?

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    In a nutshell, the theory is that democracies rarely war with each other because democracies themselves, except in self-defense, cannot long sustain war due to the influences of voters that shun such concepts long term. Case in point: the popularity of the concept of war in Iraq is suffering from the same pressures. Now, combine that with the inner turmoil of war in BOTH warring nations, and the formula is in place to either drastically reduce the popularity of such wars, or, to avoid them in the first place. Or, to put it more directly, Democracies cannot long sustain being held accountable to an electorate in military operations in which they are the agressors. If both of two disagreeing democracies can neither long withstand being an aggressor nation, then the rationale for war is abated.
    That is a nice theory - but it doesn't bear out fact... especially if we consider the "Cold War" and 'replacement of non-supportive democracies' on either side of the Iron Curtain.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Indeed, a key component in trying to establish a democracy in Iraq IS the Democracy Peace Theory: by helping to create democracies in the Middle East, we reduce the chance of future war.
    You still think the "Reverse Domino Theory" will work in the Middle East? Just like the "Domino Theory" worked in SE Asia?

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Woodrow Wilson coined the phrase that sums up Democracy Peace Theory: "The World must be made safe for democracy."
    Why am I not surprised you are quoting Woodrow Wilson?

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Do I think the world is better off because of WWII: I'd give that an unqualified yes.
    Walk into any part of Eastern Europe and say that same quote....



    cheers,
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    TWalk into any part of Eastern Europe and say that same quote....
    While I might agree with that to some degree AT THE TIME, I was really equating the effects of WWII moving forward.

    And the effect is that many of those Eastern European nations are now democracies and are now rapidly catching up because of the economic benefits of contract law and personal liberties that are endemic to democracies.

    Did we win WWII by 1946 conventions? No, we sold out E. Europe to the Soviets, or, rather, traded it for W. Europe. But, even then, what was the alternative: going to war with the Soviets on the heels of a major world war?

    But the ultimate effect of WWII is the spreading of democracy like wildfire. Communism died primarily BECAUSE of the disparate nature between E. and W. Europe. The failures of communism laid in stark contrast to the successes of Democracy.

    Did we win WWII by 1946 standards? I conceded, I think, that we created geopolitical situations of at least as big a concern.

    Did we win by today's standard? Yes. Democracy is on the march.

    And, while you DID point out that there is very little monadic effects to the Democracy Peace Theory (it doesn't inherently make a democracy ITSELF less warlike), I pointed out that the benefit is dyadic (between two democracies). In fact, war between democracies and non-democracies are MORE likely as the number of democracies grow, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the growth of democracies ITSELF is an ever present risk to non-democracies (which is why many at least give lip service to suffrage).

    And that risk to non-democracies is the basis of the "reverse domino theory": that creating a stable democracy in Iraq would destabilize its non-democracy neighbors, to wit: Iran. Iran is an ideal candidate for democratization. It has the infrastructure in place to make a rapid cultural transformation AND it has a history of democracy.

    I will concede that Iraq is proving the mantra of Republicans in the 90's against 'nation building'. In fact, that was the point of the thread: the failure of Iraqification.

    (btw, I DIDN'T conveniently forget the U.S.'s role with the SHAH, I merely backtracked to WWII, the point of our discussion. I did concede that, in the decades in between, the Cold War was a continual source of conflict there.)

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 25, '06
  12. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Except when they want to! The US is "technically" a 'Democracy' by your definition ---- but can you state how many wars is has been involved in the past 100-150 years?
    Robert Kagan - Staying the Course, Win or Lose - washingtonpost.com
    (I had to look hard to find this article again)

    "This tendency toward continuity is particularly striking on the issue that most divides Americans from Europeans today: the use of military force in international affairs. Americans of both parties simply have more belief in the utility and even justice of military action than do most other peoples around the world."

    I don't disagree that America sees more utility in war than other nations. But that is not on point to the Democracy Peace Theory.

    In fact, we DON'T go to war with other established democracies, which is the point. The theory works as a 'dyad', a relationship between two democracies and says practically nothing about the nature of war when both nations at stake AREN'T democracies.

    In fact, we are in Iraq now because most Americans felt at the time that it was self defense against another 9/11. That war is increasingly unpopular because most Americans NOW feel that it is no longer an issue of self-defense. The real threat (as opposed to reality) of WMD got us there (and Saddam went out of his way to hint it was a threat, playing games with the inspectors at every point. Whether they existed or not is besides the point that, to increase his projection of power, he increased his projection of available threat). The lack of proof of such WMD is a large factor in the war's unpopularity. Just as the domino theory of ultimate threat got us into Viet Nam, but the cost of that war, compared to the perceived threat, served to undermine the enthusiasm for such a prolonged conflict.

    Bottom line, America is not the least bit shy about using force to contain and combat threats against it; to use force for self-defense. That does not contradict the Democratic Peace Theory because such uses of force for self defense aren't deemed necessary against other established democracies, for a variety of reasons.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 25, '06
  13. by   ZASHAGALKA
    By the way Roy, and it took me quite a bit of time to find it, but I found someone that backed the concept of Democratic Peace Theory that you MUST respect. Why? Because, it is YOU.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f112/she...122764-13.html

    Based on this quote by ME:

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    From Former Asst. Sec of Def Richard Perle

    "Democracies are notoriously prone to withdrawing from conflict."

    In fact, Goering and his ilk COUNTED on that in the run up to WWII.
    YOU said:

    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Because most democracies don't believe in wars of offense....

    ... NONE have shrunk from wars of defence...
    And THAT is a nice summary of DPT, at least as powerful as Woodrow Wilson's quote.

    LOL.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  14. by   BSNtobe2009
    Those people have been fighting each other for thousands of years and it won't matter who they elect President here or in any other country, it will still be the same.

    Not every country wants to be a Democracy, primarily because they treat women like the dirt on their shoes, and you have a male-dominated society that will keep it like that.

    Saddam wasn't a President, he was a dictator that ordered the death of anyone that opposed him or if it was even rumored, that they opposed him. If he couldn't kill his enemies he would order their families killed, even infants.

    It's just a matter of time before they will get another dictator to take Saddam's place and they will probably get a few assasinated before one has any staying power, and then things will return to how they were before.

    Iraq is just going to turn into another Isreal, which is another interntional welfare case we have to fund.

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