Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
  Search our site:    
 Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
Author
Thread Post New Thread    Reply
Bollweevil
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Texanistan
Posts: 1,845
Strategy or lack of in Iraq

A most clear and concise appraisal of what went wrong in Iraq:


US Strategy in Iraq
Honors Convocation
Newberry College
9 November 2006

Mitchell Zais

Many of our faculty and staff have asked me my views about the current situation in Iraq. A few students have also asked. So I thought I would take this opportunity, two days before Veterans? Day, to provide you with some insights as seen from the perspective of a combat veteran who served as the Commanding General of US and allied forces in Iraq. I also served as Chief of War Plans in the Pentagon and have spent considerable time studying national security affairs, including a fellowship at the National Defense University. So while it?s true that everyone has opinions about Iraq, I would argue that not all of those opinions are equally well-informed.

This talk will address our strategy in Iraq. I won?t talk about what the next steps should be, what the long-term prospects for peace in Iraq are, or how we can best get out of the quagmire we are in. Those might be other talks. For today I?m going to focus on strategy.

Let me begin by saying that most of our problems in Iraq stem from a flawed strategy that has been in place since the beginning of the war.

It?s important that you understand what strategy is. In military terminology there is a distinction between strategy, operations, tactics, and techniques.

Strategy pertains to national decision-making at the highest level. For example, our strategy in World War II was to mobilize the nation, then defeat the Nazi regime while conducting a holding action in the Pacific, then shift our forces to destroy the Japanese Empire. After wards, our strategy was to rebuild both defeated nations into capitalistic democracies in order to make them future allies.

An example of an operational decision from World War II would be the decision to invade North Africa and then Italy and Southern France before moving directly
for the heart of Germany by coming ashore in Northern France or Belgium.

Tactics characterize a scheme of maneuver that integrates the different capabilities of, for example, infantry, armor, and artillery.

A technique might describe a way of employing machine guns with overlapping fields of fire or of setting up a roadblock.

Our strategy in Iraq has been:

1. fight the war on the cheap;

2. ask the ground forces to perform missions that are
more suitably performed by other branches of the
American government;

3. inconvenience the American people as little as
possible, and

4. continue to fund the Air Force and Navy at the
same levels that they have been funded at for the last
30 years while shortchanging the Army and Marines who
are doing all of the fighting.

No wonder the war is not going well.

Let me explain how the war is being fought on the cheap.

>From the very beginning, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who thankfully announced his departure yesterday, has striven to minimize the number of soldiers and Marines in Iraq. Instead of employing the Colin Powell doctrine of ?use massive force at the beginning to achieve a quick and decisive victory,? his goal has been ?use no more troops than absolutely necessary so we can spend defense dollars on new
technology.?

Before hostilities began, the Army Chief of Staff, Eric Shinseki, testified before Congress that an occupation of Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Shinseki made his estimate based on his extensive experience in the former Yugoslavia where he worked to disengage the warring factions of Orthodox
Serbians, Catholic Croatians, and Muslim Kosovars.

Shinseki also had available the results of a war game conducted in 1999 that involved 70 military, diplomatic, and intelligence officials. This recently declassified study concluded that 400,000 troops on the ground were needed to keep order, seal borders,
and take care of other security needs. And even then stability would not be guaranteed.

Because of his testimony before Congress, Rumsfeld moved Shinseki aside. In a nearly unprecedented move, to replace Shinseki, Rumsfeld recalled from active
duty a retired general who was more likely to accept his theory that we could win a war in Iraq and establish a stable government with a small number of troops.

The Defense Department has fought the war on the cheap because, despite overwhelming evidence that the Army and Marine Corps need a significant increase in their size in order to accomplished their assigned missions, the civilian officials who run the Pentagon have refused to request authorization from Congress to do so. Two Democratic representatives, Mark Udall from Colorado and Ellen Tauscher of California, have introduced a bill into Congress that would add 80,000 troops to the end-strength of the active Army. Currently, this bill has no support from the Defense
Department.

When I was commissioned in 1969 the Army was one and a half million. Despite the fact that we're engaged in combat in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Philippines, and committed to peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Sinai, and on operational deployments in over 70 countries, our Army is now less than one
third that size. We had more soldiers in Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf war than we have in the entire Army today. In fact, Wal-Mart has three times as many
employees as the American Army has soldiers.

As late as 1990, Army end-strength was approximately 770,000. With fewer than a half-million today, defense analysts have argued that we need to add nearly 200,000 soldiers to the active ranks. Today, the Army is so bogged down in Afghanistan and
Iraq that fewer than 10,000 soldiers are ready and able to deal with any new crisis elsewhere in the world. And because the Army is so small, after only a year at home units are returning to Iraq for a second and even a third 12-month tour of duty.

Let me add a parenthetical note here explaining a difference between our services. Army tours of duty in Iraq are for 12 or 13 months. For Marines it's normally six months. For Air Force personnel it's typically four months. So when a soldier says he's going back to Iraq for his third tour, it means something totally different than when
an airman says the same thing.

Because the active force is too small, the mission of our National Guard and reserve forces has been changed. Their original purpose was to save the nation in time of peril. Today they serve as fillers for an inadequately sized active force. This change
in mission has occurred with no national debate and no input from Congress.

We have fought the war on the cheap because we have never adequately funded the rebuilding of the Iraqi military or the training and equipping of the Iraqi police forces. The e-mails I receive from soldiers and Marines assigned to train Iraqi forces all
complain of their inadequate resources because they are at the very bottom of the supply chain and the lowest priority.

We have fought the war on the cheap because we have failed to purchase necessary equipment for our troops or repair that which has been broken or a worn out in combat. You?ve all read the stories about soldiers having to purchase their own bulletproof vests and other equipment. And the Army Chief of Staff has testified that he needs an extra $17 billion to fix equipment. For example, nearly 1500 war-fighting
vehicles await repair in Texas with 500 tanks sitting in Alabama.

Finally, we are fighting this war on the cheap because our defense budget of 3.8% of gross domestic product is too small. In the Kennedy administration it averaged 9% of GDP. The average defense budget in the post Vietnam era, from 1974 to 1994, was about 5.8% of GDP. If we are in a global war against radical Islam, and we are, then we need a defense budget that reflects wartime requirements.

A second part of our strategy is to ask the military to perform missions that are more appropriate for other branches of government. Our Army and Marine Corps are taking the lead in such projects as building roads and sewage treatment plants, establishing schools, training a neutral judiciary, and developing a modern banking system. The press refers to these activities as nation-building. Our soldiers and Marines are neither equipped nor trained to do these things. They attempt them, and in general they succeed, because they are so committed and so obedient. But it is not what they do well and what only they alone can do.

(Continued)
__________________
Jack
74 911 Coupe
2.7L - S suspension
Old 12-01-2006, 12:38 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #1 (permalink)
Bollweevil
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Texanistan
Posts: 1,845
But I would ask, where are our Department of Energy and Department of Transportation in restoring Iraqi infrastructure? What's the role of our Department of
Education in rebuilding an Iraqi educational system? What does our Department of Justice do to help stand up an impartial judicial system? Where is the US
Information Agency in establishing a modern equivalent of Radio Free Europe? And why did it take a year after the end of the active fighting for the State Department to assume responsibility from the Department of Defense in setting up an Iraqi
government? These other US government agencies are only peripherally and secondarily involved in Iraq.

Actually, it would be inaccurate to say that the American government is at war. The U.S. Army is at war. The Marine Corps is at war. And other small elements of our armed forces are at war. But our government is not.

A third part of our strategy is to inconvenience the American people as little as possible.

Ask yourself, are you at war? What tangible effect is this war having on your daily life? What sacrifices have you been asked to make for the sake of this war
other than being inconvenienced at airports? No, America is not a war. Only a small number of young, brave, patriotic men and women, who bear the burden of fighting and dying, are at war.

A fourth aspect of our strategy is to fund Navy and Air Force budgets at prewar levels while shortchanging the Marine Corps and the Army that are doing the fighting.

This strategy, of spending billions on technology for a Navy and Air Force that face no threat, contributes mightily to our failures in Iraq.

Secretary Rumsfeld is a former Navy pilot. His view of the battlefield is from 10,000 feet, antiseptic and surgical. Since coming into office he has funded the Air Force and the Navy at the expense of the Army and Marines because he believes technological leaps we?ll render ground forces obsolete. He assumed that the rapid victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan confirmed this belief.

For example, the Defense Department is pouring billions into buying the newest fighter aircraft, at $360 million each, to take on a non-existent enemy Air Force.

But, for pilots like Rumsfeld, war is all about technology. It?s computers, it?s radar, and it?s high tech weapons. Technologists have a hard time comprehending the motivations of a suicide bomber or a mother who celebrates the death of her son in such a way. It's difficult for them to understand that to overcome centuries of ethnic hatred and murder it will take more than one generation. It's hard for them to
accept that for young men with little education, no wives or children, and few job prospects, war against the West is the only thing that gives meaning to their
lives.

But war on the ground is not conducted with technology. It is fought by 25-year-old sergeants leading 19-year-old soldiers carrying rifles, in a dangerous and alien environment, where you can't tell combatants from noncombatants, Shiites from Sunnis, or suicide bombers from freedom seeking Iraqis. This means war on the street is neither antiseptic nor surgical. It's dirty, complicated, and fraught with
confusion and error.

In essence, our strategy has been produced by men whose view of war is based on their understanding of technology and machinery, not their knowledge of men from an alien culture and the forces which motivate them. They fail to appreciate that if you
want to hold and pacify a hostile land and a hostile people you need soldiers and Marines on the ground and in the mud, and lots of them.

In summary, our flawed strategy in Iraq has produced the situation we now face. This strategy is a product of the Pentagon, not the White House. And remember, the Pentagon is run by civilian appointees in suits, not military men and women in uniform. From the very beginning Defense Department officials failed to appreciate what it would take to win this war.

The US military has tried to support this strategy because they are trained and instructed to be subordinate to and obedient to civilian leadership. And the American people want it that way. The last thing you want is a uniformed military accustomed to debating in public the orders of their appointed civilian masters. But retired generals and admirals are starting to speak out, to criticize the strategy
that has produced our current situation in Iraq.

But, if we continue to fight the war on the cheap, if we continue to avoid involving the American people by asking them to make any sacrifice at all, if we continue to spend our dollars on technology while neglecting the soldiers and Marines on the ground, and if we fail to involve the full scope of the American government in rebuilding Iraq, then we might as well quit, and come home. But, what we have now is not a
real strategy ? it?s business as usual.
__________________
Jack
74 911 Coupe
2.7L - S suspension
Old 12-01-2006, 12:40 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Responses to this should be interesting.
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-01-2006, 09:54 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #3 (permalink)
the the is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 8,285
Summary:

Our strategeries have been bad.
It's a mess.

Groundbreaking stuff.
Old 12-01-2006, 10:01 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Nah..

Our strategies have been brilliant!!!!! (at least on poster has said so...over and over and over and over and over.........)
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-01-2006, 10:06 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
HardDrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 12,921
Read Bob Woodwards latest book. It unfolds the patheticness in more detail.
__________________
2004 Royal Enfield Bullet, dripin' oil like an old flat six.
1992 Ducati Supersport. White frame, Ferracci pipes, open airbox
2005 997S
2004 Lexus RX330
No matter how responsible he may seem, never give your gun to a monkey.
Old 12-01-2006, 10:51 PM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #6 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: N. Phoenix AZ USA
Posts: 28,697
Quote:
Originally posted by the
Summary:

Our strategeries have been bad.
It's a mess.

Groundbreaking stuff.
But to look at how the libs keep posting new threads like this, you would think that they found a new non-polluting energy source or Noah's Arc or the like...
__________________
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins (the workhorse), 1992 Jaguar XJ S-3 V-12 VDP (one of only 100 examples made), 1969 Jaguar XJ (been in the family since new), 1985 911 Targa backdated to 1973 RS specs with a 3.6 shoehorned in the back, 1959 Austin Healey Sprite (former SCCA H-Prod), 1995 BMW R1100RSL, 1971 & '72 BMW R75/5 "Toaster," Ural Tourist w/sidecar, 1949 Aeronca Sedan / QB
Old 12-02-2006, 01:12 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #7 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Joe...

I gotta say...

It is no longer a liberal or conservative problem. It is a national, nay, a global problem. The sad part is, as tabs has suggested, it may get far worse before it improves. It is time for cooler heads on all sides get together and scope out a "winning" strategy. (whatever that is; I am not privy to enough information to even suggest a way out).

It seems no matter what is said, or who says it, our leadership is adamant about (I hate to say this) "staying the course".
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-02-2006, 08:32 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
techweenie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: West L.A.
Posts: 16,309
Garage
Quote:
Originally posted by Moneyguy1


It seems no matter what is said, or who says it, our leadership is adamant about (I hate to say this) "staying the course".
The reason Baker's Iraq Study Group recommendations have been leaked over the last week+ is so that the administration can avoid being put on the spot when the report is officially presented. Now, none of the ideas will seem 'new' but simply longstanding prior alternatives.

The administration will then feel free to stay the course of underequipping our troops, keeping them understrength for their mission and asking them to perform nation-building and police work instead of what they were trained to do.

I doubt if many will be fooled. But many more will die or be wounded. Each American's already staggering debt load will continue to increase. And for what? For nothing much more than a personal vendetta wrapped in a loony PNAC idealogy.
__________________
techweenie
News for enthusiasts: YouTube.com/fastlanedaily
'06 Boxster 2.7, '72 911 Beige Gray hot rod, '72 911 Gemini Blue Metallic hot rod, '71 911T coupe, Turquoise(!)
'13 Chevy Volt parts fetcher
Old 12-02-2006, 08:50 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #9 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
I was trying to figure something out the other day, as to what the odds are if you are a ground pounder in Iraq of being killed or wounded. Let's see.....140,000 troops, 2800 killed (roughly 2,350 of these listed as "combat") and 25,000 wounded. Looks like a one in five chance. Am I missing something here?

The immortal words of a crew member of the "Enola Gay":

"My God, What have we done?"
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-02-2006, 08:59 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
techweenie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: West L.A.
Posts: 16,309
Garage
Quote:
Originally posted by Moneyguy1
I was trying to figure something out the other day, as to what the odds are if you are a ground pounder in Iraq of being killed or wounded. Let's see.....140,000 troops, 2800 killed (roughly 2,350 of these listed as "combat") and 25,000 wounded. Looks like a one in five chance. Am I missing something here?

The immortal words of a crew member of the "Enola Gay":

"My God, What have we done?"
You have to figure that over 350K troops have been rotated through, so your odds are a bit high.
__________________
techweenie
News for enthusiasts: YouTube.com/fastlanedaily
'06 Boxster 2.7, '72 911 Beige Gray hot rod, '72 911 Gemini Blue Metallic hot rod, '71 911T coupe, Turquoise(!)
'13 Chevy Volt parts fetcher
Old 12-02-2006, 09:01 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #11 (permalink)
Corkscrewing in
 
lendaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 18,910
Quote:
Originally posted by Moneyguy1
I was trying to figure something out the other day, as to what the odds are if you are a ground pounder in Iraq of being killed or wounded. Let's see.....140,000 troops, 2800 killed (roughly 2,350 of these listed as "combat") and 25,000 wounded. Looks like a one in five chance. Am I missing something here?

The immortal words of a crew member of the "Enola Gay":

"My God, What have we done?"
So what is an acceptable level to you?
__________________
cog in the broken machine
Old 12-02-2006, 09:03 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #12 (permalink)
 
Now Available for Ordering:   101 Projects For Your BMW 3 Series 1982-2000  [more info]
the the is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 8,285
Quote:
Originally posted by Joeaksa
But to look at how the libs keep posting new threads like this, you would think that they found a new non-polluting energy source or Noah's Arc or the like...
The article is a yawner - what is more interesting is proposed solutions.
Old 12-02-2006, 09:04 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #13 (permalink)
Nice guy eddie
 
speeder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: los angeles, CA.
Posts: 20,956
Garage
Quote:
Originally posted by lendaddy
So what is an acceptable level to you?
An acceptable level of loss of life to remove SH from power and create a war-torn, anarchistic hell-hole of death and instability in the heart of the ME?

That's an easy one. Zero.
__________________
Denis
"It was either Voltaire or Charlie Sheen who said, 'We are born alone. We live alone. We die alone. And anything in between that can give us the illusion that we're not, we cling to.'" -
-- Gabriel byrne
Old 12-02-2006, 09:13 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #14 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Acceptable levels....

In the face of immediate threat, like WWII, I can understand the need for the sacrifice of life and limb, since both Germany and Japan had plans of invasion. There is, as some say, no price to be set on liberty.

tech...Sorry...so it drops the odds to something like 1 in 10 to one in 15. I just thought it was an interesting observation, considering how often folks say that the cost has been "relatively" low. Seems about once or twice a month either Phoenix or Tucson loses another son or daughter.

Wouldn't it be interesting if each of us were told "By the way; your chances of not coming home after today's work is one in 15". I think I would be taking a LOT of sick days!!
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-02-2006, 09:19 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #15 (permalink)
Corkscrewing in
 
lendaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 18,910
Quote:
Originally posted by speeder
An acceptable level of loss of life to remove SH from power and create a war-torn, anarchistic hell-hole of death and instability in the heart of the ME?

That's an easy one. Zero.
I'm always surprised by the inability of you guys to think more than a day ahead on this.
__________________
cog in the broken machine
Old 12-02-2006, 09:33 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #16 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Or the powers that be to consider the future ramifications of a specific action......
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-02-2006, 09:35 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #17 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Virgina
Posts: 23,695
Garage
Send a message via AIM to fintstone
Like the president has told you many times...this **** is just hard to do. If it were easy, all of you geniuses could do it...instead of whine about how others are doing it.
__________________
74 Targa 3.0, 89 Carrera, 04 Cayenne Turbo
http://www.pelicanparts.com/gallery/fintstone/
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money"
Some are born free. Some have freedom thrust upon them. Others simply surrender
Old 12-02-2006, 09:35 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #18 (permalink)
Corkscrewing in
 
lendaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 18,910
Quote:
Originally posted by Moneyguy1
Or the powers that be to consider the future ramifications of a specific action......
Instant gratification or else!

"I'll take a McResolution of conflict on Italian white please".
__________________
cog in the broken machine
Old 12-02-2006, 09:40 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #19 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
Yup....

It is indeed hard to do.

It is indeed difficult to not think of the consequences of specific actions. I wish someone could PLEASE explain this to me. Isn't there an old adage that goes something like:

"A judgemental error on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"?

There will always be those who are convinced of the "brilliance" and "wisdom" that went into Iraq's long-range planning. Then, there are those who would like to find a way to "fix" it with as little carnage on both sides as possible.

Victory, to me, would be leaving a country that will, in the forseeable future, not be a threat to our interests first, and to the region second.
__________________
Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-02-2006, 09:42 AM
  Recommend this thread for the PelicanWiki    Reply With Quote #20 (permalink)
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

 


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:30 PM.


 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page
 


DTO Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.