Is Iraq A Strategic Debacle For The U.S.?

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by longknife, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. longknife
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    longknife Platinum Member

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    by War News Updates Editor @ War News Updates: Is Iraq A Strategic Debacle For The U.S.?

    Losing Iraq -- Frederick W. Kagan & Kimberly Kagan, NRO

    We face a strategic debacle.

    President Obama announced the “end of America’s war in Iraq” on December 14, 2011, with the words, “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations.” These were the conditions that he felt allowed him to describe the completion of America’s military withdrawal as a “moment of success.” Nine months later, Iraq does not seem like a success, even in these extremely limited terms. It is neither sovereign nor stable nor self-reliant. Its government does not reflect the will of its people; Sunni officials have been marginalized and, in some cases, driven out of office. And it is not a partner of the United States on any of the key issues in the region: From its evasion of economic sanctions on Iran to its support for the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, Iraq stands in Tehran’s camp, not Washington’s. The reality is that the United States has not achieved its national-security objectives in Iraq and is not likely to do so.

    Read more .... https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/328692/losing-iraq

    My Comment: What's my take .... there has never been any good options when it came to leaving Iraq. Sectarian tensions and conflict, a culture of corruption, pervasive poverty and a dysfunctional government .... leaving the country was the best of all available options .... and it was also the determined goal of President Obama from day one. I know that many are arguing that a certain level of US forces should have remained .... 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers .... but I fail to see what difference it would have made. Iraq is a huge and diverse country .... any U.S. presence .... even a token one .... would only have served to be a rallying cry for extremists and a target for the more militant ones .... and in the end, would not have made any difference on the direction that Iraq is going now .... whatever that is.
    :mad:
     
  2. Jimmy_Jam
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    Jimmy_Jam Senior Member

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    I don't really look at the Iraq War as a strategic failure, at least not in military terms. Our brave men and women did their job, and did it well.

    The Iraq War was a failure from the beginning: an intelligence failure. Bush was mature enough at the end of his run in the White House to say that his biggest regret of his presidency was the intelligence failure in Iraq. The intelligence failure pertaining to WMDs and Iraqi harboring of al-Qaeda was a key element for the justification of the invasion. I give Bush a lot of credit for his honesty in admitting the failure

    So, the success of the Iraq War was doomed from the beginning. I wonder how different things would have been if we had simply chosen to focus on al-Qaeda and go after them like the U.S. did with the Barbary pirates two centuries ago. That would have been the smarter choice. Sadly, that was being discussed as an option.
     
  3. RoccoR
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    RoccoR Gold Member

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    Jimmy_Jam, et al,

    Some of this is very true. But is it a "strategic debacle?" YES!

    (COMMENT)

    This is a trap.

    Going in, the nation, with many 50 somethings and 60 somethings, were determined not to have our armed forces degraded as many of us were on our return from Vietnam. And so we very fervently defend the role of the military in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It is true that, our boots on the ground did what we asked. No question. And the conventional battle was an unqualified victory. But having said that, some of the knowledge, skills and abilities of the senior military leadership was very lacking.

    (COMMENT)

    There is no question that there was an "intelligence failure." No question at all. But, it wasn't simply an "intelligence failure" --- but a leadership failure. We saw what we wanted to see, and not what was reported. As I look back on the run-up to the invasion, there were all sorts of question being asked about:

    • The lack of any evidence on WMD.
    • The Post War plans.
    • The Occupation and Administration of critical Iranian infrastructure.
    • The Political conflict between the religious groups.
    • The impact of Iran on the developmental outcomes.

    We did not do the right thing going in, and we didn't do the right thing once we got there. And more importantly, we still have senior leaders that insist that the WMD that Secretary Powell briefed to the UN was there. In fact I heard an O-6 say that just the other day on TV.

    (COMMENT)

    If the war was doomed from the beginning, then it was doomed by the extremely poor Post-Conflict Phase that was Administrated by the senior White House, DOD, and State Department Leadership.

    They were nieve in thinking, making decisions based on what they wanted to happen and not what realistically was going to happen. It was often a variation of the Ostrich Effect, where they buried their heads in the sand.

    The Bush Administration would like to lay it all at the feet of the Intelligence Community, but that simply is wrong. And the Senior Military just played followed the leader.

    Yes, we should have focused on the al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and left Iraq alone. But the US is an interventionist country.

    Most Respectfully,
    R
     
  4. del
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    del BANNED

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    invading iraq was the single worst foreign policy blunder in american history.
     

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