War of Attrition

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by superfreak, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. superfreak
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    The war on terror specifically the war in Iraq is a war of attrition. (Like every other American war fought before it) There are three types of terrorists attacking American troops and interests(Iraqi police force; U.N. headquarters etc.) in Iraq.

    1. Islamic fundamentalist/extremists: these are the suicide bombers who are mostly misled and disgruntled arab youth manipulated by the radical rants of extreme leaders like Osama. You cannot completely get rid of extremists. Western ideas of religion and humanity don't mesh with Islamic idealogies. There will always be extremists confused about their own religion willing to blow themselves and innocent civilians up. They don't view death the same way we do.

    2. Fedayeen Saddamm: individuals who have lost much due to the fall of the Baath party. Their years of persecution have put them out of favor with the Iraqi masses and if a democratic government is established they will lose all of their power. With Saddamm caught (carrying U.S. cash HA! so much for hating America) the Fedayeen will slowly disappear as the American military finds and kills the remaining followers.

    3. International terrorists/mercenaries: the liberal media refuses to report that most terrorists are paid. Al Qauada and other terrorist groups pay 5-10,000 U.S. dollars! a head for the death of U.S. soldiers. If an international terrorist dies attacking American troops in Iraq then his family is compensated. These terrorists have no idealogical tie to the fundamentalists. They make up the majority of terrorists. The reason there are so many of them is because terrorism is the most lucrative job in the Middle East. Its not only because they hate America!

    Around the world the 1st and second group exist. Terrorist groups are funded by Saudis and other rich oligarchs who make money selling oil to the West. It is in their interests (Saudis etc.) to keep democracy out of the Middle East so that they can keep a strong grip on their power and on their money. A democratic Iraq would start a tidal wave of instability in other Arab countries like Iran and that would be a threat to their oil interests.

    Now regardless of whether you think unilateralism is a good thing or not, the war of attrition(war on terror) will be won if Americans stay the course. Media stories about idealogical terrorists are just false or too narrowly focused on the outspoken fundamentalists over payed mercenaries.

    The reason the French, Germans, and Russians did not support the war in Iraq is due to their differing interests with each other in Europe!

    France has a vote on the U.N. security council and it has a large stake in the E.U. France fears the expansion of the E.U. into eastern Europe because France is not a direct trading partner with most eastern europe countries. Germany on the other hand is and they promote expansion of the E.U. east because it will benefit them economically. Since WW2 France has had a stronger voice in European and consequently world affairs than Germany. IF the E.U. surpasses the U.N. as a legitimate international institution then France will lose its bargaining power(read voice) in many international affairs to Germany which has more power in the E.U.. Therefore, France's reasoning for not supporting the war in Iraq was because it wants to maintain the legitimacy of the U.N. where it has more power than its 20th century rival Germany.

    Germany did not support the war in Iraq because German engineering firms built and financed most of the oil infrastructure in Iraq. Once the U.S. democratizes Iraq German firms will lose their contracts to american firms when it comes to rebuilding Iraq's oil infrastructure.

    Russia under Putin is becoming less democratic. Now unlike under Yeltsin, there is no free press in Russia. Putin was a member of the KGB and his good old boys have taken over most of the Russian govt. Putin also is trying to buy or take back (through the courts) most of Russia's big industries. Right now we don't know if Putin really wants to be a friend of the U.S. and buy into the idea of becoming "westernized". He tells us he does and we want to believe him, but his actions speak otherwise. He mostly did not support the war just to raise the status of Russia on the world stage. Its important to note that Russia would have supported the war if France and Germany did, but because they didn't Russias' non support was not criticized too strongly by the U.S.

    95% of Arabs want a voice in their govts. but they don't have the money or democratic ability to voice their opinions because they live under oppressive regimes that don't promote economic growth or distribution among the masses.


    It's my contention that the war on terror is a good thing. I want oil prices to go down. I like my gas cheap. i also want a stable middle east. A stable middle east not only is a good thing for America it also betters the lives of the people that live there. The very nature of this war is a war of attrition. American troops will continue to take out more terrorists than can be bought. There will always be the extremists-it is part of their religion/idealogy and the west cannot change that. Sacrificing American boys and money is worth my security and the security of the people who live in the middle east. Wake up. Persistance is the only way to win.
     
  2. eric
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    Welcome Superfreak ! :)
     
  3. kcmcdonald
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    nicley put. That is a great essay man. I like the arguments put foward. A strong Millitary is the only way to ensure peace at homea and abroud.
    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  4. Zhukov
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    Nitpicking I know, but I wouldn't classify WW2 as a war of attrition, due to the nature of the objectives.
     
  5. superfreak
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    I understand your nitpick. Ive studied WW2 The U.S. and allied forces won WW2 because of military size not strategy. This makes this war a war of attrition. You put one Panzar or Tiger (German tank) up against a Sherman (American tank) the Panzar or Tiger will win. Also you put one German batallion against one U.S. batallion the German batallion will win. During WW2 most german units and equipment were better than there allied counterparts. The allies won because they put 50 sherman tanks up against 5 Panzar tanks. And we were able to stop the German war machine by mobilizing a larger (more men, more bombs, more resources) Allied machine. WW2 was a war of attrition its defined that way in the history books.
     
  6. superfreak
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    wars of attrition are not defined by objectives they are defined by how they are fought.
     
  7. Zhukov
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    Yes, but the point was not to kill as many people as possible. The objective was not simply the death of the enemy. In Vietnam we felt if we killed enough Vietnamese they'd give up, not to occupy Hanoi; if they killed enough of us, we'd leave, not to occupy D.C. In the Revolutionary War we felt if we killed enough red coats they'd leave, not to occupy London. In the Civil War the point was pretty much the erradication of the rebel army wherever it was.

    World War 2 was a race to Berlin and Tokyo. Strategic use of intelligence helped to accelerate our push into Germany. Strategic use of atomic bombs removed the need to forcibly invade Japan. The objectives of WW2 were not "kill as many people as possible."

    The situation on the eastern front of europe could more closely be described as a war of attrition, though a war of erradication may be a more apt term, at least on the part of the Germans. Though the Russians had to kill many Germans to do it, and they were happy to do so, the objective was not the erradication of the German people, but the capture of their capital and the forced capitulation of the German war machine.

    The point being, in the way I think you interpret the very nature of war, any war is a war of attrition. Do you have an opinion of any war, not neccesarily one fought by the US, that was not a war of attrition? And if so, please explain why. What makes a war not a war of attrition?

    now, we are digressing a good deal from your original post, which is why a hesitated to nitpick to begin with, but I did anyways.
     
  8. superfreak
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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    A war of attrition is a war in which neither side has an exploitable strategic or tactical advantage, and the continuation of the war is just the slow bleeding by both sides of their strength. Thus, the war will be won by the side with greater reserves of personnel and war material, the loser eventually succumbing because they run out first.

    fighting a war of attrition is a strategy it has nothing to do with objectives. Fighting a war of attrition was the strategy for the allies in WW2. But a war of attrition does not necessarily mean "kill as many people as possible".

    Any war can be classified as a war of attrition if the winner wins by wearing down the other sides reserves, personell, and material.

    Losers of wars often say they lost because the winner had a better strategy. This better strategy was being capable of waging a war of attrition.

    It is not always advantageous to wage a war of attrition if both sides are equally matched i.e. WW1. Nevertheless most recent large scale wars have been strategically fought as wars of attrition.

    My initial point was that to win the war on terror it must be fought like a war of attrition. I think it is being fought this way, but many people don't understand that and thats why it is not fully supported.

    When do we not fight wars of attrition? The U.S. has never fought such a war. Many wars fought in feudal times were not wars of attrition. Smaller armies with the most advanced and best trained but often smallest forces won. Shoguns in Japan and West african tribes during the slave trade come to mind as groups that fought and won wars by not employing a war of attrition strategy.

    I apolagize if my initial interpretation of war of attrition was ambigous. Hopefully this will clear things up.
     
  9. kcmcdonald
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    I'm going to have to dissagree with you supper freak. There where "clear objectives" in WW2. Chan, Paris, Cherburg, Bastone, Berlin. The goal wasn't to bleed the german army out in france it was to go to Berlin and end the war. A war of atrition w2ould have ment a WW1 type of trench warfare where no one moved, and just threw bodies at each other.
    The reason why we had supperior man power and materail power is because we spent from 41-44 building our army. Also no country had the abiility to bomb our factories. If we would have gotten in the war earlier the germans would have beat us seanslous. Over whelming power does not constitute a war of atrition. If by that definition every action from the Gulf War's (1,2) to the Roman expance in Europe would be a war of atrition. When ground, or teritory, is the ultimate goal it is not kill as many as you can, it's kill as many as you have to to reach your objective. That is not a war of atrtion thats a war of tactics.
     
  10. Zhukov
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    Well, based on that definition I would continue to believe WW2 was not a war of attrition. We had strategic advantage with our heavy bombers, and a tactical advantage as we secured complete air superiority towards the end of the war. Now on one hand that could be described as one side running out of 'war material' or on the other hand it could be described as 'an exploitable strategic or tactical advantage.' The naval encirclement of Europe was a strategic advantage. Our vast untouchable industrial complex was a strategic advantage. The atomic bomb was a strategic advantage. Our exceptional military intelligence was both a strategic and tactical advantage. The fact that Hitler was stupid enough to invade the USSR proved to be strategically advantageous.

    WW2 didn't devolve into a slow bleeding by both sides. Instead of defending to their deaths their Fatherland many Germans surrendered to us to avoid surrendering to the Soviets towards the end. A war of attrition would not have involved such dynamic front line movement as WW2 did. WW1 on the other hand was definately a war of attrition, and more closely resembles the definition provided.

    Getting back on topic, I would agree that the War on Terrorism currently is predominantly a war of attrition, but not because of the definition provided.

    The goal in Afghanistan was a systematic strategy of killing or capturing the enemy. That was the primary goal. Obviously we had and used our strategic and tactical advantages to win, but the point was the complete destruction of our enemy. An attrition of their ranks.

    Initially, the second war in Iraq was anything but a war of attrition. Enormous strategic and tactical superiority was brought to bear against an enemy to save lives and secure the country. Seeing the peril inherent in a democratic Iraq, foreign insurgents have entered to make war against our troops. The war to secure the peace of Iraq therefore has evolved into a war of attrition, wherein our sole military goal is to find and eliminate our enemies, and their primary goal is to kill U.S. troops.

    The definition provided does not adequately explain how the Vietnam War was a war of attrition, as we clearly possessed strategic and tactical advantages. However the war was fought by guerrillas and partisans. It is my contention that in most cases any modern war of attrition would involve either guerillas or partisans.

    As we currently face an amorphous stateless threat, which exists many places at once, and as the only remedy to this threat is it's systematic elimination, the war on terror is a war of attrition. These terrorists could in some respects be described as guerillas.

    However the war on terrorism is also a war of ideas.
     

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