Security in Iraq

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As far as many are concerned Iraq was a debacle. Militarily this was one of the greatest victories in the history of mankind. We took over an entire nation in a couple of weeks, with the least loss of life and collateral damage ever in this kind of campaign. While simultaneously doing it in Afghanistan. And we were hamstrung because our allies weren't trustworthy (France and EU pressured Turkey to not let us use bases there to pincer Iraq, which would have helped reduced the insurgency and saved lives).

Mission Accomplished

Seriously, think about that. Militarily, the wars were stunningly efficient and effective. Rumsfeld changed warfare in the world. He proved that it isn't just about overwhelming numbers, it is about overwhelming effectiveness. Using weapons, timing, logistics, technology and manpower together, to allow smaller forces to attack and defeat larger forces. (We were outnumbered). It is about operational efficiency of our military over politics. It is about force magnifiers and technology, and saving lives and reducing costs, while simultaneously increasing effectiveness.

Militarily, we were proven right.

The problems we are having are not because of the military, it is because of the culture of the country we invaded. Even in countries like Japan and Germany, which value order far more than the middle east, we had unrest after WWII for years (insurgencies). Is that an example of an incompetent military, poor planning, or an excuse that we should have known that and not gotten involved in WWII?

You broke it, you bought it

In 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces there’s basically no unrest; the press focused on the other 4. The problems in Iraq are because a small segment of the Iraqi's and the neighboring cultures value chaos, and resent order. They are a tribal and feudal cul- ture, with ignorant and angry people, who are trying to defeat order in the name of chaos, mass murder, and an anarchy, or they think hurting us is more important than helping themselves. And I use themselves loosely, since many are foreign and/ or sponsored by foreign forces working against Iraq’s interest.

Most of the problems are overblown and ways of people seeing anything we do as wrong. It was like the whole U.N. bombing. We told the UN they needed more secu- rity, we offered multiple times to give it to them. We tried to push them to take it and they kept saying, “no need” or that since they hated us, they wanted to avoid being seen with us. Then they were bombed, and they used it as an excuse to pull out, and the European press blamed us for not providing better security. Idiots.

The Press attacked us that we didn’t provide better security for the world’s archeo- logical treasures and allowed the looting. Well we might have had more troops if France, the EU and Turkey hadn’t worked against us. But despite huge press at the time, later the truth comes out to near silence in the media; most of the treasures that had been looted were looted months (and sometimes years) before we got there, some were taken by the curators and Iraqi’s during the build-up of the war, and most of it had been hidden and was safe (which is the normal procedure in war in museums throughout the world). The truth wasn’t newsworthy because it didn’t make us look bad, but the exaggerations and lies got great airplay in Europe.

Of course we did make mistakes. We assumed that the Europeans and the U.N. would stop being petty once the country fell, and help the Iraqi people. We over es- timated them. We shouldn’t have dissolved the Iraqi army and police, though they mostly dissolved themselves. Still we should have gotten on top of that faster. We didn’t realize that the Syrians and Iranians had been building up for the insurgent war and training people as long as they had been, or that the French and Russians had been relaying secret information we’d been giving them. And we’d suspected the Iraqi’s would be relieved when we freed them, which they so obviously were if you saw the dancing in the streets or tearing down of the statue. But we didn’t realize the infrastructure was so broken under the U.N. and Saddam, and that the people were so beaten down. We figured they had more the spirit of the Kurds and would help rebuild quickly, but under the U.N.’s watch, things had gotten much worse than we realized.

So there were many failures. But there are enough failures to go around. Many are ours. Many are our allies. Many are the U.N.’s, and quite a few are the Iraqi’s them- selves who did not immediately step up for their own interests as much as they should have. But they are now, and things are getting a lot better. It took decades to rebuild Japan and Germany. Things had decayed a lot longer than WWII under Sad- dam, and we’ve already moved at rebuilding even faster. We’ll see in a few years how things turn out.

Written: 2005.08.04