2004 November 12 Friday
7 Retired US Generals And Admirals Speak On Iraq

Rolling Stone has an article with comments by 7 US Generals and Admirals on what they think of the situation in Iraq. I'm including excerpts from just two of them below. Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, Air Force chief of staff, 1990-94, says our force in Iraq is too small.

We have a force in Iraq that's much too small to stabilize the situation. It's about half the size, or maybe even a third, of what we need. As a consequence, the insurgency seems to be gathering momentum. We are losing people at a fairly steady rate of about two a day; wounded, about four or five times that, and perhaps half of these wounds are very serious. And we are also sustaining gunshot wounds, when, before, we'd mostly been seeing massive trauma from remotely detonated charges. This means the other side is standing and fighting in a way that describes a more dangerous phase of the conflict.

The people in control in the Pentagon and the White House live in a fantasy world. They actually thought everyone would just line up and vote for a new democracy and you would have a sort of Denmark with oil. I blame Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the people behind him -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary Douglas Feith. The vice president himself should probably be included; certainly his wife. These so-called neocons: These people have no real experience in life. They are utopian thinkers, idealists, very smart, and they have the courage of their convictions, so it makes them doubly dangerous.

Former CENTCOM commander General Anthony Zinni says of course our forces in Iraq have been too small from the start and the US military always knew it would need much larger forces to assert firm control of Iraq after an invasion.

When I was commander of CENTCOM, we had a plan for an invasion of Iraq, and it had specific numbers in it. We wanted to go in there with 350,000 to 380,000 troops. You didn't need that many people to defeat the Republican Guard, but you needed them for the aftermath. We knew that we would find ourselves in a situation where we had completely uprooted an authoritarian government and would need to freeze the situation: retain control, retain order, provide security, seal the borders to keep terrorists from coming in.

When I left in 2000, General Franks took over. Franks was my ground-component commander, so he was well aware of the plan. He had participated in it; those were the numbers he wanted. So what happened between him and Rumsfeld and why those numbers got altered, I don't know, because when we went in we used only 140,000 troops, even though General Eric Shinseki, the army commander, asked for the original number.

Some serving officers are also critical of the conduct of the war. See my post US Military Officers Increasingly Critical Of US Strategy In Iraq. The need for a larger invasion force was foreseen in advance by military analysts and officers. From a previous post of mine here are some pointers to research work that shows how many troops are needed for peacekeeping operations.

There were people (eg James Quinlivan) who in advance of the invasion of Iraq said that previous occupations showed that we needed a few times the number of troops to occupy Iraq than the Bush Administration was sending. US Army General Eric Shinseki got a lot of abuse from Rumsfeld for telling a Congressional committee estimates for troop needs for an Iraq occupation that were similar to what you'd expect from Quinlivan's analysis. Other think tank analysts made similar calculations and published similar numbers.

Quinliven's writings on this go back to the 1990s. So these numbers were available before the invasion. See, for example, James T. Quinlivan, “Force Requirements in Stability Operations,” Parameters, 25 (Winter 1995-96), 59-69 which this article references. Rand has that article available here for order if you are interested. Quinliven was delivering briefings around at Washington DC think tanks on troop needs for occupation before the Iraq invasion. See his Summer 2003 Rand article Burden of Victory: The Painful Arithmetic of Stability Operations for an accessible summary of his research.

Also see the report by Rand Corporation researcher James Dobbins and colleagues: America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq. Laura Rozen has excerpted from that study:

THERE HAVE never been more than 160,000 coalition soldiers to control a population of 25 million Iraqis. Even adding in 20,000 private security contractors, that still amounts to only one soldier for every 139 Iraqis. According to a study conducted by James Dobbins and his colleagues at RAND, in most successful occupations, ranging from post-1945 Germany to post-1999 Kosovo, the figure has never been lower than one soldier per 50 people. In Iraq, that would mean 500,000 troops, or three times the number the coalition has today

The Bush Administration's dream for how to get around the problem of a too small American force is to create an Iraqi force that will do the work of putting down the insurgency. The DefenseTech blog has a post on the only Iraqi Batallion that has managed to become a disciplined and motivated fighting force: the Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion's effective fighters are almost all Kurds..

"The 36th was originally known as the 'political battalion,'" he said. That's because it was formed from the militias of five major political groups in Iraq: Iyad Alwai's Iraq National Accord (INA), Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC), the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which backs Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and the two main Kurdish groups, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). About 110 soldiers were originally culled from each group.

Because of the group's diverse roots, it's supposed to be the "most reliable" of the Iraqi forces. But, in reality, only a segment of the 36th has really been trustworthy – the Kurdish fighters known as pesh merga. In an early operation, the U.S. Army officer recalls, about 60 of SCIRI's soldiers fled; so did 30-40 each from the INA and INC. But between the two Kurdish groups, only 11 dropped out, total.

In the recent fighting in Fallujah other battalions experienced high desertion rates. Also, US Marines have claimed that some of the allied Iraqi forces have deliberately fired upon them knowing who they were.

These Iraqi soldiers were fleeing small arms fire from insurgents that was strafing both sides of the road as they approached.

Sergeant Richard Harkleroad waved his unit's flag to signal the Iraqis not to shoot, to no avail.

Finally, the Iraqis drove on, but not before many of the American soldiers took cover. Bullets had smashed the television and shredded a miniature Koran.

Sergeant Sam Kilpatrick, a combat cameraman, swore the Iraqis were looking right at him and the Bradley parked in front of the observation post when they opened fire.

"That crap was deliberate," he said.

The war is not going well.

Note: Thanks to Greg Cochran for pointing to the Rolling Stone article.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 November 12 02:41 AM  MidEast Iraq Military Needs


Comments
Subsunk said at November 13, 2004 10:40 AM:

And this analysis is supposed to impress us, how??? Where in an active duty ground force of 700,000 men and women , and a combined reserve/Guard/active force of 1.4 million, are we supposed to get 3 years of service in Iraq of 350,000 soldiers and Marines???? Do the math. Either they all stay in Iraq for the next year and a half and we remove EVERY other deployment to the rest of the world (leaving our other interests AND the homeland training and defense establishment unmanned) or we materialize 350,000 soldiers out of thin air. Our Reservists and Guardsmen are recalled for minimum 3 yrs of active duty, and our training establishments are gutted. The force does little to no warfighting training and all occupation training, all the time. Deterrence through combat capability diminishes dramatically. And our men are overworked anyway.

Because of the defense manning established by the 1993 Quadrennial Defense Review and reinforced by the 1997 QDR (in which Islamic terrorism was something like 7 or 8 out of ten most likely threats on the list), we haven't had the ability to occupy Iraq since 1989. And saying we should just use up the Army and Marine Corps to do so, ignoring our other defense commitments and threats (N Korea, China, Iran, Philippines, Columbian drug wars, etc....) is ludicrous. This is much more comparable to 1941 when we didn't have the immediate manpower to kick the Japs and Germans ass in a two year fight, so it took 4 yrs. We eventually had over 12 MILLION men under arms before it was over. While it may be correct to criticize the administration for not calling on the country to sacrifice and ramp up to a fulltime war footing, look at all the media gnashing of teeth we already have over "the US is going overboard and is becoming the biggest threat to peace in the world" bullshit. Look at the "we've lost millions of jobs media mess" we saddled ourselves with for the last 2 yrs. Imagine trying to conduct an all-out war to defeat radical Islam with bombs instead of democracy. How long would that war take? How many Muslims would that war kill?? Imagine trying to raise taxes to man and equip a doubled force given the hysteria generated over a fake draft, millions of jobs lost, our economy sucks mantra of stupidity we've been poisoned with for the last 2 yrs.

I was there (in the Pentagon, but not on the QDR) when we studied our way into a reduced manpower and equipment state because we didn't think radical Muslims would be a large problem. And our press still doesn't think so. Gen McPeak and Gen Zinni are smart guys who didn't forsee the war and didn't insist on the force manning necessary to meet their current demands. Since they didn't help us plan ahead, they should shut up now. They were part of the problem, then, and are part of the problem now. Without popular US and world support for a much larger US military, there is no way to fight the war any better than we already are. So since you wouldn't support it then, shut up and live with what we have now. Unless you plan on bankrupting America for the next decade, I think we are doing pretty damn well with what we have. And we can't afford twice as much, so live with it or enlist, people.

Subsunk

Randall Parker said at November 13, 2004 12:44 PM:

Subsunk,

Do not spin rationalizations to defend the war camp when the result is a war poorly fought that just keeps the body count going up to no productive end.

Imagine in WWII some general who asks for better tanks who then is criticized by someone like yourself because he hadn't insisted on better tank designs back in the 1930s. Would you tell him "live with those tanks and let your men die in those tanks in enormous numbers because you are part of the problem"? That is what you are doing with Zinni and McPeak. That is unfair to the guys over there fighting.

If the President of the United States is not willing to ask for the number of men needed to fight a war then he shouldn't go starting the war in the first place.

Of course, Bush and Rumsfeld were warned in advance that they didn't have enough soldiers to occupy Iraq and they chose to ignore the advice of a great many officers and civilian analysts. Rumsfeld slapped down Shinseki when Shinseki told Congress the truth about how many troops were needed to occupy Iraq. So Bush and Rumsfeld are to blame for the result. Bush and Rumsfeld could have asked for an expansion of the armed forces before the invasion. Or they could have delayed or cancelled the invasion.

Of course. Bush and Rumsfeld did not foresee the insurgency. They believed the ideologues who said everyone would be cheering in the streets for instant democracy. Once the error of their ways became glaringly evident they still chose not to try to fix the problem. These people are grossly irresponsible.

McPeak and Zinni didn't think the war in Iraq was necessary in the first place. They are right. It was not necessary. But if the Iraq war is to be fought it ought to be done with the forces necessary to do.

gcochran said at November 13, 2004 2:45 PM:


I forget, what was it that we supposed to gain out of this anyhow? Iraq never attacked the US, never gave a dime or a bullet to Al-Qaeda. The Baathists were _opponents_ of radical Islam. Iraq was no fount of fearsome weapons: the WMD story was all hogwash. Saddam was a pin in the ass, but nothing more than that.

As I understand it, when I can stop laughing long enough to talk about it, there were several reasons for invading and occupying Iraq. The most widely believed reason is that Iraq cooked up 9-11. Nobody in the Administration actually says this, even Cheney only hints at it, but the core of Bush's supporters believe it. That explanation is aimed at pure rubes - peope who want to beleive in their side and are willing to just make shit in order to do so. Pretty normal, actually.

The second explanation is that we're really trying to reshape the Middle East: that we're going to build a wonderful, yet contagious example in Iraq. That is of course nonsense: building any kind of respectable government in Iraq is unlikely, and why would it be contagious even if we succeeded, any more than Lebanon or Turkey or for that matter Switzerland has inspired political reform. And why would we care? Care much, that is: care to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. One sub-notion is that terrorism is the fruit of oppressive governments in the Middle East - which is why, presumably, that the most repessive governments in the Middle East, Iraq and Syria, generated very few snti-US terrorists. A rival sub-notion is that terrorism is the fruit of _poverty - you just can't keep those Marxists down. All nonsense, but a higher nonsense, aimd at rubes of the second class.

The third explanation is that this is a great struggle between civilizations: that the Arabs are 'coming for us' and it is nezscessary that we fight them over there, rather than over here. That one is funny in a darksome kind of way. First, it's simply not true. Hardly any Arabs or Moslems are doing anything against us: the people who did execute 9-11, and tehir buddies, were a few hundred nuts, now either dead or hiding like rats. And they're pitifully weak: few in numebr, poorly armed, not very smart. Next, what if the entire Arab world, the entire Moslem world _did_ decide to take us on? We'd exterminate them without working up a sweat. They dont amount to anything. And of course, if we dream of endless waves of jihad terrorism hitting the homeland - how're they supposed to get here if we don't sell them tickets? Let me guess: Norm Mineta won't let us screen the few people who _might_ cause trouble, and rather than offend him or the ACLU,, we have to attack and occupy whole countries, being particularly careful to choose ones that have never attacked us at all? Sems to me it'd be a lot easier to just attack Norm Mineta. This too is aimed at rubes of the second class, but nastier ones.

Then there is the existential explanation: we're here because we're here because we're here. Its exponents will, off the record, concede that there was never any reason to invade Iraq. But now that we're there, there are all kinds of reasons to stay. One is prestige - we can't go around admitting that we ever made a mistake: if we did the world would end. Then there's the idea that we can't _admit_ that our soldiers, who have so far died for an effort that has positively injured the interests of the US, died in vain. Of course they _have_ died in vain, but we can't _admit_ that they have - and the only way to avoid admitting it is to continue the farce indefinitely - the Concorde fallacy on steroids.
One version explains that if we left, Iraq would become a sea of chaos, a base for terrorists. Uh, it is now, and we're paying a billion and half a week for the privilege. Why not see if we can get it for free? Reminds me of Wolfowitz's idea that we needed to move our troops out of Saudi, where they _might_ face an insurrection, into Iraq, where they _are_ facing one. I gather that Wolfie thinks that the way to avoid a potential heart attack is just to go ahead and have one. Interesting.



Subsunk said at November 13, 2004 7:31 PM:

Randall,

Thank you for making my point exactly! Until late 1944 or early 1945, the US Army had NO tanks capable of standing up to German Panther and Tiger tanks. The only reason we prevailed was because of numerical superiority and the guts and iron of the men who manned the "Ronson Lighters" known as Sherman tanks. The Generals of 1944 did exactly as I said and fought the war with the tools they had available while asking for massive improvements as they went from 1942 thru 1945. They didn't wait two years until they could afford to take on the Germans one on one. Lessons learned in combat from the death of their men, the intelligence of Americans and the supremacy of their ingenuity are what brought us to the pinnacle of military success in that era and beyond to today.

Again, I fault the administration with failing to ask the maximum effort of the country to win this war. And that means I am entirely in the right to ask why Gen McPeak and Gen Zinni don't ask for the same. Quit pissing and moaning about how this is an ill advised and incompetently run war, and start beating the drum to increase the size of the Army and insist that patriotic American sons and daughters volunteer their lives and services to drive back radical Islam today. If they choose not to serve in the military, then they need to serve as missionaries, media personalities and proponents of America's correctness in this ideological struggle. Either get on the same track or get out of the way. Because their survival and mine is at stake. If you don't agree, then you are part of the problem. Again, I say the numbers of troops you insist are necessary are not there to be had for another two years even if we started today. Now what do you do? Should we wait two years to get enough troops to man the occupation and then invade after two years of Saddam's usurpation of sanctions and possible resurrection of WMD programs. Glad you (and the CIA) are so clairvoyant. You obviously missed your calling.

It is McPeak and Zinni and their kind who can always find a reason not to do something. However, those who won't do something to change the world are those who are destined to be changed by it. I choose to be master of our own destinies. Not subject to Islam's choice for my destiny. I choose to defend those who do something about their situation. This war is doing something and, strategically, is an excellent step in furthering our safety. Any number of military geniuses can play defense with trillions of dollars and still lose. But true strategic geniuses recognize that offense is always cheaper than defense, and this is about as cheap an offense as we can get.

The estimates of casualties for a war in Iraq under CENTCOM's (Gen Zinni's 1997) plan were 10,000 - 20,000 Americans killed in 90 days. That much I do know. So anyone who believes this is an incompetently run campaign doesn't know what the projections were and what the assumptions underlying them were (and I'm not privy to all those items either -- but I DO know the casualty figures were 10K-20K in 90 days. I had a friend who worked on the QDR and he definitively told me so. I was shocked [incensed is more like it] that we would plan for those kind of losses and refuse to tell the American people we were doing so. And that is what I remember about those two gentlemen. They are wrong and should be ashamed of themselves.)

I am not rationalizing anything. I firmly believe that if our fathers could do it in WWII, with huge losses and our uncles could do it in VietNam and Korea with large losses, then why the hell can't we do this with minimal losses and a hell of a lot better chance at success. I choose to believe we will and that those who would have us quit (pull out, call for withdrawal, proclaim failure where none currently has been manifested) now are closer to Neville Chamberlain than Winston Churchill. Call me whatever you like. The man who perseveres and shows determination and resolve in this WILL be the winner, and will achieve his goals. And no amount of punditry by those who aren't in the fight will suffice to discourage me.

Press on.

Subsunk

gcochran said at November 13, 2004 8:32 PM:

My estimate for KIA in the invasion phase was 'probably under 100, certainly under 200' - no matter what plan was adopted. I was right, what a coincidence.

gcochran said at November 13, 2004 9:16 PM:

Back in the 1st Gulf War, I didn't have the courage of my convictions. I figured we'd have under 1000 KIA, while my friend who's a better wargamer said under 500. I was comparing the situation with the Yom Kippur war - there, even when surprised, the Israelis only lost around 2000 KIA.
Of course we had many huge advantages over the Israelis in 1973: a big edge in equipment quality, a big edge in numbers, overwhelming air superiority from the beginning, six month to get ready, satellite recon, Jstars, a fair number of smart bombs, Warthogs, satellite recon, the list of advantages went on and on and on.

In the rerun, just add the fact that half the Iraqi Army had been destroyed in the 1st Gulf War, with no money for anything new, under sanctions - that whatever they had left was ten years further our of date - obviously we were going to lose considerably fewer KIA than we had in the 1st Gulf War (~240), at least in the invasion and conquest stage. And so we did.

Of course a guerrila war was likely after that, and a back-of-the envelope guesstimate, based in large part on Israel's experience in Lebanon, suggested that we'd lose something on the order of 1000 KIA a year. At great expense, for the forseeable future, and all for nothing. And so we have.
The official estimates were nonsense in the 1st Gulf War and in this one as well. Anybody who knew much about war knew that.

If you can't get the little things like this right - the things that we CAN predict - what are the odds you're going to do real well on the long-range stuff?

Invisible Scientist said at November 14, 2004 6:10 AM:

Although you are saying that Iraq never attacked us or gave any assistance to Al Qaeda,
BOTH Saddam and Osama were threatening that one day they would price all the Middle Eastern
oil in euros instead of dollars. And this must have started ringing alarm bells in the brains
of everybody in the government who understand what kind of danger that threat represents.
Basically, Bush wanted to turn Iraq into an American fortress to threaten both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

gcochran said at November 14, 2004 8:11 AM:

Before this started, the total cost of US oil imports wsa about $100 bllion a year. Now we're spending $75 billion on Iraq, while the oil bill, at present prices, is around $150 billion a year. You think the impact of pricing oil in euros would have been worse than that? I don't.

In addition, my mental picture of a fortress doesn't include lots of internal explosions.

People keep trying to make sense out of Iraq, bit I don't believe it can be done.


As for 'subsunk', who wants to be 'master of our own destinies': you're supposed to be able to say how invading Iraq made the US better off . You can't, can you? This touches upon the skirt of a major problem - which is that the professional military aren't very smart. They were, once. Go back to the time of the Civil War, and West Point was a magnet for some of the brightest kids in the country: a free school with the best engineering education in the country. Last time I checked, it's harder to get into my old alma mater, University of Illinois, than West Point. Average SAT score is 1275 at West Point, 1306 for the Illinois freshman class. Think about this: West Point is a small school with a freshman class of about 1300, University of Illinois has a freshman class around 6000. Illinois can grab brighter kids, four times as many, out of one state, than West Point can out of the entire country.
I would guess that our officer class today, recruited from almost 300 million people, is dumber than it was in 1850 (when the population was maybe 20 million). And while we're at it, has anyone noticed that our current politicians don't seem quite as smart as Thomas Jefferson or John Adams?

I'm just saying.




Invisible Scientist said at November 14, 2004 9:59 AM:

I was referring to the general perception that the US dollar is the main currency in the world.
Raw materials, goods and services are usually exchanged by using the US dollar. This is why
if the oil is priced in dollars, the problem is not only that the US will have a problem being able to pay
for the imported oil, but also that indirectly, since the other foreign nations NEED the US dollar
to buy oil and other items, will need a lot less US dollars, then the US will no longer be able to
import cheap goods from any country. This can be a disaster for the US. The industrialized trading partners
of the US do not just need to export cheap goods to the US just to keep their industries operational, they
need the surplus dollars to buy raw materials.

TM said at November 14, 2004 1:43 PM:

Wasn't Zinni the CENTCOM CC who turned down at least 2 attempts to grap Bin Laden? Zinni said it would cost too many lives, as stated by Richard Clarke.

Doctor No said at November 15, 2004 7:50 PM:

Subsunk says: "Quit pissing and moaning about how this is an ill advised and incompetently run war, and start beating the drum to increase the size of the Army and insist that patriotic American sons and daughters volunteer their lives and services to drive back radical Islam today. If they choose not to serve in the military, then they need to serve as missionaries, media personalities and proponents of America's correctness in this ideological struggle. Either get on the same track or get out of the way. Because their survival and mine is at stake."

Subsunk seems to think that instigating a war with Iraq was necessary to fight radical Islam. So when the president of the US invades Iraq and transforms a relatively stable dictatorship that did not threaten America into an unstable cauldron of violence and terrorism, Subsunk believes it is "an excellent step in furthering our safety." Oh, please.

Sorry, Subsunk, but it truly is a tragedy that any Americans at all should have to die in Iraq as a result of the incredibly incompetent and reckless decisions of our Warmonger-in-Chief. If you are so concerned that not enough patriotic Americans are willing to die in Iraq to keep your sorry ass "safe" here in America, perhaps you should petition President Bush to send his two daughters to fight in Daddy's war. Oh, and don't forget Cheney's daughters too.

Invisible Scientist said at November 16, 2004 6:21 AM:

Doctor No,

Having seen that James Bond movie man times in my childhood, I must emphasize that
the redoubtable Doctor No was building underground nuclear reactors in his secret island.
And on this occasion, let me mention the importance of starting a Bronx Project for energy,
not for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, but for the production of energy that will make
us independent for energy, so that we don't have to invade the world to secure "our" oil.

Invisible Scientist said at November 16, 2004 6:21 AM:

Doctor No,

Having seen that James Bond movie many times in my childhood, I must emphasize that
the redoubtable Doctor No was building underground nuclear reactors in his secret island.
And on this occasion, let me mention the importance of starting a Bronx Project for energy,
not for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, but for the production of energy that will make
us independent for energy, so that we don't have to invade the world to secure "our" oil.

J Stater said at June 15, 2005 9:31 AM:

Iraq was a threat for a few reasons. The least of them was that it was actively firing on American and British (I believe) fighters patrolling the UN-mandated no-fly zones. The missile firings were ineffectual, but they were still aggressive acts, and point to the two other reasons they were a threat. First, the containment of Saddam that occurred after the first gulf war was keeping many American soldiers stationed in the Middle East. This was a key motivation in Bin Laden's desired war against America. Getting American military forces out of the Middle East, therefore, was probably desirable. The problem that faced us was how to do that without handing a PR victory to radical Islam and Saddam Hussein (and no, I'm not saying they were allies, merely that they had both wanted us out). Packing up and going home would have also destroyed the credibility of the United Nations, and ended any chance that the international community could, in the future, cow a dictator into submission without the actual application of force. The UN had active sanctions against Saddam's government, and he was ignoring them with the help of UN security council members like France and Russia, whose only motivation was weapons sales and oil exploration - certainly not the relief of the Iraqi people. The only way to leave Iraq in a position of strength, therefore, was to go through Baghdad. And that meant doing it with what we had, and not necessarily with what we wanted. I will agree that many people in positions of authority were blind to the possibilities of the insurgency. Saddam played them like a fiddle. Without the support of the world community on this issue (which we didn't have long before George Bush took office), our options were few. Had the UN stood up to Iraq, and forced the implementation of its many resolutions, this war probably could have been avoided. Those who opposed America's pre-war initiatives on Iraq are probably as responsibly as the Bush administration for the war.

The other reason, which I hit on above, was the desire to maintain the United Nations as in institution capable of keeping peace between nations. If its sanctions and resolutions were ignored, especially by Security Council members, it would be left with absolutely no credibility on the world stage. As problematic an institution as it is, that wouldn't be good for anyone.

So, what has America gotten out of the invasion. Not much, it seems, although this chapter of history is far from closed. But we would have lost quite a bit by abandoning the containment of Iraq and, in truth, abandoning the Middle East to warlords and radical Islam. Isolationism has never been a viable strategy for a maritime nation like the United States. We have to be actively engaged in the world - our economy depends on it. Leaving the world to the warlords is just not an option. We certainly tried this strategy after the First World War, and the world suffered for it. Nobody wants to be "world policeman", but sometimes we have to live up to responsibilities that we didn't ask for.

As for the stability guaranteed by the likes of Saddam Hussein - I believe that kind of stability should be shunned and rejected. That was the same kind of stability the US got by supporting dictators in the Philippines, Indonesia, the Congo, and elsewhere. They may have helped us win the Cold War, but supporting these strong men is what created the situation we're currently in. Continuing to support and condone these men would solve nothing. Some stabilities are not worth maintaining.

J Stater

PS - please drop the WMD's argument. We only know they weren't there because we invaded. Pre-invasion we just didn't know - a situation that simply wasn't to be tolerated given the state of the world.

Randall Parker said at June 15, 2005 9:38 AM:

J Stater,

We now know that before the invasion within the Bush Administration people who knew the WMD argument was bogus were being silenced. We also know that British intelligence didn't believe the WMD argument. Pre-invasion the public didn't know because pre-invasion the public was lied to.

Saddam Hussein was not part of the radical Islam movement. He was a dictator of a Muslim people. Those people are more openly Islamic now that he is gone than they were when he was in control.


Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

      
 
Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©