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Joel wrote:This is my impression of what Obama wants to happen (and I could be wrong) I think the bombing campaign initially was because there was a humanitarian nightmare unfolding on the ground in Iraq. The bombing at least in the beginning was sold as giving affected minorities a chance to escape from the mountain they were trapped on. I was OK with a limited humanitarian mission with the idea being that this would support the Iraqi military and especially the Kurds and give them more ability to fight back against a surging Isis. My impression of the end game Obama desires is for the new government to take hold and function better then the previous one and for ultimately the Iraqi police/military to be able to handle security in Iraq. I don't think Obama wants boots on the ground or our military fighting ISIS directly beyond bombing. Regardless the mission seems to be growing. I don't like hearing anyone in the administration talking about destroying ISIS as if this is our war rather than our being there in a limited capacity to support Iraqs military and I don't like the word war because that implies we are there to crush another side ourselves. So to me the defined mission is not for the US military to destroy ISIS. It is to support the Iraqi military/government and the Kurds with bombing to allow them to defeat ISIS and regain some security over the country
blackirishkarma wrote:The thing about COIN is that it depends on an indigenous army for success. And it usually takes a heck of a lot longer than the relatively short period of time we did it in Iraq.
And a good example of success is??
Flattop wrote:We might not be able to do COIN today because we do not have the patience, but that does not mean it cannot because done by someone else with more patience. However, 16 years and counting in Afghanistan might suggest we have more patience than is asserted. The clamor to get out of Afghanistan has never been as loud as the clamor for getting out of Iraq or Vietnam.Perhaps. I don't see why it is something that we should attempt to teach the US Army how to do if it is not something that the US public is willing to see through. Afghanistan is a holding action at best. We stay there to keep another group from taking over that will openly attack the US. There is little to no hope that we will establish a working government that will survive our leaving because we control only pockets of the country even now.
The statement that COIN has never worked is just not accurate. The Philippine War is another example of a successful COIN campaign.You should explain this a little further. The Phillipine War was the most brutal action the US government was ever involved in. We took the Phillipines from the Spanish and then immediately found ourselves in a long term struggle with the Phillipine people themselves who wanted self government. We put this struggle down with extreme violence that included the first waterboarding done by Americans and the outright killing of every male above the age of twelve in the southern muslim areas. It was a brutal, vicious campaign that was carried out against a native population who didn't want us there.
If COIN failed in Vietnam -- because the North won the war in the end -- it was not because the strategy itself did not see success. That the North resorted to a 20 division blitzkrieg in 1975 demonstrates that the insurgents in the South failed.The insurgents in the south were always recruited, armed, and trained by the army in the North. Are you really suggesting that this didn't hold true again after we left?
Flattop wrote:After Vietnam, The U.S. Army decided it wanted to have nothing to do with COIN. It purged everything about COIN. It still wound up in two wars fighting insurgencies. The Marines have a different history with COIN, and as a result of much less pessimistic.
"Generally not a major colonial power, at least not beyond its own borders, the United States did indulge in a period of colonialism and quasi-colonialism starting at the end of the 19th century and continuing for several decades. During this period, it conducted counterinsurgency campaigns, most notably in the Philippines and Central America, as it sought to control, pacify, and in some cases treat humanely its subject populations.err....... not exactly. Unless you want to consider wholesale slaughter of the male population above the age of twelve, waterboarding and routine torture of captured combatants, along with massive campaigns of scorched earth policy treating people humanely; the war in the Phillipines was not humane.
It was a war of unprecedented atrocities by US troops on a native population that wanted the right to govern itself. It was a war of conquest carried out for profit and it had nothing whatsoever to do with humane treatment or protection of the population because it was carried out against the native population.
"Its performance in these wars was mixed. That is to say, in effect, that it was good by comparison with most other periods in its history. By most accounts, for example, the Philippines campaign at the turn of the 20th century employed a number of proper counterinsurgency concepts such as emphasis on protection of the population, and was conducted with restraint and reasonable precision in the application of force. It also was concluded fairly successfully. Most U.S. campaigns in Central America in later years were a bit more brutal and a bit less successful, but still maintained partial commitment to the precepts of counterinsurgency. The best aspects of the prevailing ideas of the time were captured in the well-known book of doctrine published by the U.S. Marine Corps just before World War II, The Small Wars Manual."
The author then goes on to discuss Vietnam and, typically, ignores the Abrams years.Whoever the author is.... he is either not well informed or simply dishonest.
I did not say the VC went away, I said they were a non-factor in the North's victory in 1975.And I doubt your statement as what I have read suggests that the VC immediately began to gain in strength and influence as soon as US forces vacated the area.
Flattop wrote:When in doubt, "to the man!" There's just one problem, "to the man", aka ad hominem, is a logical fallacy.Ad Hominem- of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.Here we go again. Discussing a person's prior history, things he has written previously to present a pattern that suggests said person has a personal agenda that is provable and consistent is not a personal attack or argument. It is simply a statement of fact supporting an opinion that suggests said person is not an unbiased source. Therefore, by the definition of the term it is NOT a logical fallacy at all. Rather it is a logical probability that the author is continuing in this pattern of presenting biased opinions.
Meanwhile, the folks who pushed for the invasion of Iraq were not any more interested in COIN than the Army was. Rather, the Neo-Cons wanted to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Instead of pushing General Casey to conduct a counterinsurgency campaign, Rumsfeld pushed him to make an exit possible, leading Casey to adopt a transition strategy before the Iraqis were ready for one.None of which has anything to do with the fact that the author supports the Neo-Con interventionist culture, has done so for many years, and continues to do so to this day.
The main statement I profoundly disagree with was the idea that the Phillipine War was an example of a successful counterinsurgency campaign similar to COIN. It most definitely was not.
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