Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

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Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby fred smith » 30 Nov 2011, 06:58

Well, my hopes of 35K to 50K troops remaining in Iraq have been dashed. Would those that predicted endless US bases and control of Iraq like to also make a concessionary speech about how they were wrong? Someone explained to me the reasons why this would be best in the long run and I begrudgingly agree but... anyway, anyone else want to sound off on what to me is a very momentous move with long-term reprecussions for Iraq and the region.
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Re: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby Jaboney » 30 Nov 2011, 07:47

Care to share the reasoning to which you begrudgingly agree, please?
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby fred smith » 30 Nov 2011, 22:34

We are repivoting to East Asia, a region of vastly greater importance ot us than the Middle East. The Saudi newspaper had an editorial just this week lamenting the fact that the US is disengaging from the Israel Palestine Conflict and why should we care so much anyway? I fully agree that we should not invest so much energy in the issue. There are far more important regions. As to Iraq and Afghanistan, the view is that we can do with drones (oh the irony for international law but we get away with this because Obama and not Bush is president. Have you heard any voices wailing about international law or summary justice? No? Neither have I!) what we viewed as necessary with troops. Getting out of Iraq means that any retaliatory action by Iran against us in Iraq will not happen. If we were to attack its nuclear facilities and Iran attacked Iraq then this would lead to the US presence not Iran being blamed. Meanwhile, any other attack on Iraq by Iran will only generate a typical Arab Street response of resistance against the same. The view is that for all the doubt, we eventually will be finding other sources of energy that will reduce our dependence on the Middle East. Even if we do not, we cannot guarantee stability as we have currently structured our forces. Ultimately, Turkey is the only real economy in the Middle East and our current policy structure does not win us popularity in Ankara. Anyway, I am not sure that I agree with all but given the importance of East Asia, I agree that we need to focus more there. If that concentrates the Arab mind in the process so much the better.
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby Jaboney » 01 Dec 2011, 00:35

Thank you.
Together with the shift to eastern Europe and some degree of greater attention for sub-Saharan Africa, I think that's a reasonable map.
Pull a few carriers out of the water and shelve some other big ticket items, then quit destabilizing south and central America with the illegal drug trade and you'll be doing it on the cheap too.

Are you seeing much progress through ASEAN or the Law of the Sea protocols to keep jockeying over territorial sea claims from getting too interesting?
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby fred smith » 01 Dec 2011, 03:30

Together with the shift to eastern Europe and some degree of greater attention for sub-Saharan Africa, I think that's a reasonable map.



Not sure how we are shifting to Eastern Europe. Obama has conceded much to mollify Russia but to no avail. I hope that he has finally learned his lesson that this is not about being nice but about being geostrategic. Not sure what to do about Ukraine but agree with de-escalating what was getting close to be a very hot issue. As to subSaharan Africa, I fail to see the geostrategic interest for the US.

Pull a few carriers out of the water and shelve some other big ticket items, then quit destabilizing south and central America with the illegal drug trade and you'll be doing it on the cheap too.


Not just the US. All drug-using populations including those in Canada and Europe are destabilizing Central and South America. What to do? Legalize drugs? I would be open to the same. The past 40 to 50 years of the War on Drugs have failed. I am ready to throw in the towel and try something new. Too bad the teachers unions and pro-government people cannot admit that their social and welfare policies have essentially failed and far more miserably. So, sign me on as interested in pursuing the way to legalize or at least decriminalize drugs to better regulate the trade and take the money out of the hands of the cartels.

Are you seeing much progress through ASEAN or the Law of the Sea protocols to keep jockeying over territorial sea claims from getting too interesting?


An umbrella security structure for East Asia is nascent at best, patchwork at worst. Not sure how this will turn out but we are probably 5-10 years away and this is precisely the crucial period when China may choose to act first rather than wait for less favorable conditions on the er ground-sea.
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby Charlie Jack » 03 Dec 2011, 11:46

Sorry to barge in on you guys' chess klatsch, but to all the guys still over there: Hey, short-timers! Hope you all get outta there alive and in one piece!

Next set of lights to turn off: Afghanistan.
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby TheGingerMan » 04 Dec 2011, 08:11

Charlie Jack wrote: Hey, short-timers! Hope you all get outta there alive and in one piece!


Damn Straight!
I hope to Christ they get a fuckin' parade!
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even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee:"

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with skalds reward for skilled word?"

~~~Egill Skallagrimssøn, c.974


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This post was recommended by Charlie Jack (08 Dec 2011, 23:21)
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby fred smith » 04 Dec 2011, 20:49

Sorry to barge in on you guys' chess klatsch, but to all the guys still over there: Hey, short-timers! Hope you all get outta there alive and in one piece!

Next set of lights to turn off: Afghanistan.


Point taken BUT one can almost assume from reading your post that there were and are NO security reasons for the US to have been and to be in Iraq and Afghanistan AT ALL. Is it your view that the Taliban and Saddam presented NO security risk to the US and that the efforts there are some sort of waste of time-lives-resources? Then, I would have to strongly disagree. AND would you also suggest that there is no acceptable time to discuss strategies for the US and its military whenever lives are involved? That somehow this is inappropriate and tacky when we are not there actually doing the fighting? Be careful in your response as I am extending the rope for you to grab.
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 05 Dec 2011, 02:08

It will be interesting to see how all of this turns out as Russia attempts to extend its hegemony southwards.

The US may find itself regretting the lack of military assets in Iraq.

Interesting times ahead.
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Re: Troop numbers in Iraq: Fred Smith was WRONG

Postby fred smith » 10 Dec 2011, 02:06

It will be interesting to see how all of this turns out as Russia attempts to extend its hegemony southwards.


I think that you are confusing 19th and 21st centuries here. What attempt to extend its hegemony south? It cannot even get a grip on Chechnaya or Georgia.

The US may find itself regretting the lack of military assets in Iraq.


Yes, but not because of the Russian threat. Anyway, I have been convinced... albeit reluctantly that Obama and Clinton know what they are doing. The successful killing of Osama and others would indicate that they are right. I am willing to concede that my hopes and positions were wrong. Perhaps, we can achieve success while removing our troops. Even more of a stretch, perhaps, we can better achieve success in the Middle East by NOT having a troop presence in Iraq. THAT is hard for me, but I am open to the possibility.
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