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Thread: Iraq Future?

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    Iraq Future?

    Is our presence in Iraq coming to a head? That appears to be the case. The United States gives bonuses to soldiers willing to re-enlist equivalent to a year's salary. In addition, the military is accepting people with criminal records. There is an officer shortage. The desertion rate is the highest in 30 years. And some people don't believe that our military is stretched to thin?

    The crux now is how can we leave without creating an even larger disaster? I used to advocate that we should spell out what kind of reconstruction we would create for Iraq and then let them vote if they want us to stay or not. This solution is no longer viable since we can't afford to let the military stay much longer without clearing out our prisons and turning them into soldiers, or something equally crazy. In addition, polls show that nearly all Iraqis want us to leave anyway. Virtually all Iraqis believe we are there for their oil (they aren't stupid).

    My new solution is to give the the Kurdish area to Turkey. The Turks would love this, they get most of the oil and control of the Kurds. The Kurds gain because they would have enough votes to have political influence within Turkey. Eventually the entire region joins the EU.

    Give the Southern Shia area to Iran in exchange for halting their weapons programs. If they are not stupid enough to go for this just give it to them. This would casue more problems for them than sanctions.

    Give the central area to Syria. No real benefit here for us, other than we get out and let them deal with the problems. I suspect they would be more effective than we would.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 11-17-2007 at 09:29 AM.

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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Violence in Iraq is way down. Civilian and US troop deaths are way down. I know you hate this war (which is fine-many do) but things are going better. If you took an unbiased view of the situation you would see that.

    We're already starting to pull back some troops. I would expect the pull-down to continue throughout the next year. We will have a presence in Iraq for a number of years but with a reduced/sustainable number of troops.

    There is zero chance that your new solution would be implemented.

    If the Iraqi government and people truely wanted us out of Iraq we would be gone already. I submit that your poll numbers don't arcuarately reflect the opinion of the Iraqi people.


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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Is our presence in Iraq coming to a head? That appears to be the case. The United States gives bonuses to soldiers willing to re-enlist equivalent to a year's salary. In addition, the military is accepting people with criminal records. There is an officer shortage. The desertion rate is the highest in 30 years. And some people don't believe that our military is stretched to thin?

    The crux now is how can we leave without creating an even larger disaster? I used to advocate that we should spell out what kind of reconstruction we would create for Iraq and then let them vote if they want us to stay or not. This solution is no longer viable since we can't afford to let the military stay much longer without clearing out our prisons and turning them into soldiers, or something equally crazy. In addition, polls show that nearly all Iraqis want us to leave anyway. Virtually all Iraqis believe we are there for their oil (they aren't stupid).

    My new solution is to give the the Kurdish area to Turkey. The Turks would love this, they get most of the oil and control of the Kurds. The Kurds gain because they would have enough votes to have political influence within Turkey. Eventually the entire region joins the EU.

    Give the Southern Shia area to Iran in exchange for halting their weapons programs. If they are not stupid enough to go for this just give it to them. This would casue more problems for them than sanctions.

    Give the central area to Syria. No real benefit here for us, other than we get out and let them deal with the problems. I suspect they would be more effective than we would.
    Wow, dude......tongue firmly planted in cheek? I sure hope so!

    The only reason for Turkey to want control of Kurdish Iraq would be to eliminate Kurds. I'm pretty sure Turkey would not allow any increased Kurdish political power within their country. I'm pretty sure the Kurds don't want the kind of reform that Turkey would bring to them.

    I would not support any plan that gives Iran anything. Period.

    Or Syria.

    Again, wow



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Wow, dude......tongue firmly planted in cheek? I sure hope so!

    The only reason for Turkey to want control of Kurdish Iraq would be to eliminate Kurds. I'm pretty sure Turkey would not allow any increased Kurdish political power within their country. I'm pretty sure the Kurds don't want the kind of reform that Turkey would bring to them.

    I would not support any plan that gives Iran anything. Period.

    Or Syria.

    Again, wow
    I realize that my "solution" is on the crazy side but I can't come up with more sane alternatives.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I realize that my "solution" is on the crazy side but I can't come up with more sane alternatives.
    It certainly has been a cluster **** there, and I agree that our recruiting, and military in general is stretched a little thin. I do believe that we are starting see a trend of improvement, and that the new strategies are working. We'll see. I would much rather see Biden's three way division of Iraq, with the US guaranteeing the sovereignty of each.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Incyte View Post
    Violence in Iraq is way down. Civilian and US troop deaths are way down. I know you hate this war (which is fine-many do) but things are going better. If you took an unbiased view of the situation you would see that.

    We're already starting to pull back some troops. I would expect the pull-down to continue throughout the next year. We will have a presence in Iraq for a number of years but with a reduced/sustainable number of troops.

    There is zero chance that your new solution would be implemented.

    If the Iraqi government and people truely wanted us out of Iraq we would be gone already. I submit that your poll numbers don't arcuarately reflect the opinion of the Iraqi people.
    There are numerous polls that all demonstrate that the Iraqi population wants the US military to leave. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

    The Iraqi government or at least the Iraqi Parliament wants the US military to leave. For whatever reason "the liberal media" has largely ignored this story.

    Is Iraq any closer to a political solution than they were a year ago? There is zero progress on the political front to create a united Iraq. The sectarian divisions are as deep as ever. How long is it going to take for the US government to acknowledge that a united Iraq just isn't in the cards?



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    There are numerous polls that all demonstrate that the Iraqi population wants the US military to leave. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

    The Iraqi government or at least the Iraqi Parliament wants the US military to leave. For whatever reason "the liberal media" has largely ignored this story.

    Is Iraq any closer to a political solution than they were a year ago? There is zero progress on the political front to create a united Iraq. The sectarian divisions are as deep as ever. How long is it going to take for the US government to acknowledge that a united Iraq just isn't in the cards?
    I agree that we have to be mindful of the political realities, but I think that basic safety and stability have to be in place for political progress to make headway. I'm not going to say the surge is an unmitigated success, but it has reversed the trend, at least temporarily.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    This solution is no longer viable since we can't afford to let the military stay much longer without clearing out our prisons and turning them into soldiers, or something equally crazy.
    Something equally crazy = Reinstating the draft.

    Neither political party or any single politician wants to support a draft, obviously it would be career suicide.

    Honestly though, if we stay on the current course, reinstating the draft may have to be done.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    There are numerous polls that all demonstrate that the Iraqi population wants the US military to leave. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

    The Iraqi government or at least the Iraqi Parliament wants the US military to leave. For whatever reason "the liberal media" has largely ignored this story.

    Is Iraq any closer to a political solution than they were a year ago? There is zero progress on the political front to create a united Iraq. The sectarian divisions are as deep as ever. How long is it going to take for the US government to acknowledge that a united Iraq just isn't in the cards?
    Au Contraire, my polar bear friend, there IS a political solution, staring us in the face. A more decentralized, weaker federal government, made of a confederation of provinces will "probably" replace the current centralized government.

    The provinces are becoming more and more powerful, as they fall "in line" with US security efforts. And the reason this is becoming more and more unpopular with the central gov't types, is that they will lose their "namby-pamby, good for nothing jobs" ala "Blazing Saddles".

    And, sectarianism is not "quite" the dead-end it is portrayed to be. It is my understanding that the most powerful tribes that are driving this bottom-up approach, are intentionally split, Shi-ia/Sunni-wise, in order to solve sectarian issues, (Such as the Al Sadaqt) or and have been, for long before modern history. The hard-core "all-Sunni" tribes like the Al Muwaffeq, or "all-Shi-ia" tribes like the Al Ratib Rais, are losing out to the more moderate tribes, who are split, internally.

    What we need, is a measured response to those who threaten this process, money to develop infrastructure, and strong support by the non-military branches of government to ensure the money and blood do not go for nothing.

    Or we could just pull out and "see what happens."


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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbiedoobie View Post
    Au Contraire, my polar bear friend, there IS a political solution, staring us in the face. A more decentralized, weaker federal government, made of a confederation of provinces will "probably" replace the current centralized government.

    The provinces are becoming more and more powerful, as they fall "in line" with US security efforts. And the reason this is becoming more and more unpopular with the central gov't types, is that they will lose their "namby-pamby, good for nothing jobs" ala "Blazing Saddles".

    And, sectarianism is not "quite" the dead-end it is portrayed to be. It is my understanding that the most powerful tribes that are driving this bottom-up approach, are intentionally split, Shi-ia/Sunni-wise, in order to solve sectarian issues, (Such as the Al Sadaqt) or and have been, for long before modern history. The hard-core "all-Sunni" tribes like the Al Muwaffeq, or "all-Shi-ia" tribes like the Al Ratib Rais, are losing out to the more moderate tribes, who are split, internally.

    What we need, is a measured response to those who threaten this process, money to develop infrastructure, and strong support by the non-military branches of government to ensure the money and blood do not go for nothing.

    Or we could just pull out and "see what happens."
    It would be great if the political solution that you outlined (or Biden's) would work and I suspect that it will be attempted. The problem I have with going down that road is how long is it going to take? At issue is the longer we occupy Iraq, the more our perception deteriorates globally. In addition, I'm not even sure that as long as we are in Iraq that a solution is possible given the Iraqi perception of the occupation. Some vision and diplomacy are critical at this junction.

    There is no question that my proposal is out of the box. It would break up Iraq but I don't see that as a big deal, the country was pretty much arbitrarily created to begin with. The up side (if it worked) is that we could potentially get regional countries on our side for a huge change. It certainly would take some of the financial burden off of us.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 11-18-2007 at 03:14 PM.

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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Is our presence in Iraq coming to a head? That appears to be the case. The United States gives bonuses to soldiers willing to re-enlist equivalent to a year's salary. In addition, the military is accepting people with criminal records. There is an officer shortage. The desertion rate is the highest in 30 years. And some people don't believe that our military is stretched to thin?

    The crux now is how can we leave without creating an even larger disaster? I used to advocate that we should spell out what kind of reconstruction we would create for Iraq and then let them vote if they want us to stay or not. This solution is no longer viable since we can't afford to let the military stay much longer without clearing out our prisons and turning them into soldiers, or something equally crazy. In addition, polls show that nearly all Iraqis want us to leave anyway. Virtually all Iraqis believe we are there for their oil (they aren't stupid).

    My new solution is to give the the Kurdish area to Turkey. The Turks would love this, they get most of the oil and control of the Kurds. The Kurds gain because they would have enough votes to have political influence within Turkey. Eventually the entire region joins the EU.

    Give the Southern Shia area to Iran in exchange for halting their weapons programs. If they are not stupid enough to go for this just give it to them. This would casue more problems for them than sanctions.

    Give the central area to Syria. No real benefit here for us, other than we get out and let them deal with the problems. I suspect they would be more effective than we would.
    A radical yet interesting solution. A couple questions?

    Who is going to do the giving away? The USA, the UN, the Arab League or whomever?

    Implementing a partition of a sovereign nation would be done under what recognized authority?



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Tremain View Post
    A radical yet interesting solution. A couple questions?

    Who is going to do the giving away? The USA, the UN, the Arab League or whomever?

    Implementing a partition of a sovereign nation would be done under what recognized authority?
    I agree with Mr. Tremain. We do not have the authority to give away pieces of Iraq. Neither do we have the authority to "implement" a political solution.

    I don't think we have the moral authority to "just pull out and forget about Iraq", either. I think we are stuck, and need to find a way to withdraw that does not lead to complete and utter chaos. (I think a certain amount of chaos is inevitable, in the Arab world, compared to the Western world.)

    I think the current military leadership is onto something, there. To pull out the funding rug right now, despite all that has gone before, would be dangerous. At least, without a solid plan on how to deal with it. The current refusal to fund the war without immediate withdrawal is like playing Russian Roullette with a 500 pound bomb. Everyone will get splattered, when it goes off.


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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Tremain View Post
    A radical yet interesting solution. A couple questions?

    Who is going to do the giving away? The USA, the UN, the Arab League or whomever?

    Implementing a partition of a sovereign nation would be done under what recognized authority?
    Chapter five of Iraq's constitution allows any of Iraq’s 18 provinces to be grouped into regions. Provincial governors in the Southern Shia area, Central Iraq, and the northern Kurdish regions could vote themselves, individually or collectively, autonomy.

    Even though the Iraqi's want the U.S to leave, the majority of the population supports a timeline for withdrawal rather than an immediate withdrawal. Iraqis seem to understand that an immediate withdrawal is likely to lead to even more violence. Therefore, the newly partioned areas would likely accept outside assistance for security and governance. Negotiations would then take place to determine the security and governance arrangements for the partioned areas. Neighboring countries would be invited to attend. Once the U.S. makes it's intent clear that it will be withdrawing from the partioned areas the terms of the security and governance arrangements could be negotiated.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbiedoobie View Post
    I agree with Mr. Tremain. We do not have the authority to give away pieces of Iraq. Neither do we have the authority to "implement" a political solution.

    I don't think we have the moral authority to "just pull out and forget about Iraq", either. I think we are stuck, and need to find a way to withdraw that does not lead to complete and utter chaos. (I think a certain amount of chaos is inevitable, in the Arab world, compared to the Western world.)

    I think the current military leadership is onto something, there. To pull out the funding rug right now, despite all that has gone before, would be dangerous. At least, without a solid plan on how to deal with it. The current refusal to fund the war without immediate withdrawal is like playing Russian Roullette with a 500 pound bomb. Everyone will get splattered, when it goes off.
    I am not advocating an immediate pullout. What I am advocating is that Iraq be partioned and that we negotiate with neighboring countries for the security of the partioned countries.

    Is there a shared national identity between the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunni's? If there is a shared national identity why do the Kurds ban the national army and police from their territory? Or why don't the Sunni's trust the Shiite dominated security forces?

    Let’s face reality. A partition is a better outcome than the US trying to unite a country that can not be united. It is also better than a Sunni-Shiite civil war. It is also better than an indefinate U.S. commitment to the area.



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    Re: Iraq Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Tremain View Post
    A radical yet interesting solution. A couple questions?

    Who is going to do the giving away? The USA, the UN, the Arab League or whomever?

    Implementing a partition of a sovereign nation would be done under what recognized authority?
    Johnny I should have mentioned that you asked good questions. I don't think that I completely answered your questions so here is the remainder of my response.

    Realistically Iraq is owned by the US government. I would have a difficult time arguing otherwise. So the US goes into negotiations with the neighboring countries. From a practical aspect who is going to complain? The Iraqis maybe but who cares? We might even get the UN to sanction this? I don't see any reason the Russians or Chinese would be opposed, do you?

    The invasion/occupation isn't recognized so why should we be concerned about the legality of the partition? Nevertheless, the Iraqi constitution does appear to be a fallback position. But what history has taught me is that the victors always make the rules. The arbitrary boundries in the middle east (and in Africa) are the source of many of these problems.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 11-19-2007 at 01:44 AM.

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