Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Military News and current conflicts. Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
lwd
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby lwd » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:35 pm

RF wrote: ...The problem is, as the Chilcott enquiry currently undergoing in Britain is establishing, that there was no detailed planning into what to do immediately victory was achieved, to determine the exit strategy. That was the fault of both Presidents Bush - failure to properly finish the job, and indeed, to properly identify the purpose of the job let alone the how.

ODS was very much a coalition effort. Several important members didn't want the "job finished". The elder Bush can hardly be blamed for that. As for the more recent conflict indeed the Bush administration didn't seem to look past winning the war. "No nation building" was very much part of their idealogy and it seems to have blinded them to what they needed to do afterwards. That siad they were able to learn and the follow on conflict damaged Al Quada far more than the prior efforts in either country.

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hammy
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby hammy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:14 pm

lwd wrote:
At this point it's really two interconnected things. Drugs and Islamic fantatics. While Al Qaeda has been pushed well into the background the Taliban hasn't and drugs are both a source of income for them and a threat to much of the rest of the world.


I'm not sure you have that quite right . The Taliban was very much anti drugs , because these are expressly forbidden by Islamic teaching , along with Booze . At the time when the Taliban were winning the civil conflict there , they banned the cultivation of the Poppy , with great effect , because the violent sanctions they applied to anyone caught farming them were permanent in their effect . It was their opponents , the Tribal Warlords and Mafias who were the Dope barons . Hence the view , prior to 9/11 and the Buddhas of Bamiyan stupidity that the Taleban was basically clean-living young men who happened to be regrettably fanatical , but better than the corrupt set up that they were replacing .

Whether the Taliban , as an organisation , as it was at that time , even exists anymore , is debatable , as I think is the question as to whether Al Quaeda exists , or ever did exist , as some coherent World Wide Evil Organisation .
My personal view is that islamic terrorism exists in the style of you watching a lot of fluffy cumulus clouds on a breezy warm summer's day . The whole scene is continously changing , merging and melding in front of your eyes in chaotic fashion , and the truth is that there is no pattern to it , just temporary accumulations of little clouds into bigger ones for a while , before these disperse again .
The politicians and the media and the Intelligence service heads would have you believe that there is something out there with some central direction , like SMERSH in the James Bond films . In fact , we are trying to wrestle with a jellyfish , and getting well stung for our trouble .
I would certainly agree that there is jihadist activity which is supported by Dope money , but it is unlikely that any Islamic fanatic would consciously involve themselves with the trade in any direct way .

Stop Press as of today ; 1 ) - PM Brown and President Obama declare war on ( in? ) the Yemen . Oh Joy ! How long since USS Cole was attacked in Aden harbour ? How many kidnappings/ransomings of Westerners in the last 10 years ? And now because some deluded Nigerian rich kid makes another inept bombing attempt , suddenly NOW there is a problem there !
; 2 ) - A moderate grouping of British Muslims who wished march to carry empty coffins through the streets of Woodton Bassett , as a reminder to the British people of the many innocent muslim victims of the present war , have been denied permission to do so by our Police ( Impartial as ever there - makes you proud ! )
(note - for non-British readers - This village is just down the road from the Airbase to which our dead service personnel are routinely returned , and a custom has been allowed to develop in which each flag-draped coffin is now paraded through the place like JFK heading for Arlington . )
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Bgile » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:51 pm

Hammy,

I'm curious. You obviously don't think things are being handled properly now by western governments and I supect the US and the UK government in particular. Is there anything they could do that you would approve of?

Perhaps if we all converted to Islam? Maybe that would do it.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:03 pm

I don`t knbow about hammy but I do still believe that flatten some of the problematic islamic countries or belicose areas ain`t that bad an idea. Genghis Khan did it and worked well for him in the 13th Century.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Bgile » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:00 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:I don`t knbow about hammy but I do still believe that flatten some of the problematic islamic countries or belicose areas ain`t that bad an idea. Genghis Khan did it and worked well for him in the 13th Century.


In my opinion it is impossible for the USA to perform such a brutal act. For the most part our citizens are taught from an early age that such things are immoral, and our government and our military just don't work that way. Such a thing is unlikely to happen, at least in my lifetime, so for you to wish for it is probably an exercise in futility for yourself.

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:56 am

lwd wrote:
ODS was very much a coalition effort. Several important members didn't want the "job finished". The elder Bush can hardly be blamed for that. As for the more recent conflict indeed the Bush administration didn't seem to look past winning the war. "No nation building" was very much part of their idealogy and it seems to have blinded them to what they needed to do afterwards. That siad they were able to learn and the follow on conflict damaged Al Quada far more than the prior efforts in either country.


As I say this is the problem - jobs not properly done or finished.

George Bush senior was Commander in Chief. ODS took Coalition forces deep into Iraq to deal with Scud missiles and the Republican Guard. Bush and Major made their own joint decision to halt all allied forces. That was the mistake. That was the fault of Bush senior and one of many reasons why I rate John Major one of the worst ever of British Prime Ministers, before I even mention the Maastricht Treaty....

Al Qaeda may be damaged. But its still there and won't go away, its almost like the sherriff of Nottingham trying to capture Robin Hood, none of the half measures taken seems to produce the decisive results, the Robin Hood just becomes more enduring.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:04 am

Bgile wrote:
Karl Heidenreich wrote:I don`t knbow about hammy but I do still believe that flatten some of the problematic islamic countries or belicose areas ain`t that bad an idea. Genghis Khan did it and worked well for him in the 13th Century.


In my opinion it is impossible for the USA to perform such a brutal act. For the most part our citizens are taught from an early age that such things are immoral, and our government and our military just don't work that way. Such a thing is unlikely to happen, at least in my lifetime, so for you to wish for it is probably an exercise in futility for yourself.


Well Nixon tried carpet bombing in North Vietnam and sanctioned heavy bombing of Haiphong and Hanoi. And the mood in the USA in the aftermath of the 11/9 attack on the World Trade Center would have endorsed any brutal act if the recipient had been believed to be culpable in that appalling act of terror.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:49 pm

RF wrote:
lwd wrote:
ODS was very much a coalition effort. Several important members didn't want the "job finished". The elder Bush can hardly be blamed for that. As for the more recent conflict indeed the Bush administration didn't seem to look past winning the war. "No nation building" was very much part of their idealogy and it seems to have blinded them to what they needed to do afterwards. That siad they were able to learn and the follow on conflict damaged Al Quada far more than the prior efforts in either country.


As I say this is the problem - jobs not properly done or finished.

George Bush senior was Commander in Chief. ODS took Coalition forces deep into Iraq to deal with Scud missiles and the Republican Guard. Bush and Major made their own joint decision to halt all allied forces. That was the mistake. That was the fault of Bush senior and one of many reasons why I rate John Major one of the worst ever of British Prime Ministers, before I even mention the Maastricht Treaty....

Al Qaeda may be damaged. But its still there and won't go away, its almost like the sherriff of Nottingham trying to capture Robin Hood, none of the half measures taken seems to produce the decisive results, the Robin Hood just becomes more enduring.




..... Bush halted US forces in 1991 because, in return for the actice support of the Arab states, he had made a commitment that the campaign would be restricted to the ejection of Iraq from Kuwait and that no outright overthrow of the Iraqi government would be pursued.

..... Nixon's unleashing of a truly aggressive bombing campaign against North Vietnam, the mining of Haiphong harbor, the use of new tactics and precision guided munitions to destroy hitherto immune targets is what brought the North Vietnamese to the treaty table and finally ended the war (at least for the US).


Byron

lwd
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby lwd » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:00 pm

hammy wrote:
lwd wrote:
At this point it's really two interconnected things. Drugs and Islamic fantatics. While Al Qaeda has been pushed well into the background the Taliban hasn't and drugs are both a source of income for them and a threat to much of the rest of the world.


I'm not sure you have that quite right .

I do.
The Taliban was very much anti drugs , because these are expressly forbidden by Islamic teaching , along with Booze . At the time when the Taliban were winning the civil conflict there , they banned the cultivation of the Poppy , with great effect , because the violent sanctions they applied to anyone caught farming them were permanent in their effect .

Very early on they may have been anti drug. However they quickly turned a blind eye to it as long as they were getting their cut and most of it left the country. However that's the past. Currently drugs bankroll the Taliban.
Whether the Taliban , as an organisation , as it was at that time , even exists anymore , is debatable , as I think is the question as to whether Al Quaeda exists , or ever did exist , as some coherent World Wide Evil Organisation .

Thinking of them as a movement or collection of groups with an over arching philosophy is probably better than thinking of them as a single intety/organization. That however doesn't mean they don't exist and aren't dangerous.
My personal view is that islamic terrorism exists in the style of you watching a lot of fluffy cumulus clouds on a breezy warm summer's day . The whole scene is continously changing , merging and melding in front of your eyes in chaotic fashion , and the truth is that there is no pattern to it , just temporary accumulations of little clouds into bigger ones for a while , before these disperse again .

That may be a very accurate model. Of course there is a a pattern to it if you can watch it on the right scale and or have the insight(s) to see it.
The politicians and the media and the Intelligence service heads would have you believe that there is something out there with some central direction , like SMERSH in the James Bond films .

Well there is some central direction it's just that it has little power to compell.
Stop Press as of today ; 1 ) - PM Brown and President Obama declare war on ( in? ) the Yemen . Oh Joy ! How long since USS Cole was attacked in Aden harbour ? How many kidnappings/ransomings of Westerners in the last 10 years ? And now because some deluded Nigerian rich kid makes another inept bombing attempt , suddenly NOW there is a problem there ! ....

There's been no declaration of war that I've heard of and no sudden problem. Indeed things are looking up in Yemen in many ways at least for those interested in suppressing terrorism. Maybe to the point where something may be acomplished with a reasonable expenditure of resources.

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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Bgile » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:24 pm

RF wrote:Well Nixon tried carpet bombing in North Vietnam and sanctioned heavy bombing of Haiphong and Hanoi. And the mood in the USA in the aftermath of the 11/9 attack on the World Trade Center would have endorsed any brutal act if the recipient had been believed to be culpable in that appalling act of terror.


I'm amazed that you don't seem to see the difference between "carpet bombing" and dropping large numbers of nuclear weapons in order to wipe out an entire population, while spreading large amounts of radiation wherever the wind blows.

I live in the USA and I didn't hear anyone advocating the use of nuclear weapons after 9/11. Not even the far right was doing that. I can't imagine where you got that idea.

You might see something like that when they blow up one of our cities (and I expect they will sooner or later) but finding an enemy to strike back at is pretty hard to do.

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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby lwd » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:58 pm

RF wrote:
lwd wrote:
ODS was very much a coalition effort. Several important members didn't want the "job finished". The elder Bush can hardly be blamed for that. As for the more recent conflict indeed the Bush administration didn't seem to look past winning the war. "No nation building" was very much part of their idealogy and it seems to have blinded them to what they needed to do afterwards. That siad they were able to learn and the follow on conflict damaged Al Quada far more than the prior efforts in either country.


As I say this is the problem - jobs not properly done or finished.

I guess that depends a lot on what you think the job is or was. Man both then and now don't seem to agree with your defintion althought there are quite a few who do.
George Bush senior was Commander in Chief. ODS took Coalition forces deep into Iraq to deal with Scud missiles and the Republican Guard. Bush and Major made their own joint decision to halt all allied forces. That was the mistake. That was the fault of Bush senior and one of many reasons why I rate John Major one of the worst ever of British Prime Ministers,

They lived up to agreements they made and did what they said they would do. It's not at all clear to me by the way that things would be better now if they hadn't.
Al Qaeda may be damaged. But its still there and won't go away, its almost like the sherriff of Nottingham trying to capture Robin Hood, none of the half measures taken seems to produce the decisive results, the Robin Hood just becomes more enduring.

Your analogy breaks down pretty badly when looked at in any detail. Al Qaeda may not have vanished but they have been crippled and part of the damage that in the long run will be the most important is that they have lost prestige and credibility in the Arab/Islamic world. There are no more safe havens for them and they are being attacked in many places and ways. There few external efforts recently seem to mere demostrations of incompetence. A better analogy is that they are similar to a disease. We'll hope it's one like small pox or polio that can be essentially eliminated but more likely it's one like the plague persistent but reduceable to the level where its effects are margninal.

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:55 pm

Bgile wrote:
I'm amazed that you don't seem to see the difference between "carpet bombing" and dropping large numbers of nuclear weapons in order to wipe out an entire population, while spreading large amounts of radiation wherever the wind blows.

I live in the USA and I didn't hear anyone advocating the use of nuclear weapons after 9/11. Not even the far right was doing that. I can't imagine where you got that idea.



Bgile, I didn't specifically mention nuclear weapons (Karl may have inferred it but I am not Karl and not responsible for his posts), you raised it on my post as quoted here. And I do see a big difference in the environmental effects of napalm and Agent Orange as opposed to plutonium. If you reread my posts above nowhere have I advocated nuclear weapons, whereas both Goldwater and LeMay inferred it in the 1964 and 1968 US Presidential election campaigns concerning the Vietnam War.

What I actually said was that the mood in the US immediately after 11/9 would have sanctioned any brutal act against anyone believed culpable in that attack, meaning it as a hot blooded knee jerk reaction against any perceived target without thought for the consequences. Indeed Bush was criticised at the time for the slowness in US retribution. Neither do I go along with that mood, as Bush thankfully didn't.
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Bgile » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:04 pm

OK, a misunderstanding then. I really think Karl wants us to nuke people.

Napalm is of course a common military weapon used by pretty much everyone who can use it.

Agent Orange wasn't thought to be dangerous to animals. Obviously we wouldn't have used it if we knew the effect it was going to have on our soldiers.

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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:06 pm

OK, fair comment.
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby hammy » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:52 am

Bgile wrote:Hammy,

I'm curious. You obviously don't think things are being handled properly now by western governments and I supect the US and the UK government in particular. Is there anything they could do that you would approve of?

Perhaps if we all converted to Islam? Maybe that would do it.


The West needs to either get much harder , or get out altogether . As I posted elsewhere , earlier , there was a golden opportunity to get hard in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks , to tell the assembled Islamic world that they then had an immediate straight choice - to become civilised and progressive nations willingly , or to declare their emnity and see their states and civilisations destroyed , their governing establishments removed or made helpless , their personal riches stripped away , and their resources ( oil ) taken over by armed force and the future earnings arising disbursed soley under the control of the occupiers .
I do not think such an action is possible now .
Equally , the West could have made a stand at the time India and Pakistan declared they had tested Nuclear weapons .
We could have said " HOW DARE YOU waste your money on this when you hold the begging bowl out continuously for your teeming poverty-ridden millions ! " and insisted on the immediate comprehensive dismantling of their programmes under international supervision , and the handing over for trial of both their ruling regimes as criminals to their own peoples -- Alternative - Immediate war .
Again , the issue was ducked , and it is our failure to draw lines in the sand that causes us greater problems later on .

The Islamic world is a collection of disparate peoples , cultures and faiths , many of whom are at deep emnity with each other ( and jolly lucky it is for us ) . The opportunity is still there , had we the will to do it , to grip the more immoderate nations by the throat and force them to behave , and in doing so cow others .
In the case of the maniac in Libya it took one weak bombing raid .

Alternatively , we should withdraw from contact altogether , and perhaps use that marvelous line from the film Lawrence of Arabia , and tell them that we do this because they are " a little people , a silly people , barbarous , primitive and cruel ."

Unfortunately , as we are addicted to their money , we will do neither .

Converting to Islam wouldn't do it . The jihadist terrorists kill far more of their fellow muslims than anyone else .
Besides , in the west we are now in general in belief in a post religious era , generally prioritising our personal benefit , and with morals/behaviour codes arising out of humanistic good manners . Islam is just incompatible with that , you can be one or the other , but never both .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."


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