IS THE IRAQI WAR A DANGER FOR US DEMOCRACY
L A May 8th, 2007 by Eric Lafayette
President Bush and Vice President Cheney deliberately lied to the American People about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Saddam Hussein's support of Al Quaida in Iraq. Unfortunately IRAQ is now crucial to the USA. As of today May 1, 2007 67% of Americans disapprove of the way the President is conducting the war in Iraq.
IRAQ is now an important country for the American people, and studying its history is crucial to understanding the predicament George Bush the young has imposed on the American people.
However an analytical study of Iraq encompassing the period before the advent of the Muslim religion on to the present shows that in fact it is a complex problem.
The dictatorial powers asked by Bush- Cheney and given to them through the vastly illegal patriot act by the American people have greatly curtailed Democracy in America. There are restriction on a right to a fair and speedy trial as well as keeping telephone calls and Emails private.
However a study of the actual war in Iaq shows constant interventions of Iran in Iraq. Iran provides Arms and traioning to kill Americans meant to attack and kill American or American allies.
The study of the History of these two countries that share a long border today but in the past were one country will help understand the difficult situation the United States is in.
Because the USA is in Iraq we will study the interactions between IRAN and IRAQ as well as their religion from the point of view of IRAQ. For ease of understanding we will use the term IRAQ to describe the territory that is roughly modern IRAQ even though it had different names in ancient times
The goal of this analytical history of Iraq is to offer information to the American People that can help them understand the war in Iraq. We will develop in more detail the historical facts that are even today influencing the situation in Iraq.
BEFORE WE ENTER THE REALM OF HISTORY EVENTS IN IRAQ HAVE MADE US AWARE THAT:
FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEVERS IN THE MUSLIM RELIGION DO NOT WANT ANY AMERICANS OR NON MUSLIMS IN THEIR REGION.
AND THAT IRAN IS BENT ON CONQUERING PART OF IRAQ OR THE WHOLE IRAQ.
We are going to add Historical facts to the two elements that have defined Iraq for numerous centuries and are a very important influence today.
PERSIANS AGAINST ARABS
SHIAS AGAINST SUNNIS
History of Iraq after 622 the date of the rise of the Muslim faith
It is difficult to forget that Iraq called "the cradle of civilization" was known as Mesopotamia or: " the land between the two rivers" which are the Tigris and the Euphrates. Iraq or Mesopotamia was one of the rare lands in the region with plenty of water and rich soil and could have been described as blessed by the Gods for its riches and cursed by the Gods for the envy it has always triggered from its neighbors. In addition modern Iraq has enormous wealth because it has lot of oil.
One of the most significant elements that underline the war in Iraq today is the Muslim Religion.
The Muslim faith was born and established by the Prophet Mohammad in 622 AD. The Muslim Calendar begins in 622 AD which marks the emigration of Mohammad from Mecca to Medina known as the Hijira. Of course the birth of one of the most important religions in the world is significant, but even more significant to the USA which is enmeshed in at war that involves the two main components of Islam that are the most extreme: The Fundamentalist SHIAS and the Fundamentalist SUNNIS.
The fact that the Muslim Religion fractured into two different factions shortly after the death of the Prophet Mohammad is important because when these fundamentalist Muslims do not kill Americans they kill each other by the hundreds each and every month in Iraq.
At the time of his death the Prophet Muhammad had conquered the Arabian Peninsula and converted the inhabitants of the Arabian to Islam. He was an Arab and almost all of his original followers were Arabs.
His first successor was Abu Bakr his father in law who was named a Caliph which is the equivalent of a governor or king who has absolute power. It was mostly a secular title that also included religious duties. The Caliph was the ruler of all the lands they conquered and controlled. The second Caliph was Umar who succeeded Abu Bakr and achieved the conquest of Iraq which was at that time part of Iran. Iraq was inhabited by Iranians composed of Christians and Jews. Christians were left alone if they agreed to pay a special tax for non-believers.
In the Muslim world but for very rare exceptions one will never know where secular power begins and where religious power begins and which one will dominate the other.
Believing that there was or is some sort of separation of religion and state is one of the main mistakes Americans and Europeans have made in attempting to understand and negotiate with Muslim Arab States.
We enter now a second phase of the Islamic evolution that reverberates today in the massacres that are happening in Iraq between Shias and Sunnis. The origin of the schism is purely and simply a family feud between factions related to Mohammad vying for the power of the Caliphate which controlled the riches and land they controlled. This feud has been painted later with religious connotations but it was a feudal power struggle of similar to the ones that happened in the courts of many European kings.
When the third Caliph Uthman was elected he was opposed by Ali the son of the Prophet Mohammad's daughter. Poorly paid malcontents Bedouin soldiers found a spokesman in the person of Ali. The Caliph Uthman made promises to them that were not kept. Under Ali's guidance they besieged Medina and killed Uthman. Ali then became Caliph.
Muawiya a kinsman of the slain caliph Uthman rebelled against Ali and they clashed in a large battle. On the verge of defeat Muawiya demanded arbitration and Ali accepted by. Part of Ali's own troops named the Kharajites rebelled against Ali because he had accepted arbitration instead of continuing the battle; then Ali asked them to reunite with him to fight. They refused and he massacred them. This massacre angered most of his troops who deserted him.
The Caliphate was divided with Muawiya Caliph in Egypt and Ali Caliph in Iraq.
Both tried to foment trouble for the other and Ali was assassinated by a Kharajites in 661, and his son died soon after him. It took only 30 years to tear apart the Muslim unity that Ali built.
Ali's death insured his status as a Martyr and Shias means follower of Ali. The Shia declaration of faith is: "There is no God but God; Muhammad is his Prophet and Ali is the Saint of God."
Once Ali was dead Muawiya was declared Caliph of all territories. Ali's second son Hussein rebelled against Muawiya's son Yazid. Karbala became sacred land for the Shias when Hussein and a small contingent were defeated and massacred. Hussein's head was brought to Yazid.
In 750 a new dynasty the Caliphate of the Abbasids founded Bagdad. The Caliphate was named after Abbas who came from the North and followed the Sunni religion but had ancestral ties with the Shia believers in Baghdad. Abbas' successor A Mansour made Bagdad the capital and under the rule of the six next Abbasid Caliphs the region was enormously prosperous. One of the Caliphs, Haroun al Rashid, was portrayed in the legend of the one thousand and one nights.
Culture and science were developed in important ways.
The Abbasid Dynasty continued under seven Caliphs until 1250. Starting with the death of Al Mamun in 833 the Caliphs began to lose power and territory. They ended up being figureheads placed for convenience by the Turks - Mameluks, then by Iranians Shias, then by Seljuk Turks.
In 1258 Hulagu Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan came to the Arab Peninsula with his Mongol Army leaving a path of massacres and destruction. Another Mongol Tamerlane continued to destroy and massacre finally devastating the center of advanced culture and the riches that were Baghdad. The prosperous country that was Iraq was transformed and was a collection of poor tribes until 1500
Between 1534 and 1916 Iraq became the battleground between the Turkish Empire and the Iranian Empire, many battles were fought in Iraq, and Iraq and its capital Baghdad were occupied alternatively by the Sunni Turks and by the Shias Iranians further exacerbating the rivalry between the two religious sects.
However the Turks prevailed in the end and established a bureaucracy whose example pervaded in ensuing years.
In 1917 the Turks who were allied with Nazi Germany were defeated by the English Army who conquered Baghdad. The English following a resolution of the League of Nations established a protectorate or a governorship of modern day Iraq.
There were many insurrections some of which were close to being successful but none succeeded, and were repressed by the English. Oil was discovered in Iraq.
Finally, in 1930 a treaty was signed that guaranteed independence in Iraq.
Iraq actually gained its independence in 1933 and was governed by King Faisal followed by King Ghazi. Then infant King Faisal II and his regents ruled a country very much divided by the differing goals of various sects, tribes and ethnicities.
However as has always happened Iraq found a new unity against an old invader.
In order to thwart Iraq's tendency to ally itself with German in 1941 England invaded Iraq again and set up a monarch who was only a figurehead.
Difficult years ensued but around 1950 oil revenues increased significantly. However the oil revenues were diverted by the extremely corrupt elite setting the stage for an uprising of the masses. Prime minister Nuri Al Said who ruled for a long time become more and more oppressive.
In 1958 a coup led by military commanders proclaimed a Republic. Brigadier Quasim became the leader of Iraq. He was a man of humble origins who increasingly turned to communism. He was killed in 1963, and a succession of military coups and military regimes kept Iraq in a situation of weakness and quasi anarchy.
From 1968 until 1979 we see a concurrent reinforcement of the Baath secular party and the emergence of Saddam Hussein along with the usual tensions in a Military Junta and a strong containment of the Kurds. However Saddam Hussein developed the economy and improved Iraq's regional stature as well as working on an Iraq - Iran rapprochement.
In 1980 the IRAQI Shias more and more followed the tendencies of the IRANIAN Shias government led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
In 1980, afraid to lose his dominance over the Shias population who outnumbered his Sunni followers, Saddam declared war on IRAN. The war ended in 1987 in a stalemate after generating more than two million casualties and debilitating the economy.
It is interesting to note that the USSR was the main weapon provider to Iran, but all major European nations and the USA supported Saddam Hussein with money, trade and arms during this war. In the USA side, one of the highest ranking american who went to Bahgdad to shake hand with Saddam Hussein was Dick Cheney.
Not long after in 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was soundly beaten by a real coalition of 28 allied nations led by the USA and fully backed by the UN using the doctrine of overwhelming force designed by Colin Powell. President Bush the elder wise man did not conquered Baghdad or Iraq in its entirety but established a successful policy of containment through the UN.
In 2003 without the backing of the UN President Bush Junior lied to the American People in order to lure them into supporting the invasion of Iraq under the false pretense of Iraq's possessing weapons of mass destruction which they did not have.
President and Vice President Dick Cheney also made the case for the war saying that Saddam Hussein supported Al Quaida terrorists who destroyed New York's World Trade Center Towers on 9/11.
This assumption was also proven to be absolutely false. To make matters worse Bush invaded Iraq with 150,000 troops a force small enough to make sure that the war would not be won which is the case as of May 1, 2007. With more forces and a lot more diplomacy we saw some improvement (*added Jully 2008)
Ancient History of Iraq.
Below is a timeline for the History buff.
It outlines the Ancient History of Iraq or Mesopotamia as the cradle of civilization.
This History of the most ancient civilisation has a couple of jewels worth reading .
Mesopotamia, modern day Iran means the land between two rivers which are the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization where historians believed that human began to form what we call a civilization.
The origins of civilization are dated between 6000 BC and 5000 BC the Sumerians a non- Semitic people began a form of written communication that evolved into cuneiform texts around 2500 BC when the Epic of Gilgamesh was written, a long poem describing the exploits of a hero. The Sumerians also invented irrigation, the wheel, astronomy, arithmetic, and organized religion. They established the first city states and fought each other on a regular basis.
The AMORITES, a Semitic people, succeeded them from 2000 BC to 1600 BC but continued their culture.
One of their Kings Hammurabi established one of the most comprehensive legal codes of his time and established a strong administration that changed the prevailing organization of the city states.
The Hittites reigned in the region from 1600 to 1200 BC by military conquest but left no cultural or monumental imprint
From 1200 BC to 600 BC the Assyrians a people perceived as accomplished but cruel warriors conquered the region and founded Nineveh their capital city.
Their rule was perceived as so cruel that after their demise all their constructions were razed.
Around 539 BC Persians established their domination over ancient Iraq. It was the reign of Cyrus the Great, then Darius then Xerxes then Cyrus the young.
The Persian Empire was the greatest known until that time and Iraq was a province.
The first emperor Cyrus the Great was a follower and promoter of a religion called Zoroastrianism named after its founder Zarathustra.
It is an important religion because it is probably the foundation of Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism religion has the god of Evil opposing the god of good in an incessant fight and Cyrus the Great saw that it was his mission to fight against evil, and he was thus the first Crusader with a fierce will to disseminate his religion around the known world.
In 330 the Greek Alexander the Great defeated Darius III at Issus taking control of the Persian Empire including Iraq. Alexander the Great did not impose a harsh rule on his Iraqi subjects and let them follow their religions and customs.
Following Alexander one of his generals founded the Seleucid Dynasty a Persian Greek dynasty that ruled Iran and Iraq from approximatively 312 BC to 247 AD regions of the Empire which were mostly inhabited by Persians at this time.
After the Seleucides came the Parthians and as almost all their archives were destroyed little is know beside the fact that they were implacable warriors as well as feared rulers. They ruled from 247 BC until 228 AD
After the Parthians came the Saasanides an Iranian Dynasty claiming that they were the descendant od the great Persian Emperors such as Darius the Great.
Around these times in Iraq a prophet Mani created a religion which blended Zorostrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. The religion was called Manichaeism and one of its fundamental principles is the constant fight between good and evil but evidently the tolerance of other religions, this new religion with a new concept became very popular and temporarily revolutionozed the society until Conservatism took over again..
200 years later during the same dynasty Another prophet Mazlak advocated the abolition of private property, the division of wealth and non violence.
Mazlak had invented socialism 1400 years before Karl Marx
One of their king King Anushiravan developed education, scientific and medical research, and philosophy and literature.
They had a dynasty of thirty kings and it was the longest period when almost all Iraq was ruled by Iranian.
The Sassanides conquered and ruled the region from 227 to 638 AD If we put together the periods in ancient History and History when Iraq was a province of the Iranian Empire or Iraq was dominated by rulers from Iran we have more than 1000 years of Iranian domination over Iraq.
THAT GIVES THE IRANIAN A STRONG CLAIM TO IRAQI TERRITORIES.
Then we have the advent of Islam.
DEMOCRATS ARE ALMOST RIGHT ON IRAQ
2007, March 27th
A GOOD VICTORY IN CONGRESS.
One of the Hallmarks of the Liberal - Democratic Constituency in the United States is that everybody is entitled to and encouraged to use their brains to think which creates a wealth of opinions. An expanding wealth of opinions and creative solutions is the showcase of any functioning Democracy even though it takes more effort and more time to organize.
In opposition many Republican voters are conditioned to listen only to the loudspeaker of their party the extremely partisan Fox Tabloid born group and to follow the dictates of their exceptionally corrupt leaders like robots.
HERE ARE THE DIFFICULTIES IN SOLVING THE IRAQI WAR:
In the November elections American voters unequivocally STATED that they trusted the Senators and the members of the House of Representatives who supported a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. In addition among the many polls taken in the last six months and most concurred. many concurrent polls showed that about 67% of the People in the USA wanted a withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq.
SO FAR IT IS VERY SIMPLE. WITHDRAW THE TROOPS.
However, THE PROBLEMS begin when we realize that ONLY the Commander in Chief who was unequivocally given the authorization to go to war against Iraq by the Congress CAN stop the war. President Bush and his staff stated clearly that War will stop only when victory is achieved. Nobody on his side or any side with the exception of Iraqi Prime Minister Malachi sees a Victory during President Bush's term.
In addition President Bush and his staff have been redefining the word VICTORY every other month since 2003.
THE PRESIDENT PROPOSITION IS: AMERICAN TROOPS WILL NOT BE WITHDRAWN UNTIL I SAY SO.
THE CONGRESS DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO ORDER THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE TROOPS EVEN THOUGH AMERICAN VOTERS BEGGED THEM TO DO SO.
In order to force the hand of a very stubborn President the Congress has only one tool: CUT THE FUNDS FOR THE WAR.
The occasion presented itself when the president asked the Congress for more than ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS to continue to fund the Iraqi war through what is called a supplemental bill.
Cutting the funding while leaving funds sufficient enough support the troops and bring them home will force President Bush to bring back the Troops.
The Democratic Congress did not have the necessary voices to pass this option.
SIMPLE ENOUGH BUT NOT THE PATH CHOSEN BY LEADERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS who chose instead to fund the war under the condition that the troops will be withdrawn by August 2008.
----First they achieved one thing: NOW there is a date on record for the troop withdrawal: 18 months from March 2007. It is not immediate but 18 months in the giant system that is the Iraq War is not a great deal of time.
---- Second they gave the general in charge, General Petraus, 18 months to show a real improvement and signs that could lead to victory. In doing so they listened to the blue dog Democrats who argued that the Senate confirmed General Petraus to conduct the war 98 to 2 and hence could not withdraw funding immediately.
---- THIRD they gave the American people a very important element they were craving: a firm hope that this nightmare will end soon. If you can tell any patient, and the USA is a sick patient experiencing in enormous pain, that the end of pain is in sight then you the Congress have achieved a decent goal. There is nothing more worrisome than being left in limbo while your American brothers and sisters are dying in a far away land.
IT WILL BE VETOED BY THE PRESIDENT.
However the closeness of the vote after much persuasion in the House of Representatives lead by Nancy Pelosi showed that it was a compromise not easily achieved but AT THIS TIME IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE WAR IN IRAQ, IT IS THE BEST COMPROMISE THAT COULD BE ACHIEVED.
IT ALSO SHOWED SOMETHING BARELY NOTICED AND IT IS THAT THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS DID THINGS THE DEMOCRATIC VOTERS WERE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO.
THEY WORKED EXTREMELY HARD AND IN AN INTELLIGENT WAY.
THEY WORKED EXTREMELY HARD TO FIND COMMON GROUND WITHOUT GIVING UP THEIR ORIGINAL MANDATE WHICH WAS TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME.
IN THE NEW DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS THERE IS A NEW GROUP OF INTELLIGENT AND DEDICATED LEADERS.
LET US GIVE THEM A CHANCE.
However we should not loose track of the fact that partition of Iraq is the only solution and the sooner it is addressed, the less casualties there will be in the region.
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Why are Democrats wrong about Iraq?
L A, 2007/03/02
Here is the Democratic Leaders new motto :
LET US DANCE AROUND THE MAIN ISSUE WITHOUT ADDRESSING IT AND
SING MAGIC INCANTATIONS IN THE HOPE THAT THE WAR WILL STOP.
Why are Democrats often wrong and the President always utterly wrong on the war in Iraq?
It is quite simple.
The President as the Commander in Chief enticed by his evil conscience Vice President Cheney has made all the wrong decisions:
-Going to war against Iraq when they had not engaged in aggression against the USA
-Not listening to the UN inspectors who were telling the President and his advisors that there were no weapons of mass destruction and kicking them out of Iraq for their comments
-Not listening to most of his traditional allies
-Lying to the American public to foster their support for an unjustified war
-Not going into Iraq with enough troops.
-Resisting constant appeals to increase troop numbers in Iraq
-Engaging in a SURGE with insufficient troops.
-Humiliating Colin Powell, the only competent person in his administration
NOBODY ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE DENIES THE FACT THAT PRESIDENT BUSH THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF IS ENORMOUSLY, UTTERLY INCOMPETENT, AN OPINION SHARED BY MANY REPUBLICANS.
You would think that Democratic leaders would address the obvious fact that if the war is going very badly it is due to
the Commander in Chief who is a man with very limited understanding of anything. His incompetence is limitless.
INSTEAD THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE ORGANIZED AN IDIOTIC BALLET CALLED:
LET US DANCE AROUND THE MAIN ISSUE WITHOUT ADDRESSING IT AND
SING MAGIC INCANTATIONS IN THE HOPE THAT THE WAR WILL STOP.
How misguided they are:
Their main error is trying to micromanage the war by focusing on the recent SURGE instead on focusing on the overall war.
---Their first step, a NON BINDING resolution specifically asking the President not to execute the SURGE, had no effect on the Surge.
----The second step, the Murtha step, block the money needed for the SURGE by authorizing money for troop increases only after the President has shown that the new troops are fully equipped with protective armors on their vehicles which according to Representative Murtha is a level of preparation that is impossible today. Consequently the President will not be able to execute the SURGE.
This proposition is borderline crazy because almost impossible to enforce and if errors are made in its implementation it could deprive soldiers of much needed armor.
---The third step: Senator Biden makes more sense but still addresses only some aspects of the war and wants to replace the blank check given by the Senate in 2002 to President Bush with a limited authorization that asks for the withdrawal of most Americans while directing that some troops will stay for training the Iraqi army and police. This is yet another authorization to wage a war by the worst Commander in Chief in the world. These Democratic leaders are kidding us.
THE ONLY SOLUTION IS TO LEGALLY REMOVE THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF PRESIDENT BUSH BY IMPEACHING HIM AS WELL AS IMPEACHING VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY.
Fooling around with half baked resolutions has three major disadvantages:
First it shows that Democratic Leaders are cowards that refuse to take meaningful action.
Second, it shows that Democratic leaders are idiots that cannot understand the big problems but prefer to address the smallest part of it, the SURGE.
Third it shows that Democratic leaders are UNPATRIOTIC because they leave our beloved soldiers in harm's way under the worst Commander in Chief the USA has experienced: President Bush.
I f only for this one reason, to protect our troops, the Democratic Leadership should impeach President Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney.
IT IS THE ONLY SOLUTION THAT MAKES SENSE.
IT IS TIME TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE.
IT IS TIME TO FREE OUR TROOPS FROM A TERRIBLE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.
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2007, February the 12
The policy of OVERWHELMING MILITARY FORCE was designed by Colin Powell after the failure of the Viet Nam War, and it is now the accepted but not official military doctrine. The soundness of this doctrine was proved in the First Gulf War designed by Colin Powell, an outstanding victory against Iraq in 1991. Today after the abysmal failure of Donald Rumsfeld's policies and strategies in the second war against Iraq, this doctrine is even more interesting.
A Little Bit of Military History:
All of the great military commanders who won consistently against their enemies who were their equals or their superiors in numbers were not from democratic societies but from some form of monarchy, totalitarian rule or dictatorship.
In the ancient world these commanders include Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan. In more recent European History, Napoleon began his career in a democracy and then transformed France into a dictatorship in much the same fashion that Julius Caesar changed Rome. For a time, General Robert E. Lee was the victorious military leader of a rebellious non-democratic state, but he was eventually defeated by the overwhelming force of a Democratic Nation.
The dictatorship in Vietnam won against the US in 1975 when General Giap was the commander in charge
All of the great military Commanders in recent history who were able to win a decisive victory on behalf of a Democracy won thanks to overwhelming force.
The addition of fresh US troops and the unlimited reserves they provided tipped the outcome of World War I into a victory managed by French General Foch.
General Eisenhower, General Marshal, General Mac Arthur and President Roosevelt won the Second World War thanks to an overwhelming force in the European theater and the additional arms they were able to supply to their allies in the USSR.
President Truman and his decision to use the first Atomic Bombs against Japan constitute an example of another kind of extreme and overwhelming force that led to the final victory in World War II.
The definition of OVERWHELMING FORCE is a force that is so strong that the enemy is steamrollered.
This is a time for examples of overwhelming force and the results it has produced:
The Atomic bomb against the Japanese was overwhelming force.
Millions of poorly armed Communist Chinese in Korea in 1953 defeated better armed but vastly inferior numbers of US Marines.
The disparate proportion of 20 US tanks of mediocre quality against one German tank of superior quality enabled the US victory in World War II.
The overwhelming numbers of the Allied Army as well as their access to larger supplies of hardware led to the defeat of the German Army by the Allies in World War II.
In order to achieve a victory in guerilla warfare experts state that a proportion of seven regular soldiers in opposition to one guerilla soldier is necessary to achieve a successful victory.
In the last Official US Army Manual General Petraeus writes that 1 soldier per 20 "civilian inhabitants" is necessary to control a neighborhood. If you do the math for Baghdad with more than 5 million inhabitants you need at least 250,000 soldiers for Baghdad alone.
Even if you add a good number of poorly trained Iraqi forces, the 20,000 US soldiers added for the surge DO NOT CONSTITUTE OVERWHELMING FORCE.
We have seen now that OVERWHELMING FORCE can have many aspects.
THE KEY POINT:
WHY IS OVERWHELMING FORCE SPECIFICALLY WELL SUITED FOR A LARGE DEMOCRACY?
As an example let us examine the current poor quality of the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense and their interaction with their generals.
It was the case in Vietnam.
It is the case in IRAQ.
President Bush is an intellectually challenged Commander in Chief who is incapable of understanding a war as well as incapable of differentiating between good advisors and bad advisors. If President Bush was not intellectually challenged he would have picked Colin Powell's advice over Donald Rumsfeld's advice.
President Bush's first Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld, and he was grossly incompetent. Unfortunately he achieved the only thing he should have failed to achieve. He successfully scared the generals into abject obedience and ousted Colin Powell the only White House staffer who understood warfare.
Donald Rumsfeld of course destroyed the doctrine of OVERWHELMING FORCE.
He was the advocate of a small force for the Iraqi campaign and his criminal action was to deter any leaders who wanted a substantial increase of force in Iraq. He ousted General Shinseki when he advocated a vastly superior force in Iraq . In addition a continued lack of selection of great generals compounded the failures.
As opposed to the stability of dictators, emperors and kings who reign and control policy for life, the management of wars change hands with periodic elections in a Democracy.
The final decisions are made by an elected President a civilian who generally does not know much about warfare who is helped and advised by a Secretary of Defense that he appointed who is also not necessarily an expert in warfare. This is a very tall order to overcome.
This is what happened in the Vietnam War, and it is what is happening in the Iraqi war. (However the latest Secretary of Defense Mr. Gates appears to be a very intelligent man with the correct knowledge and experience. He could be facing the too little troop too late challenge.)
If you have such an OVERWHELMING FORCE that even incompetent leaders cannot drag it down into failure, you have the quintessential war doctrine for a large Democracy
This overwhelming force balances the probable inferior quality of civilian leadership in charge of the war .
In other words, overwhelming force in most cases can deliver victory even if the Commander in Chief and the civilian leaders are incompetent.
Additional important benefits of the Doctrine of Overwhelming Force include limiting US casualties, instilling fear in the enemy as well as future enemies.
Today the word Democracy is synonymous with rich developed countries; their wealth should at least allow them access to overwhelming superiority in quantity and quality of war equipment.
However the advantage of OVERWHELMING FORCE is shifting towards countries like China and India where without discussion we can say that their populations translate as potentially overwhelming numbers and where they are also working hard at mastering technological superiority.
It is extremely important that the USA, as a large Democracy, continues to develop superior technology that will allow the USA when threatened to use overwhelming force to defend itself.
European nations have so far shown no courage in standing up against Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide and Dictatorship.
Although the might of the US military has been misused in the Iraqi war, the USA is the only Democracy that will stand up against totalitarian dictatorships, Rogue nation's intent on mass massacres and Extremist nation's intent on Genocide.
The Doctrine of OVERWHELMING FORCE was originally designed as a pure military technique.
However the Recent disastrous experience in Iraq and the lessons of History has shown us that OVERWHELMING FORCE is not only an important military doctrine but the quintessential element of Governing a Democracy in troubled times
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DIPLOMACY AND DEMOCRACY
With so much talk about using Diplomacy in the Iraqi crisis we decided to see in what way Diplomacy could help
January 25th 2007
Educated intelligent Leaders of the modern world should engage in war only when it is part of their diplomatic startegy.
WAR IS A TOOL OF DIPLOMACY.
President Bush made a huge error when he made diplomacy subservient to the hawks of war to the point of making diplomacy non existent.
Although President Bush had Collin Powell, one of the Best Diplomatic advisors in the world he chose instead to humiliate him out of office.
He chose instead to elevate war mongers to the level of overall Leaders and diplomatic startegists: Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumseld
DIPLOMACY IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN SOLVING CRISES BETWEEN COUNTRIES.
Diplomacy relies on important tools to solve crises whether they are between countries, tribes, ethnic entities or religious entities.
HERE ARE THE NECESSARY TOOLS
War is the most common tool. It should only be used with high levels of competent leadership to create a stronger position for negotiation.
The best diplomat in the world ever was King Louis XI of France whose capacity in this area was not well known. He quintupled his extremely small kingdom by only using war as an infrequent and highly effective tool even though he had built a formidable army and was a great Commander in Chief.
History nicknamed him "The Universal Spider" for his talents at creating a net of allies and then nudging his enemies into falling into the net.
In the world of WAR there must be VICTORY. Of course only a Victory will help the diplomats in their negotiations.
A small but exemplary and decisive victory is one hundred times better than a mediocre victory in a large scale battle.
There are only a few rare examples of diplomats who successfully limited the damages of a huge defeats, and the best known is "Talleyrand," Napoleon's Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Talleyrand kept France's territory intact and unoccupied after Napoleon's first defeat.
-------- OLD WORLD INCENTIVES:
---- One of the most effective tools to defuse a crisis in a bloodless way is BRIBING enemy spies and leaders. One problem in the current situation is that FUNDAMENTALIST MUSLIMS SEEM TO BE IMPERVIOUS TO BRIBERY.
---- There are other more subtle ways to mellow and defuse your opponents.
-- A monarch or a dictator will give his daughter or sister in marriage to his enemy in the hope of turning it into an ally
--Using another tool of mollifying France enemies,Talleyrand presents himself again as an example. He had recruited the greatest chef of his era "Antonin Careme," and in a beautiful hotel Particulier: Place Vendome in Paris (the site of the American Embassy in Paris today) he gave wonderful dinners accompanied by great wines making in the process scores of admirers and allies.
He then took his chef, Antonin Careme, to the Congress of Vienna where the future of France was to be decided. This planning and strategy successfully mollified France's opponents. The quality of the delicious dinners and wines were not only successful diplomatically, but Chef Careme's cuisine so impressed the leadership of the enemies of France that his haute cuisine was taken to countries throughout Europe and eventually became known worldwide.
However this strategy of Haute Cuisine will not work for the USA whose best known cuisine comes from McDonald's.
Although not as much in fashion, these tools are still used and very efficient: Bribery, arranged marriages among powerful families, dazzling dinner are the norm, not the exception in Africa and South America.
-------- NEW WORLD INCENTIVE
---- Building factories to bring jobs to other countries while fighting corruption is another diplomatic strategy and it is the avowed strategy of the USA, the European Union and some Asian countries. One exception is CHINA which is building factories but at the same time happy to turn a blind eye to bribes being paid to the leaders of underdeveloped countries. China's influence is growing very quickly, and China is creating a net of client countries ready to vote for them at the UN and support their worldwide goals. .
-------- LOANS AND FINANCING
With the explosions of population in the third world brought on by better health care and additional food supplies these countries are not even close to being self sufficient and are very eager to receive loans from richer developed countries.
The country that loans the most money with little hope of reimbursement is the country that will have the most friends in the world and thus steer many countries in the directions it desires. China is well positioned, but the USA is positioned poorly.
-------- OTHER VERY INTERESTING DIPLOMATIC TOOLS
---- NON VIOLENT PROTESTS
--Gandhi obtained the freedom of India, now a Country of over a billion people, with peaceful non-violent protests.
-- Martin Luther King brought down the barriers of social discrimination based on racism in the USA with non-violent protests.
-- Mandela demonstrated heroic behavior by spending 17 years in prison and brought down apartheid in South Africa with non-violent protests.
We can see that Diplomats have a large array of tools to conduct their Diplomacy. Some tools are frown upon by modern Democracy such as outright bribery but used in a covert manner anyway.
In the USA the most powerful Democracy on earth The President should see himself first and foremost as the DIPLOMAT IN CHIEF and of course because war is one of his tools the Army will be under his direct control. This simple change of Vocabulary and mindset which was exactly what President Bush Senior exemplified and exactly what President Bush Junior did not do quite accurately exemplifies which qualities the next President of the USA should have.
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The SEVEN GREATEST MILITARY COMMANDERS IN HISTORY
2006 November 27th modified March 14th 2009, December 1st 2010
In the USA, among most people, but certainly among great businessmen in our era, it is common knowledge that success in business and in life is defined by the same set of rules that can be applied to almost any field. Hence it should be possible to apply the same rules again and again to any sort of business enterprises and achieve success.
The following summary studies the extraordinary achievements of five men who did not read road to success books, but who nonetheless conquered huge areas of the worlds they lived in or won impossible battles, against all odds even including supposedly superior enemies.
The fascinating element is that each of these commanders in chief achieved their victories by using completely different STRATEGIES. These military geniuses were without any argument the Greatest Commanders in Chief in the World and they are:
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
SOLUTIONS FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ
AND FOR THE FUTURE OF THE USA
There is NO WAY that the USA can win the War in Iraq using its current strategy as defined by President Bush in his many "STAY THE COURSE" discourses.
Our readers have been well aware of the Bush White House's persistent flawed direction in Iraq long before political pundits started to come to the same conclusion.
The Solutions described in the following article have been put forward to our readers for almost two years now.
Only splitting IRAQ into three independent entities under a loose umbrella could provide a less damaging solution. As soon as this step is taken, but not before, getting out of Iraq will benefit the USA and Iraq. A reasonable time table to set for achieving this partition of Iraq should be two to three years.
However the reality is that the Bush administration is not taking this direction and timing is almost everything during a war. It is important to remember that in a war a solution advocated today if not implemented when advocated could be irrelevant after two more years of the Bush administration
Retaining the name Iraq would be possible as in, "The United States of Iraq," but it is extremely important that these three entities remain totally independent even have a name differentiating them but held together by a coordinating committee that has consultative powers only. At the same time the USA or the UN must help the Iraqi people in making the inevitable displacement of populations which has already begun less traumatic and then let them sort out their own futures and eradicate terrorism in their own territory under a UN resolution.
THE VERY IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT WAR IS A FLUID AGREGAT OF ELEMENT THAT GETS RESHUFFLED AND CHENGED ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT WAS GOOD YESTERDAY MAY NOT BE GOOD TODAY AND WHAT IS GOOD TODAY MAY NOT BE GOOD TOMORROW.
We would have three small independent States under a loose umbrella with a displacement of population rendered less traumatic thanks to international help.
The road to this solution could be extremely bumpy.
8 0% of the Iraqi are not in favor of this solution.
8 0% of the American Leaders are not in favor of this solution.
Some American leaders believe that other steps should be taken in order to achieve some sort of minimal success in Iraq
The USA may have to implement a succession of intermediary steps before achieving
the final design of three independent entities of Iraq. This succession of intermediary steps could be constituted by what is already out there offered as independent solutions.
The elements of a viable solution as well as the timetable to implement the activation of these elements could be the following. **
1) For a period of 6 months to a year, add 50 000 soldiers to Baghdad to give a sense of victory and security to the law abiding citizens and to show to the Iraqi police and army that it can be done. At the same time increase training of the Iraqi forces.
2) Then withdraw most of the troops out of Iraq and let the Iraqi find out if they can govern their country.
3) Start in the meantime to push the legal frame for partition.
4) If the Iraqi can maintain a Peaceful Iraq as a whole and the army and police keep a relatively safe environment so much the better, happy ending.
If sectarian violence continues between Sunnis and Chiites then the partition of Iraq between three entities will separates the warring factions which is always a good thing.
Another UN peace keeping force will be needed.
I am personally forcefully against what I call a double jeopardy: Shrinking under the name of redeployment the US Forces in Iraq while embedding a few dozen Americans soldiers inside Iraqis brigades.
This is not acceptable because it will have these American soldiers tortured and killed by renegade Iraqis inside the police and the Army.
THE ROOTS OF THE PROBLEM
It is always best to research the roots of a Problem and then extirpate them.
The only solution that can control terrorism is for the USA to be able to restrain China's Foreign policy by demonstrating to China how dreadful economic restrictions on China's imports into the USA could be for their economy.In one of our previous article we showed that China specifically has strong ties with America's foes. China should be able to understand that supporting Iran as well as other countries favorable to terrorists and terrorism will be very detrimental to China. Because of its HUGE size and fast paced economic development China is continually starved for oil.
China's constant search for adequate oil supplies is the main driving force behind its foreign policy.
It has to be explained to China in no uncertain terms that selling products in the USA made in factories using oil from Iran is not going to help China's sales to the Western World when it is under attack by Iran. Without China's help Iran would most certainly be in a much more difficult economic and technological situation and much less able to afford helping terrorists.
On the other hand it is absolutely crucial that the USA and the European Union spend a lot of money and extend their good will to the few Modern Moderate Muslim nations left.
Stabilizing this region will take a few years but the presence of US troops is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Oil is money and Iran has a lot of oil thus a lot of money. Iran is the problem. If you examine terrorism and/or the crisis in the Middle East from any angle you will see that Iran is constantly launching attacks on its neighbors and the USA through many proxy terrorist organizations which Iran provides with money, arms, training and IDEOLOGY (Fundamentalist Muslim Faith).
Iran is on a path to rule the Middle East region including Syria and Lebanon. China must be made to understand that its economic future depends on China's willingness to NOT support terrorist regimes. For the next ten of years China's economy will continue to strongly depend on its huge exports to the USA and Japan.
In addition, it is crucial that the US through alternative energy solve its dependency on foreign oil
A nother vital key is to solve the Palestinian - Lebanon-Israeli -Syrian problem.
Make no mistake: Due to George Bush the younger abandonement of this part of the world where USA commitments are absolutes and SHOULD NOT have been overlooked the situation has gotten a lot worse.
We have now two powder kegs istead of one:
Palestinians against Israel in an ongoing war that has seen Israel increase the level of violence against Palestinians without success.
In Lebanon, the Hezbollah party which has most probably 60 or 70% of the Lebanese sympathetic to them has left the government and started governing from the street which is the very first step for civil war.In addition the Hezbollah fighter are not been disarm completing the pictire of a power keg. This potential problem is even more dreadfull than the Iraqi problem although so far no American troops are involved.
An understanding of the following ideology is essential to future diplomatic strategy.
Muslim Fundamentalism is an ideology bent on attacking Western values and Western countries. The Ideology of the Fundamentalist Muslim faith will develop and rule part of the world for two generations perhaps for a little bit less time than the Communist Ideology ruled part of the world. It will do this in the same way, using dictatorial power, repression and massacres.
Western nations and their Leaders do not have even a vague idea how blood thirsty and enormously cruel these enemies are.
The positive thing for Western Secular Democracies is that Muslim Fundamentalism offers such an enormous step backward that it cannot stand in the face of television and the internet. Within fifty years the Muslim Fundamentalist Ideology will have lost a lot of its power. By then China will be a very dangerous and powerful nation and will become a new and even more dangerous threat for the USA, but that is another story. In the meantime as they are not natural allies: the USA must work in weakening any link between China and the Fundamentalist Muslims. That task is far from beeing impossible.
This Fundamentalist Muslim Ideology is on the rise and becoming a huge powerful wave made of millions of human droplets made from the waters of fundamentalism.
You cannot fight it by brute military force. The only solution is to dry all the wells that produce this dangerous water one after the other and wait until the wave has lost its power.
In the same fashion that the Communist Ideology lost all of its strength Fundamentalist Muslim Ideology will without a doubt lose its power. It will take some patience and although it is upsetting we will have to wait it out while doing damage control
The key is: do not add water to their well.
1) By staying in Iraq
2) By not solving the Palestinian-Israel- Lebanoni conflict.
3) By using enormous quantities of their oil which raises the price of oil and gives them more and more money
4) By partially preventing their Friends (China- Venezuela- Russia) from continuing to help them
In addition, there are a few red flags that need to be raised, the most important being to prevent lawless states from becoming a haven and training ground for terrorist foes.
Some countries that are on the verge of becoming training camps for terrorists are Sudan and Somalia.
Lebanon is going to be a major problem and needs close monitoring.
The big danger however is with Iraq. If US troops leave before a strong and organized structure is in place, it will become a new terrorist state that will manufacture literally millions of terrorists. It will be Afghanistan all over again and on a much larger scale.
PARTITION AND ITS OUTCOME
If Iraq is partitioned into three countries what will happen?
Kurdish Iraq will stay relatively calm and not harbor terrorists.
Sunni Iraq will be overpowered by Shiite Iraq and decimated to a powerless entity unless secretly armed and suported by the USA.
Fight within these separates entities will happen but without the US presence
Shiite Iraq will ally itself with Iran very closely and will be a training ground for terrorists. Iran is already breeding terrorists and with the Shiites portion of Iraq Iran will be a little bit more powerful, not a lot more.
Again Iran is the problem.
It is not a perfect solution but it is damage control made necessary by the creation of a dreadful situation originated by President Bush Junior, It is the best the USA can hope for.
On the plus side:
No more killing of US soldiers in Iraq
Instead of 2 fronts : Iran and Iraq, after the partition, one front only: Iran with the addition of Shiite Iraq.
In the world of real politic Shiite and Sunnis in Iraq could be too busy exterminating each other to have the time and resources to attack the USA. If they are not exterminating each other they will be busy reconstructing to focus in killing Americans
The Bush Administration says that US troops are working hard at improving the capability of Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police to fight terrorists. As always this is a false statement. If they were honest they would say what the commanders of the US Army and Marines on the ground are saying. The Army and the Police are so infiltrated by terrorists (infiltration acknowledged by the Iraqi minister of the interior) that we are actually improving the skills and strength of the terrorists who after they train with the US army during the daytime go on night time and week-end rampages torturing and murdering their religious opponents.
Telling the American People that the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police are going to replace American soldiers within 12 to 18 months nis a LIE and a deceitful MIRAGE dangled in front of American citizens to entice them into voting Republican and supporting the Bush Administration. President Bush has repeated this lie time and time again while repeating his unsuccessful formula for success: when the Iraqi troops will stand up the American troops will stand down.
With or without the Americans the region is falling into chaos. A very recent poll in Iraq showed that the vast majority of Iraqis want US soldiers out of Iraq within one year or at the most two years. 61% of Iraqis support attacks against the Americans.
The US government should apply the solutions offered by our publications: FOR DEMOCRACY and its Newsletter USA TOMORROW.
The main opposition to redefining the exit Strategy in Iraq is not only of course the President but also 99% of Republican leaders who continue to bash the Democrats and to advocate "Staying the course in Iraq."
Make no mistake there will be more terrorists' actions in the main land USA.
We are in for a 50 years cycle of problems with the Fundamentalist Muslim world.
Homeland security must be developed. The only reason there has been no more terrorist attack on the USA is the very very small pro-fundamentalist Muslim community in the USA.
Frightening fact: Between 9/11 2001 and November 2006 the FBI has not been efficient enough to raise the number of their agent fluent in Arabic to more than one hundred agents.
Human intelligence in Muslim countries must be developed.
Because of its small population of Muslims, 0.6%, and because it is extremely remote from the Middle East the threat to the USA is not gigantic once the USA is out of Iraq. Western Europe is a more likely field of combat for Muslim terrorists where in some Europeans countries such as France 10% of their population are members of the Muslim Faith and many of them are sympathetic to Fundamentalist Muslims.
It seems that President Bush's Iraqi war has defined the decades to come into a situation similar to the Cold war. The USA is going to fight Iran and the majority of the Muslim world backed by their covert allies Russia and China in a series of proxy wars that will use mostly guerrilla warfare and the threat of atomic weapons. US strategy of war has to be entirely redefined by abandoning the notion of mediocre levels of troops on the ground. This notion is incredibly stupid.
Abandoning the Powell Doctrine which advocated overwhelming force based on the lessons of the Vietnam War was Donald Rumsfeld's irresponsible and catastrophic decision. My belief is that more troops than even Colin Powell would have advocated would have been needed to stabilize Iraq after 2 years when the situation was beginning to get out of hand. One million troops would have been an efficient number and would have created a viable Iraq.
If before the Army is equipped with remote controlled ground weapons the USA has to send ground troops anywhere it must be in overwhelming numbers following or surpassing the numbers advocated by the Powell doctrine. Defeating a guerrilla force is very demanding in numbers .
If you take a good look at the success of the American military in the last TWO years, the most powerful army in the world has only seen DEFEAT and no success.
--- AFGHANISTAN: After a brief success, the American Army had to accelerate the turnover of Leadership of the war to NATO because the American Army was losing ground.
--- IRAQ: ONLY dishonest people or imbeciles can maintain that Iraq is improving and that STAYING THE COURSE is the way to Victory and the withdrawal of American troops.
--- IRAN: Make no mistake; Iran is waging a fierce war against the USA. They are using proxies such as the terrorist organization Hezbollah and Sadr militias but most importantly they have assessed that the USA army under President Bush's leadership is totally impotent because the army is bogged down in Iraq. In addition polls show that American people not support another war. Iran believes that there is no American Army anymore and they are right. Iran has defeated the USA under President Bush and they are building their own atomic bomb.
--- NORTH KOREA: They have manufactured their bomb and engaged in a nuclear test under President George W. Bush's watch and know that the US army cannot attack them while engaged in Iraq. The real DANGER is that if they are not engaged in dialogue with in addition extreme pressure be the main provider of nuclear technology for terrorist State or terrorist entities.
--- CUBA, VENEZUELA, BOLIVIA, SYRIA: All American foes, they may be small countries but they are influential in their zones of influence and are all building stronger armies and insulting the USA as if the USA was a defenseless Banana Republic which as a matter of fact the USA is under President Bush.
On the other hand, counting successes is a very easy task: NONE.
The US now has to think outside the envelope and American technology can bring victories in far away countries with almost no loss of US lives.
The concept is to reinvent the army.
Every military action should be done by remote controlled robots and remote bombings
The raw bottom line in any conflict once started is: Our lives or their lives.
Ground robots in the form of miniature tanks, some the size of a small golf cart, others the size of compact cars can go almost everywhere and search everywhere and inspire fear as well as being able to destroy tanks and armed trucks and bands of Kalashnikov armed assailants without any loss of US troops.
These golf cart size tanks and some even smaller that could enter houses and climb stairs should be equipped with missiles including micro missiles. In addition to their main engine, they must have a small solar energy source allowing them to crawl out of the combat zone for easy recovery. They must have self destruction mechanisms. The technology to build these remote controlled mini and micro tanks exist and has been available for at least Decades. Only the very narrow minded mind of the military leadership had not seen its potential. There is hope however and rumors of such weapons been studied are been confirmed. Thinking outside the enveloppe is the absolute trademark of the great Military leaders and this new mini tank technology is a step above the thinking of the actual Commander in Chief and his secretery of defense, mediocre minds at best.
The great mistake of the US military is to fight the Iraqi war in the window of knowledge and strength of the enemy which is: Guerrilla combat with foot soldiers of wich they could muster tens of millions. The US military CANNOT make this mistake and must fight with technology and not with human foot soldiers.
The fact that the US military does not already have hundreds of high-tech remote control mini tanks is unbelievable and pathetic. With these remote controlled mini tanks as well as with existing remote control planes all controlled via satellites, the USA would have an enormous advantage. As the only nation technically capable of implementing these techniques and building these equipment any assailant would think twice before threatening a nation that could search every house and kill every armed enemy in the assailant country while the US ARMY would not suffer one casualty while remotely controlling the war sitting at their desks in the USA.
When and if potential conflicts arise with China the nuclear arsenal and heavy tanks which should not be discarded will be useful as a threat, but the beauty of these mini tanks is that the USA could manufacture ONE BILLION of these mini tanks to match China's population of One Billion. The numerical inferiority of the US population would be erased by the manufacturing of ONE BILLION ROBOTS if necessary. It will be a gigantic plus in tomorrow's chaotic world.
What are the Weaknesses and Strength of the USA's high tech armament.
Strength; Without loosing one man the USA can completely destroy with conventional Bombs or nuclear bombs any nation; Weakness: The USA today cannot use this capability because it will upset all the nations in the world and make the USA a pariah. In today guerrilla warfare it is useless. Strength: When tension with Future Super power such as China will arise having this huge bombing capability will be a crucial deterrent.
Strength: The best trained and equipped troops in the word with a patriotism, dedication and courage rarely matched,
Weakness: No efficiency in guerilla wars which are the wars of this generation of soldiers. Zero efficiency against I E D ( roadside bombs), The American people does not want them to die; The American culture does not accept the lost of US life in remote countries .
Major weakness: the American army does not have a usable force of troops on the ground to conduct what are piece meal operations which consist of finding and killing terrorists in an environment hostile to the US army .
Weakness: The numbers of enemies of the USA in any terrorist friendly country can be overwhelming because almost all men have access to a gun and the entire male population can be a soldier. In comparison the USA have despite their medium size population a relatively small number of soldiers. this number is furthermore dwarfed by the Numbers of potential soldiers in China or India. Strength: The USA due to its advance in satellites can manufacture billions of agile six wheeled foot soldiers able to attack, patrol, search including climbing stairs.
China is planting to land on the moon and is developing satellites. The USA has already lost most of its lead in the space conquest( remember Americans landed on the moon 40 years ago but abandoned the moon 34 years ago), as of today the USA is incapable to achieve what it achieved 40 years ago. but it is crucial that the USA go back to the moon and establish a permanent base instead of China establishing a permanent base which they could turn first into a propaganda tool and then into a military base . The USA MUST in order to rebuilt their standing first establish a permanent scientific base then establish a military base on the moon before the Chinese.
On the face of the recent Nuclear test by North Korea and the fact that China, India and above all Pakistan which may become a hostile country in the future the USA should encourage its very faithful ally to build a nuclear bomb. A stronger Nuclear armed Japan is necessary to balance China.
In this generation of Guerilla warfare the US is totally impotent because it cannot use its overwhelming bombing capability and Iraq has proven that the US Strategy of troops on the grounds is failing when guerilla is opposed to them.
Today, the USA has no military option to fight the Guerilla wars of today.
THE OVERALL PICTURE
AXIS OF EVIL
No American is unaware that President Bush Junior has specifically labeled three countries as enemies when he branded them as being part of THE AXIS OF EVIL.
These Countries are Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
Under his boisterous watch, he specifically named the enemy of the USA but under his leadership these three Countries defeated the USA.
Iraq: Win for the Insurgents by creating a killing field and an endless quagmire
Iran; Wins through Hezbollah proxies, Building a Nuclear weapons.
North Korea; Wins by building and experimented with a Nuclear weapons and medium range ballistic missile in defiance of President Bush threats
USA: 0; ENNEMIES PART OF THE AXIS OF EVIL: 3
This sad scoreboard does not take in account the GIGANTIC loss of influence against Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, China, Sudan, Indonesia ......
The scoreboard will show at least: 0 to 10 in favor of the USA's enemies
SHORT TERM POLICY
In one sentence, the new order for a modicum of stability in the world will be successfully established by teaching the nouveau riche such as China to use good manners befitting the strong educated countries and siding with the western world against terrorism.
LONG TERM POLICY
The USA MUST rebuild its aura and reputation of invincibility, power, fairness and Ethical behavior. All assets that took generations to build and took only SIX YEARS of the worst Presidency of modern times, the Presidency of President Bush Junior to squander and leave the USA weak, distrusted and despised around the world. Establishing a permanent presence on the moon is one example of rebuilding an aura of power. Having an Army of a few hundred thousand soldiers but with one billion robots is another solution. Helping Darfur refugees would be another example.
The last word by Henri Kissinger: At last Henri Kissinger has understood that he ows the truth not to the Princes that he serves but to the American citizens who gave him a country where he built a formidable carreer.*
Here are his words:
"If you mean by Military Victory an Iraqi government that can be stabilised and whose writ runs accross the whole country, that gets the civil war under control in a time period that the Political process of the Democracy will support ,I don't beleieve that is possible".
IN CONCLUSION and ABOVE ALL the next generation of American Leaders as well as the People of America must focus on restoring what made in the recent past America the Greatest Nation in the world when the Leaders were Franklin Delanoe Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George Bush the Elder, Bill Clinton. The United States of America must focus on restoring this sense of Awe and respect that the other People around the world had for the USA. The USA must strive in regaining its technical superiority by opening high level universities to a lot more of its students. America must redesign its Army the Symbol of its might. Absolute greed, corruption and constant lies by the Neo Cons Republican leaders of the Nation should not be the standard of government accepted by the American People. Sound ethics in government should be the rule not the exception.
*added on 11/20/2006
**added on 12/10/2006
ALEXANDER THE GREAT ( 356-323 BC)
Alexander's signature strategy was charge and charge again. Charging like a possessed man at the head of his elite troops was Alexander the Great's signature Strategy.
Alexander's strategy was a direct result of his culture as well as his personal bravery. He came from a cast of warriors whose culture focused on heroism and absolute bravery.
It is very important to underline that Alexander the Great had formalized into an ubber elite group his friends-soldiers that were officially named " Companions". His group of companions all cavalry were not only ready to die for him. but they had to show by relentless attacks and acts of bravery that they were as brave as Alexander and the bar was very very high because Alexander was the bravest.
Using the hyper macho culture of his time Alexander had fashioned the most aggressive talented, small elite attack troop.
In most cases as in his most famous early battles: Granicus and Issus against all odds he charged. He often had less soldiers and the terrain was against him but he charged. He and his crack troops charged continuously until there was a break in the opposing army's line. He then went directly for the commander of the opposing army. His relentless attacks had always the goal to kill or capture the head of the opposing army.
In fact Alexander the Great had built a new weapon, a gigantic human arrow meant to pierce enemy lines. This arrow was constructed of Alexander,and his bravest and most trusted companions. This human arrow was powered by sheer courage the predominating force in the culture of heroes.
Alexander's signature was:
A rush to pierce enemy lines in order to destroy the head of the army based on absolute bravery and Heroic behavior, and this fearless and indomitable rush is present in all of Alexander's battles. No other Great commander charged so relentlessly at the head of his troops in each battle that was won.
None of the Leaders opposing him had one tenth of his bravery. In term of pure analysis It was Alexander technical superiority,
Alexander the Great was very successful in occupying the countries he vanquished. He HIMSELF integrated the customs, the Gods and the garments of the countries or regions he occupied. He did it with so much conviction that his Greeks soldiers rebelled against him accusing him of having forgotten that he was Greek. To be fair, Alexander reputation of extremely successful commander in Chief was a big part of the equation.
He always went all out with all his forces and then integrated himself into the culture of the country he invaded
HANNIBAL ( 286-183 BC )
Hannibal's signature strategy was the open ambush.
Hannibal faced enemy armies with a regular front line.
Once engaged in combatin the Battle of Canae his Center made of Infantry pretended weakness and began to withdraw but the aisles did not withdraw.
As a consequence the enemy would continue to advance further and further into Hannibal's army, pushing the center back. When the enemy army had stretched itself inside the two aisles of Hannibal's army, his center would hold its ground, then Hannibal's two aisles would (the most important part of this maneuver) close from the sides of the stretched and extended enemy army. In addition and simultaneously, a group of hidden cavalry would close on the rear of the enemy army cutting off their retreat and creating panic.
We can see that his cavalry was also an important element.
In frontal assault the Roman army was invincible so Hannibal took the risk of organizing the loss of his Center to make the aisles the decisive factor. Again way outside the envelopeIn many of his other battles played with the weaknesses of some of his troops and the strengh of the Roman army to draw the Roman army during the battle in an open Ambush.
What made Hannibal's performance exceptional is that during the ten years he roamed Italy he was never defeated in a major engagement by the Roman Army which was considered the best army in the world before it encountered Hannibal.
Hannibal had very limited Diplomatic success and failed to take Rome the key to the Roman Empire.
JULIUS CAESAR (100-44 BC)
Julius Caesar signature battle is its Victory at Alesia against the Gaul leader Vercingetorix.
It was an amazing feat of intelligence, confidence and engineering:
Vercingetorix retreated with his entire army on a large plateau named Alesia that was towering above the countryside and very difficult to assault.
Julius Caesar a man whose intelligence allowed him to play with and combine all strengths of the mighty Roman army, used his corps of roman engineers by far the best in the world.
He asked his engineer to entrap the plateau by building a line of fortification encircling completely the plateau.
This circular line of fortification was complete with ditches, palisades, tower, traps. it was about 12 miles long
So far good work from the corp of engineer but nothing exceptional.
Then defying all military rules Caesar had a second circular line of fortification of about 14 miles built around Alesia facing outside thus entrapping willingly his Army between these two lines of fortifications.
One line of fortifications, the closest from Alesia was to maintain a siege and prevent the Gaul from evading the plateau, then there was Caesar army distributed around the first perimeter then the second line of fortification facing outside which function was to hold the other Gaul armies from coming to the rescue of Vercingetorix the beloved and charismatic Gaul leader.
You need to have an enormous deal of self confidence in yourself to entrap yourself between two armies.
Jules Caesar repealed the outside armies and starved to death Vercingetorix and his army on the plateau and they surrendered. It was the quasi end of the Gaul rebellion.
In many of his battles Julius Caesar used his corp of engineers to built bridges or fortification that were the key to the outcome of the battle. Julius Caesar used the corp of engineers a lot more than any commander of his time.
Again thinking outside the envelope by voluntarily trapping his army between two palisades. In addition using fortifications renders the strong Gaul enemy cavalry useless
Jules Caesar signature strategy was an extensive use of his corp of engineers.
In Gaul Julius Caesar worked hard on gathering intelligence which helped him to divide and conquer Gaul tribes.
It is estimated that one million Gauls were killed by Julius Cesar Armies.
Julius Cesar carried a very big stick and a very little carrot.
However Roman civilization was so superior that after the first revolt and then defeat Gauls became eager to adopt Roman culture.
In the end Gaul became part of the Roman Empire for centuries.
GENGHIS KHAN (1162 - 1227)
Genghis Khan's signature strategy was: flight to fight.
Running away was the signature strategy of Genghis Khan and his faithful General Subotei. Genghis Khan is the only commander in chief whose armies ran away again and again in front of their enemies and yet easily won the battle in the end.
Because Genghis Khan's armies where extremely mobile, 90 percent of his armies were light cavalry on small horses and amazingly no great historian ever pointed out how weak a cavalry it was, compared to European heavier cavalry much bigger, much faster horses and bigger lances.
There was only one solution to destroy the opposing heavy cavalry and that was to destroy it piece meal. Genghis Khan's army would face the other army; simulate a fight and then a flight. The opposing army would of course pursue them and Genghis Khan's army would continue to flee. Their strategy was to not flee too fast being careful to stay in sight of the enemy army. Among the pursuers the fastest would begin to take the lead while the slower began to fall a little bit behind and the slowest members of the opposition fell even further behind so that the enemy army went from a formidable frontal formation to an extended line of cavalry ready to be picked off.
Genghis Khan's army then turned around, went on both sides of this extended line and started unleashing a deadly volley of arrows from horseback. Their archers were remarkable; every Mongol was simultaneously a master rider and archer. What is absolutely fascinating is that Genghis Khan and his favorite General used their signature strategy over and over again, and on each occasion the same strategy and the same tactic and won again and again.
Genghis khan from a major weakness - little weak horses - by thinking out of the envelope and imagination had turned an army incapable of holding its ground in an assault into a Conquering wonder.
Genghis Khan signature strategy was
Bait your opponent into pursuing you, extend their lines and pick them up one at a time
Genghis khan reorganized with a very strong bureaucracy the provinces he conquered. Being accountable to him with precision and efficiency was one of the Strength of his governmental skills.
Napoleon's signature strategy was mobility.
As Napoleon said, "I won more battles with the legs of my soldiers than with my guns."
The Battle of Rivoli one of the battles of the extraordinary campaign of Italy is the arch example of the power of ultra mobility by an army as well as Napoleon's signature strategy and tactics. Massena one of Napoleon's Generals and his army walked 120 miles while fighting three engagements. At the same time Napoleon walked another fifty miles with another army while a couple of his other generals walked a few dozen miles with more troops while fighting more engagements. This means there was an army fighting all the time and STILL WALKING more than 200 miles combined.
Most of the generals who opposed Napoleon had the tendency to find a strong position and then from this strong position conduct an offensive. They built large armies that were slow and stationary to oppose the feared Napoleon.
Napoleon due to the mobility of his army was pleased to be able to learn which direction the enemy army was moving because he knew that in most cases he be able to go around them. He could then attack parts of the enemy army that moved slowly and then move again and finish off the rest of the enemy Army.
Napoleon never bothered to achieve the completion of a huge standing army at one place. He preferred to influence the strategy of the opposing army by moving his troops and then engaging in combat when he judged that the trends were in his favor while more of his army arrived on the battle field.
After Rivoli, Austerlitz is another example of mobility versus mass. Napoleon occupied the Praetzen Heights, the best strategic position, but at dawn the day of the battle (December 2, 1805) Napoleon's troops began to slowly withdraw from the Praetzen Heights, pretending weakness. The opposing army then climbed the Praetzen Heights, and slowly occupied it but exactly as Napoleon had predicted the enemy troops could not prevent themselves to pursue the French then they continued to follow the retreating French Army downhill, stretching this part of their resources.
When the Austrians and Russians occupied the Praetzen Heights and Napoleon's generals were a bit anxious Napoleon joyously declared, not once but twice, "Now we got them." He had sprung a trap that defied all rules of warfare, and his army was on its way to victory.
Napoleon was short of men and the enemy push from the Praetzen Heights was extremely menacing. And then a division that had walked 100 kilometers in 2 days arrived in extremis to reinforce Napoleon's Army at the bottom of the Praetzen Height. At the same time Napoleon sent some of his cavalry to clean the Praetzen Heights.
Napoleon was a master of thinking outside the envelope: Instead of holding the Praetzen plateau he left what is a must hold for military experts. In many other battles when the enemy expected him here he was already behind the enemy.
Austerlitz again demonstrates Napoleon's use of mobility. First when he withdrew his troops from the Praetzen Heights and then when he started the battle while a crucial division was walking its way towards the battle field. Napoleon was trusting the legs of his soldiers
.Napoleon signature strategy was mobility:
For Napoleon war was a fluid element in constant movement or chaos. The only way to win a war was to redirect a series of Streams and not to built Dams.
Diplomacy: Napoleon tried his hand at diplomacy and signed many treaties all unsuccessful. His dictatorial style of government left France in a sorry state.
General Petraeus is among the greatest military commander in history. More precisely we have one of the greatest teams: General Petraeus and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Although General Petraeus is the creator of the modern counter insurgency strategy, Robert Gates with his extremely brilliant mind immediately grasped how innovative, intelligent and efficient this doctrine was, gave General Petraeus full support and has done everything in his power to make General Petraeus' difficult task a winning strategy. In addition Secretary Gates is the proponent of using unmanned vehicles some of them drones as much as possible. Thanks to this amazing team the use of unmanned vehicles as spies and attackers produced extremely good results and they have become indispensable tools for American Forces. Although unmanned vehicles already existed, previous commanders never understood how beneficial their use could be.
General Petraeus doctrine goes far beyond the extensive use of Special Forces now a feature of mainstream military strategy.
In a very conservative world General Petraeus in the same fashion his great predecessors did thought outside the envelope and rewrote the book on how to deal with counter insurgency
The way his doctrine is worded is the first clue that it was written by a very intelligent man. In addition the content of his doctrine shows that his doctrine and ideas include planning and actions thought to be the realm of civilian administrators. Here is a quotation from the manual defining the old style but accurate doctrine of counterinsurgency.
"Counterinsurgency is those political, economic, military, paramilitary, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat an insurgency"
Here is General Petraeus more broadly redefining counterinsurgency with a greater focus on politics:
Political power is the central issue in an insurgency, and each side has this as its aim. The insurgent attempts to overthrow or subvert an established government or authority; the counterinsurgent uses all of the instruments of national power to support the government in restoring and enforcing the rule of law. Counterinsurgency thus involves the controlled application of national power in political, information, economic, social, military, and diplomatic fields and disciplines. Its scale and complexity should never be underestimated by leaders and planners; indeed, the possible scale and complexity must be understood before the beginning of any such operation.
In fact the latest refinements to his doctrine turn the tables around.
From being strictly an occupying force American Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are evolving into guerilla forces that disrupt the enemy. In addition as everybody knows guerilla forces need the constant support of the local population. General Petraeus not only minimized civilian casualties to the extreme but also helped secure perimeters where building schools and hospitals funded by the US is feasible thus turning part of the civilian populations into allies.These multiple daunting tasks necessitate weaving together many important strands into a warfare strategy that would have made Sun Tzu very proud of General Petraeus.
An example of what seems completely out of the American and European book of warfare is what has been called "the night raids."
Due to the technical superiority of "night goggles" American Special Forces act on "intelligence" and engage counterinsurgents at night creating extreme fear by killing or capturing them at night. It is not the terrorists that sleep well at night and keep the American awake and worried; it is the other way around.
It is important to understand that it is not a couple of night raids as it has been in the past by most armies to secure a precise strategic objectives, but the constant repetition of these night raids as well as the constant use of drones that constitute the strategy. This very specific strategy is a testimony that thinking outside the envelope should not have limits and is very beneficial.
Let's also give a word of praise for President Obama who although a pacifist recognized General Petraeus' intelligence and gave him the tools for implementing a successful strategy.
General Petreaus signature strategy is: Put fear among terrorist by constant invisible attacks but implement visible and constant respect and care for civilians
The reason I put Sun Tzu at the end is that if I had started with Sun Tzu the reader will have inferred thanks to the wealth of warfare concepts in Sun Tzu's treaty: "the art of war" that all other Great Commanders had read Sun Tzu and applied part of his principles about warfare. In fact none of them with the exception of General Petreaus had read Sun Tzu.
Only an extremely brilliant mind could have come with a treaty of war so intelligent that it has stood the test of time, is perfectly accurate and usable today. In fact General Petraus is applying 70% of the principles of Sun Tzu treaty the art of war.
The reason SunTzu is included among the great commanders is because in addition of the writing of his treaty about war as a General he lead an extremely challenging but victorious campaign against an enemy ten times superior in numbers. His achievements are dated around 500 BC in China
In a very concise way of seven points I am going to describe what are the most important concepts of Sun Tzu treaty" The art of war"" which is composed of thirteen chapters with many points into each chapters. I will not use a logical order but will prioritize the most original concepts that I believe are his most important contribution to the art of warfare and are important today in the conflicts the American army is fighting.
First:" Know your enemy and know yourself and in 100 battles you will never be in peril"
Although many American commanders forgot to follow the first part of this Sun Tzu principle about knowing your enemy what is even less obvious is studying the weaknesses of your army. From SunTzu point of view "know yourself " applies first to the knowledge the Commander of the army should have of himself, his strengths , fears and weaknesses and then to the knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of his army.
As a parallel knowing your enemy mindset is essential as well as knowing his strength and weakness. Spying by human spies or drones is quintessential.
Second: To win 100 battles is not the height of skills, to subdue the enemy without fighting is.
All wars are not avoidable especially when you have been attacked but a show of force in combination with intelligent diplomacy will avoid a war.
As a result of his philosophy Sun Tzu was very focused on achieving victory with the minimum of losses and destruction.
Case in point": General Petraeus extreme respect for minimizing casualties among the Afghan population.
Case in point: Saddam Hussein containment without a war worked very well and we know know that going to war against Iraq was a huge mistake that cost America his leadership.
Negative case in point: Hitler in his arrogance was a good judge of the weakness of England and France. These countries showed extreme weakness as well as unentelligent diplomacy by yieding to Hitler constant illegal breach of treaty BEFORE world war II and letting him invade two nations: Austria and Czechoslovakia without France and England declaring war to Hitler. However Hitler not knowing himself went one invasion too far ( Poland) and started World war II a war that lead to 50 million deaths.
Third:"Avoid what is strong attack what is weak"
This principle is another statement that emphasizes Sun Tsu philosophy Sun Tzu could have coined " Always think outside the envelop" another more modern similar quote is " always find the weakest point in an armor". It takes a lot of spying and thinking to find the chink in the armor.
Negative case in point: One of the rare of General lee mistakes when he send his army in relentless attack of a fortified hill at Gettysburg, losing the battle in a blood bath which was a fatal step leading to the loss of the war.
Fourth "War is a matter of life and death"
Not only because people die in battle but because nations and empire die in battle. case in point Napoleon Empire won by war lost by war
A principle the greatest diplomat and a great military commander himself French king Louis XI applyed all his life achieving the reconquest of his kingdom fighting as few battles as he could.
For SunTzu this principle has a deeper meaning that extoll the fact that when warriors are put in a situation where only two choices are offered or perceived: win and live or loose and die a warrior and the army he is part of becomes invincible: Case in point: the Vietnamese army encompassing citizens who lost 3 millions people in comparison to the 60000 American deaths but won the war.
Case in point: Hernan Cortes upon landing in Mexico burned its ships signaling to his soldiers that there was only a win or die proposition on the table. His tiny army of 600 soldiers conquered the Aztec Empire a multi million population country with armies of ten of thousand soldiers.
War should be avoided at all cost except when attacked and of the risk of being annihilated. A great commander is able to win and achieve its goals without going into combat
Fifth: "It is more important to outthink your enemy than to outfight him"
Sun Tzu was a master of bait and deceive. He designed the following concept: if you offer a bait that is so tempting that the enemy will not be able to resist pursuing it then you can lead him where you want him to be on the terrain and time of your choice which is the goal of any smart commander. Case in point Napoleon victory at Austerlitz. Napoleon abandoned the high ground cherished by all commanders in order to lure the enemy first on the plateau but then as Napoleon has planned the enemy could not resist the bait of pursuing Napoleons soldiers as they were walking down the plateau thus spreading their lines on the plateau and on the slopes of the plateau. Napoleon counterattacked with his cavalry who decimated the thinly spread enemy on the plateau while his troops stopped and slaughtered the enemy inferior in number that was pursuing them.
Sixth: "Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger"
"The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course."
"The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. "
If applied to the American armies of the 20 centuries it can be said that Decision making was most of the time the weakest point of the American campaigns.
Seventh: "The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground"
Sun Tzu wrote extensively on Terrain about the different sort of ground as well as the different landscapes favorable and unfavorable to an army.
He of course advises to use only favorable ground.
What is striking is the arrogance of the American commanders in chief and I am talking about the Presidents of the 20th century who at each war relentlessly sent American soldiers into very hostile terrain: World war 1, World war II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq only Afghanistan is an acceptable terrain because there is no hindrance to our Drones.. Only the enormous advantage in hardware and or the Insane bravery of the American soldiers gave us victory.
For our modern warfare these seven concepts in Sun Tzu philosophy of the art of war are absolutely crucial.
General Petraeus and Robert Gates are employing all of them with the exception of bait and deception an option they should use because it will destroy a lot more enemies. Deception includes gifts and bribes.
Negative case in point during the Bush administration.
THE QUINTESSENTIAL OUTCOME OF THE ART OF WAR IS TO BREAK THE ENNEMY WILL TO FIGHT.
That previous sentence sum it all up. Winning a battle is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to target the man or the legislative body or the population that allows the continuation of the war and to strike a blow that is unbearable. Case in point: the USA never lost a battle in Vietnam but they lost the war because the US population did not want to fight this war.
Case in point; In the time of the kings and Emperors, Alexander the great always rushed towards the king commanding the army to kill him in order to break the will of an army now without its head.
In addition of these Seven concepts there are many more instructions in Sun Tzu art of war that includes the quality of the orders, the quality of the generals and other principles but these seven concepts not only are actual but they reflects a very brilliant mind who gave to the world a book called the art of War but could have been named : The art of a successful life"
The way to use Sun Tzu art of war is to use ALL concepts together because they work as the many strands of a rope that are individually not unbreakable but when assembled in a rope are so strong as to be unbreakable and thus insure victory.
I personally believe that the Art of War by SunTzu can make any intelligent person unbeatable in war as well as very successful in life
SunTzu signature Strategy is : Align all the ducks on your side and disrupt all the ducks on the enemy side before engaging in a battle.
Although all these great Commanders in chief had their signature Strategy, they never neglected their fundamentals and the most important is having good intelligence on the enemy, choosing your main weapon ( mobility or corp of engineers) according to the strength of your Army and be well trained in the kind of war you want to fight.
Without any doubts they had Great courage and great intelligence.
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Questions about Iraq
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Let us start with a straight forward statement.
At last Henry Kissinger understands that he owes the truth not to the Princes that he serves but to the American citizens who created the country where he built a formidable career.
Here are his words about success in Iraq:
"If you mean by Military Victory an Iraqi government that can be stabilized and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control in a time period that the Political process of the Democracy will support, I don't believe that is possible."
However he added that the USA should not withdraw precipitously from Iraq because that would lead to complete chaos.
Lately, Henry Kissinger has been advising President Bush. In his illustrious career Kissinger became well known as the master of "Real Politic."
He was one of Richard Nixon's influential advisors on foreign policy, specifically during the War in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger received the Noble Peace Prize for his contributions to end hostilities in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger's past is useful to us in the two following ways
He managed to lose a war and withdraw from a country Vietnam as a loser while at the same time making it look like almost a victory.
He brokered a piece agreement between Israel and its foes ending a destabilizing war, the 1973 Yom Kippur war in the middle east and created an environment for peace in the region.
However the Iraqi crisis looks a lot more like Vietnam than the Israeli Egyptian conflict of the sixties
His most recent statement on the War in Iraq is formidable because it is probably the first time he has been sincere with the American people, and it will cost him the favor of the Prince. Kissinger's statement is extremely pessimistic.
These are other solutions that could help the USA.
We will try to advocate these solutions as fairly as possible and to show them in their best light without any criticism. This gives you the reader the potential to evaluate and choose what could be the best solution to improve the solution in Iraq..
1. Phased Withdrawal of American Troops from Iraq ?
The phased withdrawal is meant to give a strong signal to the Iraqi government by showing them that we are committed to leave and it is their job, not the USA to bring stability and order to their country. In addition it progressively lowers the number of Americans troops in combat thus theoretically lowering the number of casualties until there are none. A solution advocated by Democratic Senator Carl Levine.
2. Redeployment of US Troops Around Iraq and in Neighboring Countries ?
Kuwait is a possibility.
Once US troops are no longer in contact with Iraqi civilians they will not stir up as much anger. Now American troops are viewed as occupiers not liberators anymore.
Removing US troops from the battlefield should also theoretically diminish the number of casualties until there are none. This solution is advocated by Congressman Murtha and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
3. A Combination of parts of the Two Previous Plans ?
This plan minimizes contact with the enemy by taking the troops away from the battle field and at the same time diminishes the number of troops in Iraq which should lower the number of casualties all the way to zero. Many Democratic leaders favor this option, some part of it or a similar configuration.
4. Increasing the Number of Troops Significantly by 100,000 or More ?
For the last 16 months some US Generals and Senator John McCain have strongly advocated an increase in troops. Arguing against the notion that it could be too late to pursue this strategy and the overwhelming rejection of this idea by the American people in recent polls, (only 16% of Americans are in favor of sending more US troops) Senator McCain continues to vehemently push for this solution.
He advocates that not winning the war and stabilizing Iraq could enormously destabilize the whole region and create even more enemies with greater capabilities who are bent on attacking the USA.
5. Cut and Run ?
Although shocking in its wording it is a viable solution, a little bit like a cancer treatment. Surgically cut out the tumor and/or the organ but follow up with aggressive chemotherapy. This solution means that all American troops would evacuate Iraq and the region simultaneously. Chaos will follow, but good diplomacy that includes pressure and incentives could help stabilize the region again after a period when the dominos will be reshuffled and then reorganized. The important part of cut and run is the timing. Within the next six months it is too soon. In addition the Bush Administration is firmly opposed to this option.
6. Divide and Separate Iraq into Three Almost Independent Countries ?
Only splitting IRAQ into three independent entities under a loose umbrella could provide a less damaging solution. As soon as this step is taken, but not before, getting out of Iraq will benefit the USA and Iraq. A reasonable time table to set for achieving this partition of Iraq should be two years. However the reality is that the Bush administration is not moving in this direction and timing is almost everything during a war. It is important to remember that in a war a solution advocated today and not implemented or acted upon could be irrelevant after two more years of the Bush Administration
Retaining the name Iraq would be possible as in, "The United States of Iraq," At the same time the USA or the UN would have to help the Iraqi people in making the inevitable displacement of populations which has already begun less traumatic and then let them sort out their own futures and eradicate terrorism in their own territory under a UN resolution. This solution is advocated by Senator Joseph Biden and Historian Eric Lafayette.
7. Go big, Go long or Go Home ?
These are the solutions offered to President Bush by a panel of high level Colonels from the battle-field. Their recommendations are: go a little big bigger, 10,000 to 20,000 more US troops for six months in order to stabilize Baghdad then when Baghdad is stabilized, push and push again the training of Iraqi troops. In the meantime embed some Americans soldiers within Iraqi military units.
The '"go home" solution will be rejected by president Bush.
8. Bomb Iraq back to the cave age ?
A limited bombing campaign will only irate Iranians into a frenzy without rendering them harmless to the USA.
If Americans should remember a lesson from their past wars it is the fact that only when the USA has bombed their enemies into utter crippling weakness; such was the case for Germany and Japan and the Indians without bombing but crippling massacres; America has dominated then helped rebuild devastated countries into peaceful nations.
This solution has an incredible number of advantages;
No more Nuclear threat,
No more support of Lebanese Hezbollah,
No more support of Iraqi shiites,
No more support of terrorism world wide,
Moderate regime such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia will gain breathing room.
All rogue regimes such as North Korean will all of a Sudden become open to American interests.
This solutions has a couple of major disadvantages:
Irate to the point of fury all Muslims in the world.
That will almost guarantee a terrorist attack on US soil.
All countries in the world will openly strongly disapprove of the US attack while approving it in private.
Do not be mislead by the fact that this option is rarely mentioned, it is at the top of the Agenda by President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
9. More and more Diplomacy ?
Although hardly a solution by itself, the Baker Commission, as well as many others, are recommending engagement in diplomatic talks with Iran and Iraq and bringing in more local rulers of the Arab world. The eventual goal would be to organize a regional peace conference.
It will be probably an important element of the Baker commission plan.
It is however a double edged sword.
In one hand it is a very efficient tools to get to know your friends and ennemy better and form alliances but on the other hand your ennemies could be the one forging thye best alliances
As President Bush has shunned anything that is` not bullying foes and friends alike there is a lot to repair and do in the Diplomatic field.
As all great diplomats will tell you:
The military option is a necessary tool inside the diplomacy multiple tools but it is only a tool;
An overall solution could be 30% military and 70 % diplomatic involvment in opposition to President Bush overall policy of 99% military and 1% diplomacy.
Henry Kissinger and James Baker are trying to reinsert diplomacy in the Equation but their problem as advisors to President Bush is that President Bush is not even remotely close to understand them.
The distressing side is that President Bush has brought the USA to such a low with no strong position to start a discussion with other countries that it could seem hopeless.
Diplomacy however is anything but hopeless.
US Diplomacy will have to dismount their high horse that never went anywhere anyway and begin to toil the soil by hand in order to plant the seeds of Diplomacy here, there and everywhere in the hope that within five years other People and Countries will begin to respect support and help the USA again.
After all the master of Diplomacy: The French Ambassador Talleyrand was able when Napoleon was crushed and France invaded to restore France in its territorial integrity.
The situation of the USA is not as dire but a lot of long term diplomatic work is necessary.
In the future we will scrutinize these solutions and see if they have any merit.