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A Humvee is a Truck
start off by saying I have been reading G2MIL for two years. You
are truly a military genius! I am a former army aviator, and was
similarly surprised by the mindset I found in the army.
Ed: I agree, the Humvee was never intended to serve as a combat vehicle.
Retreat from Iraq?
most excellent and informative article. Thank you.
it just me, or does this look like an orchestrated failure? There is
virtually nothing the Bush administration (Cheney administration?) could
have done wrong that they have not done. Methinks something
interesting is afoot. I would be most interested to hear your
comments on this idea: A strawman is being set up that, when knocked
down, will give the semi-sane (hopefully not the sane) citizens of the
world someone to blame. This being done, the game goes on while
those who were outraged are temporarily sated until the next travesty,
which, of course, is too late for “popular” opinion to stop.
suspected this pattern about 1½ years ago, and it has continually been
confirmed. The timing of the release of torture photos between the
Ed: Yes, it seems odd, but I suspect it is just big government at work. I suppose the "powers that be" have decided they have used up the Bushite's good credit with naive peasants, and it is time for new faces and new promises (Kerry and his group). The media pretends there is a big difference between Bush and Kerry, who are both rich kids who never worked for a wage, graduated from Yale and belonged to the same Skull and Crossbones frat. For those who think such comments are loony, please explain why the Clinton hating Bushites chose to retain a Clinton appointee in a key spot, CIA director George Tenet, even after the disastrous 9-11 failings, then the "poor Intel" on Iraq. During Tenet's confirmation process many years ago, evidence surfaced that he failed to disclose a large bank account in Greece. Tenet said he had forgot about it, and that was accepted because we all forget about where we keep our money overseas, right?
Soon after my editorial appeared, the Bush administration announced that it would immediately seek another $25 billion for combat operations in Iraq, and a National Guard regiment was quietly mobilized.
Small Problem with your Analysis
There are a few holes in your analysis, "Retreat from Iraq":
EVERY TIME U.S. commanders are asked, they say they DON'T need more troops. Now, either they are liars or they are spineless, or they are right. Which, in your view, is it?
Moreover, any comparison to Korea is really brainless. The terrorists are not supplied and supported by a 2-million-man regular army. Quite the contrary, from what I'm hearing from Marines, they don't have the support of a lot of the local populace, and are losing battles by ratios of 60-1. Now, it doesn't take a military genius to know that if you are being whipped 60-1 in firefights, you run out of FREAKING MEN pretty quickly.
Professor of History
Ed: When you don't have enough manpower to guard key bridges that's a problem. And if you recall, I said the commanders say they didn't need more troops because they can't supply them. And if you recall, they retained 20,000 soldiers who were supposed to come home.
I suggest that you read about Iran's military capability, and ponder what would happened if they crossed the border. I don't understand why you say they don't need more manpower and then note the Marines are outmanned. Marines tend to exaggerate, and include dead civilians as a combatants.
And a man of history should know better than using the childish political term "terrorists" to refer to the nationalists opposing American occupation. I suppose George Washington was a terrorist too, as well as the French resistance during World War II. Finally, Generals in the US military today were carefully trained and screened to ensure they are both spineless and expert liars. Here is a recent example of the nation's top General demonstrating these skills.
More Troops is not the Solution
we are forced to retreat from Iraq it is not because we didn't have enough
troops. The drumbeat throughout the land is that former Chief of Staff of
the Army, General Eric Shinseki was right. He said it would take 200,000
soldiers to pacify Iraq (http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-02-25-iraq-us_x.htm).
An Internet search of “General Shinseki was right”, brought up 11,700 hits
on Google. I suspect that we’ll be long gone from Iraq, without ever having
come close to this many troops, but this myth will endure forever more… or at
least until reality kicks us in the teeth (again). Even if we were to put
500,000 soldiers in Iraq it still wouldn’t guarantee victory.
Ed: We wouldn't need more than 10,000 troops over there if that fool Bremer hadn't disbanded the Iraqi Army. We had direct communications with Iraqi Generals prior to the invasion; we could call their personal cell phone numbers. Most agreed to order units to disperse in exchange for cash or immunity. (General Franks has confirmed this.) We could have offered them cash and retention of their command if they ordered their troops to stay in their barracks area with a promise they would not be bombed or attacked. After Saddam fled and US tanks moved into Baghdad, Iraqi troops (which included Shia and Kurds) could have moved into the cities to prevent looting and restore order. However, I suspect the idea drove our Generals nuts, who dream all their life of a chance to bomb the hell out a country while armored columns charge forth.
The American media failed to note that Iran's religious leader harshly denounced the US occupation of Iraq; he had remained silent about the US invasion until this year. On May 16th he stated: "The Americans are trapped. There is nothing they can do. They will fail if they continue along this path, and they will fail if they pull out. But continuing will be the greater defeat." No reporter seems to understand the real issue in Iraq today. The US Government doesn't really give a damn about who runs Iraq, so long as they can maintain order, allow US oil companies to do business, and allow the US military operate from their four new permanent bases in Iraq.
The Baathists Were Evil
As a former Marine, I can appreciate problems with supply lines and possible worst case scenario’s. What I can’t appreciate and find unconscionable is the fact that a former Marine is writing articles that are then mailed out to the most liberal mailing list I have ever seen. My uncle in California is on that list and forwarded me this article. Statements like “Iraqis show little gratitude since the United States caused most of the damage with bombings and a ten-year trade embargo.” are a typical twisting of the true state of affairs – that true state being that Saddam Hussein raped his own country to build palaces instead of investing in infrastructure. That he placed his own comforts first and failed to provide for his people.
The worst part is, supposing that you wanted to clarify your statements, is that you can't reach these people on the list – anything positive you might have to say just wont be sent to the list. Instead of your article in between something from MoveOn.org and an article praising Michael Moore, they will stick someone else, some other MARINE CORP EXPERT that seems to say that what we are doing is wrong, that the war is unwinnable.
Ed: All the "Saddam is a demon" propaganda has confused reality. It was the Baathists who modernized Iraq and provided nationwide electricity, free health care for all, and established universities and factories. They were the only Arab country making automobiles and providing college scholarships in engineering and science rather than Islamic studies. Iraqi women could go to school, drive cars, and wear Western dress only because the Baathists forced Muslim men to accept progress.
Saddam corrupted some UN officials so he could sell more oil. Meanwhile, US oil companies were the major importer of Iraqi oil. The UN embargo killed 600,000 Iraqis because the USA and Britain threatened veto whenever the issue of ending the embargo arose; inspectors had found no WMDs since 1995. Iraqis died from disease because replacement parts for sewage treatment systems, power plants, hospitals, and water purification plants were banned because they had "dual use" possibilities. These were desperately needed after the USA bombed the hell out of Iraq in 1990. World oil prices remained high as the US did all it could to keep cheap Iraqi oil off the world market while Iraqi infrastructure slowly broke down because of the embargo. Iraqis know this, Americans do not, and many become angry and me for writing the truth.
Meanwhile, the US openly funded terrorists in Iraq, especially the Kurds in the North but also some Shiite groups, to destabilize Iraq, which took an economic toll as well. And as for killing political opponents and suppressing the Shiites, the USA has proven far more brutal in keeping the peace in Iraq than Saddam. I know of know case where the Baathists bombed an Iraqi city to suppress a rebellion. When the US invaded Iraq, Saddam didn't even make a serious effort to destroy oil fields or bridges. This is why Arab experts have always rated Saudi Arabia as a more brutal dictatorship than Iraq. Possession of a Bible or preaching Christianity will land someone in jail in Saudi Arabia, while the Baathists protected Iraq's 600,000 Christians and their churches from Muslim radicals, while their foreign minister was a Christian himself.
So why does everyone assume Iraq's poor economic state is Saddam's fault? Saddam never "gassed the Kurds" as G2mil readers learned last December. I recall when Tim Russert interviewed the President a few months ago and Bush struggled to justify the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. At one point Bush said: "We all know Saddam was a madman, right Tim." The spineless interviewer responded: "Of course, Mr. President.", which is why the President chose him. You'll note there are no longer hard questions at news conferences like those posed by Sam Donaldson two decades ago. Why, because troublemakers lose their access to news conferences and free rides on Air Force 1.
Saddam was not a madman, reckless and ambitious is a better description. He was interviewed on "60 Minutes" just prior to the invasion and was lucid, polite, and was seeking some way to avoid the coming invasion. He agreed to the key demand that UN inspectors could have unfettered access, but the US invaded anyway, even after UN inspectors confirmed there were no WMDs. Since then, the US media reports as fact that the Bush Administration thought there were WMDs in Iraq.
Finally, I find it laughable when people accuse foreign dictators of lavish spending. The "White House" spends over a billion dollars a year on the President, with five full-time cooks and dozens of servants while homeless Americans sleep in the park across the street. The private resort at Camp David costs millions of dollars to maintain each year for Presidents who may use it just a few days. I always find it humorous when a President flies somewhere in his personal 747 accompanied by two C-5s full of limos and hundreds of assistants to visit a city and lecture about fiscal responsibility and the need to cut government fat.
Army C-2 Greyhounds
Contrary to what you may think, a Navy warship isn't outfitted quite like the Queen Mary.
This concept was tested back in the 70's when we test operated a C-130 aircraft, landing aboard 7 different times aboard aircraft carriers
with a simulated load of 50 troops and then launching after unloading. These
test were successful. Although we can do it, it was deemed to be unnecessarily risky, particularly at night.
The advent of the V-22 is going to bring fast, long range personnel airlift capability that won't be restricted to the CVN. It is capable
of landing and launching aboard our amphibious assault ships.
I'm a monthly reader of your site. I noticed that you linked to a strategypage.com page that asserted that a PG-7VR was used to penetrate an M1A1 in Iraq. Whether this is true or not, I am unsure- I must admit I would find it highly unlikely since there seems to be no evidence of the use of the PG-7VR outside of the former Soviet Union/ CIS- and certainly not in Iraq (though there is the outside possibility that insurgents brought these weapons in from Syria).
Regardless, the pictures on that page are not accurate. The main picture is of an RPG-7 derivative I am not familiar with (judging from the warhead, it is almost certainly not of Russian origin) but anyway, the RPG-7 variants capable of using the PG-7VR are the RPG-7V1 & V2 (and their airborne troop derivatives), advertised by Rosboronexport (Russian state arms export agency). Attached is a picture, and Bazalt's homepage:
The smaller round is the PG-7VL (93mm), while the larger one is the PG-7VR- 105mm with tandem HEAT charges for defeating explosive reactive armor. As you can see, the authors of the strategypage piece got the rounds mixed up. Continue the interesting commentary on the US military.
Ed: I always welcome corrections, especially those directed at other websites.
The current war in Iraq has cost Americans $100 billion in the first
12 months according to Bush the Second's administration, which says it
will keep the current number of troops (130,000) on the ground through
2005. Including their request of Congress for an additional $25 billion
to supplement the $87 billion outlay they estimated last year it comes
out to +/-, $1 million per man on the ground for this zero-sum, neo-con
destabilization exercise. $132 billion divided by 130,000 = $1,015,384.62
The costs may actually be much higher but severely lowballed for
election year consumption. Put another way, we're spending ~twice the GDP of Iraq on war there.
The big spenders in Washington DC don't care much about how much things cost, so inflation is now increasing at an annual rate of 4.4%, up from 1.9% a year ago, and I expect it to double each year until the USA stops borrowing a trillion dollars a year with treasury notes and trade credits. Inflation is a hidden tax. If you have $10,000 in the bank, the current "low" inflation of 4.4% imposes a $440 annual tax on that. If you receive a salary or pension of $2000 a month, the inflation tax at that rate $88 a month. If you are lucky, you get a matching increase within a year, but they don't reimburse you for the $88 a month you lost since then. And if you have an adjustable rate loan, or even credit card debt, rates will soon rise to tax you indirectly.
Yes, the US economy is booming, like a junkie high on crack, because of massive borrowing from overseas and a one-time $900 billion infusion from last years' refinancing boom. Fuel prices are high since the dollar has fallen, not because of market forces. Oil prices haven't risen much when measured in Euros. There are many reports that rising prices for commodities like steel and concrete are due to the heavy demand to meet US military orders for Iraq. Meanwhile, inflation will tax Americans more heavily each month while we hope Asian nations are foolish enough to continue to loan us a trillion dollars a year to keep the American economy afloat. Deficits do matter, there is no free lunch, otherwise we could just eliminate income taxes and quit our jobs and live off credit cards issued by Asian banks.