Is The War In Iraq/Afghanistan Lost?
I well remember 9/11 and shall never forget it. Watching those buildings burn and then collapse is permanently carved into my memory. My youngest son was in middle school then, today he is a paratrooper in Iraq. I rejoiced when the Special Forces led the Northern Alliance into a stunning victory over the Taliban. I rejoiced again when the bombs began dropping in Iraq and the American forces drove into Baghdad. Justice was being served.
I supported Pres. Bush and even SecDef Rumsfeld and defended them against the vicious attacks of liberals I came in contact with. But I began to have some doubts about the chosen strategy very soon. The Battle of Tora Bora in Dec. ’01 did not have enough troops on the ground to cover the exits into Pakistan and Bin Laden escaped. In March of ’02 the Battle in the Shahikot Valley similarly showed signs that we simply did not have the forces on the ground to effectively seal off all the exits. We did not have the indirect fire support needed and relied almost exclusively on air power…always a mistake.
In Iraq, things went south before we even invaded when Turkey denied access for the 4th Infantry Division to enter Iraq from the north. Consequently, when we won the battle for Iraq and Baghdad fell, we did not have enough troops on the ground to maintain good order. Dismissing all of the Baath Party and the army set the stage for a power vacuum and the ensuing sectarian civil war. That was a disaster that should have been predicted. Muslims acting like muslims, imagine that.
Now, several years later, as our troops are pulling out of Iraqi cities and violence is expected to rise, is rising, and in Afghanistan we are needing to double the size of our force or risk losing the war after 8 long years, I have reached the conclusion that both wars are lost. Keep in mind I am pro-military, and an Army veteran, and my son is currently in Iraq and wants to go to A-stan.
In the early days of the war I remember Rumsfeld talking about keeping our “footprint” small in both A-stan and Iraq. But I remember back in Gulf War I General Powell using terms like, “Overwhelming force”.
I am turning against the war because we never fought it to actually win. Bush did not go far enough and Obama will lead us into a retreat. We will end up exiting both countries by declaring a win or draw and then watch, like we did in 1975 as North Vietnam ate South Vietnam, as the two muslim countries decline into chaos once again. This does not mean I am an anti-war protester. I fully support the troops and wish them victory. I want to win, but just have no faith in the civilian leadership to do what it takes. For the soldiers then, fight hard, fight well. I will pray for you and praise your valor. Our job as soldiers is to do and die, the politicians make the big decisions.
I believe the entire premise of the strategy of the war was false. That is far different than the standard liberal puke of, “Bush lied, troops died” referring to the weapons of mass destruction that were “never” found. The libtards were all wrong on that as Bush was relying on intel from Clinton’s people and there was a stockpile of chemical weapons.
The wrong premise was not about whether we should go in, I was in favor of that. The wrong premise was how hard to hit them first, and what to do with them afterward. To think that you could go into a muslim country with no history of democracy, with sectarianism that is inherent in Islam and tribalism in A-stan that is centuries old, and, with a “small footprint” establish a pro-western government that would resist radical islam was foolish at best. Show me any time in history where that has worked!
What works is what we did to Germany and Japan in WW2, THE LAST WAR WE ACTUALLY WON. We bombed their cities into rubble, killed off about 10% of the population, utterly destroyed their military and industry, forcibly changed their basis of government, and even deeply affected their religions. We changed their entire culture. We weren’t nice about it and didn’t give a hoot about how large our footprint was.
We are losing Iraq and A-stan because we failed to bomb the crap out of their countries sending them back to the stone age they deserve. We did not decimate their population and actually sought to preserve their bassackward culture and religion.
Another reason we will lose in Afghanistan is because it is a landlocked country with nothing but other muslim countries surrounding it. To resupply our troops we must fly over Pakistan or some of the former Soviet stan-countries whose loyalties lie more with Putin now than with us. We have one overland route that goes through Pakistan and suffers multiple ambushes along the way. Pakistan is itself a nuclear nation that is in danger of failing and falling to the al queda types. One nightmare scenario is if the northern route through former Soviet land is closed, and Pakistan goes crazy and we have to extract our Army overland. We should never have put troops into A-stan, we should simply have bombed them into the stone age.
The entire concept of compassionate conservatism joined with nation building and a smaller, leaner military is a losing proposition. Bush went into Gulf War II and A-stan with 1/2 the military his father had for Gulf War I (thank you Pres. Clinton for reducing our military so greatly).
For future reference, if a country, or a terror group based in a country, gives us problems on the scale of 9/11, we should look back to Rome and how they handled Carthage. In the third Punic War, 149-146 BC, Rome finally invaded Carthage, killed off most of the population, sold the rest into slavery, burned the city, and sowed the land with salt. End of Carthage.
In our post-modern day of self-loathing, apologizing for all of America’s alleged wrongs, etc. we must disabuse ourselves of the notion that we can be nice with terrorist states and change them into pro-western democracies. It sounds noble but only wastes American soldiers’ lives and depletes the treasury. If we must invade again, bomb them into rubble, go in with OVERWHELMING POWER, decimate the population, change their culture and religion, and make a new country out of them. Colonization even.
In conclusion, ignoring the bad guys like Bill Clinton did, does not and will not work. Not finishing the job like George HW Bush did, does not and will not work. Going in with a small footprint and trying to establish a democracy like President George W Bush did, does not work. Apologizing for America and making nice with every dictator like Obama is doing, will be disastrous. Going in with everything you’ve got an smashing the place to rubble like Grant, Sherman, Patton, Eisenhower and MacArthur did…and Scipio…THAT WORKS.
I absolutely know that people will be offended by what I have written. How can a Christian call for total war? I believe in good and evil, and while sometimes it is difficult to know who is who, there are times (American Civil War, WW2, our response to 9/11) when it is crystal clear. During those times I think we must practice some Old Testament faith. There is a reason 1 Samuel 15:33 is one of my favorite verses, it deals with the real world “And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.” Evil must be dealt with, and at times in a most brutal fashion. War is not for the faint of heart.
I fear that we will not learn. I fully expect our troops to leave Iraq by next year, and Iraq to descend into hell. I also expect our efforts in A-stan to be redoubled, only to eventually pull out and watch A-stan fail as well. And the thousands of American Soldiers, Marines, SAilers and Airmen who died, will have died well, doing what their country asked, but once again, in a losing cause because of politicians who do not understand war.
Ralph Peters seems to take a position similar to mine here: