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Thread: The End.... The Troops are coming home!

  1. #16
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    BTW, the captain has moved on and is now one step closer to general.

    My sincereist Shek. Congrats Sir. And Welcome Home!
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 22 Oct 11, at 20:09.
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  2. #17
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    I dont want to get into any argument about the pros and cons of the invasion; but since no one has brought it up; I am going to ask the question; was it all worth it in the end?

    Certainly the Iraqis are better off without a tyrant; if you dont count the turmoil and bloodshed of the past decade too high a price. The region is better off without an aggressor who invaded other nations.

    But the price of all this has been extremely high for both Americans and Iraqis, the expense of the war and the thousands of deaths. The WMD were at the very least not as serious a threat as was made out to be before the war. Saddam was effectively contained; and while a ruthless dictator was probably less dangerous than Kim Jong Yil of North Korea or even Ahmadinejad's Iran; and the world has endured both the past decade.

    It is quite possible that by now he might have met the same fate as Gaddafi; or be clinging for survival like Assad.

  3. #18
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    All the equipment that's cost effective to ship to Kuwait/home will be redeployed - this is a process that's been going on for up to two years now.
    Nice to have you back & congrats on the promotion (I assume thats what JAD was getting at).


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  4. #19
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InExile View Post
    I dont want to get into any argument about the pros and cons of the invasion; but since no one has brought it up; I am going to ask the question; was it all worth it in the end?
    Far too early to judge.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  5. #20
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    But the price of all this has been extremely high for both Americans and Iraqis, the expense of the war and the thousands of deaths. The WMD were at the very least not as serious a threat as was made out to be before the war. Saddam was effectively contained; and while a ruthless dictator was probably less dangerous than Kim Jong Yil of North Korea or even Ahmadinejad's Iran; and the world has endured both the past decade.

    In a word, from friends that I know that served more then one tour...Yes. That is my experience and my own answer. Many can disagree and that is their absolute right and I'm more then sure they would have their reasons. This is only from my own experience with those individuals. I take nothing away from any of those Troops that served and respect them as I would those friends for their sacrifice and what their families had to endure in their absence and those family's that lost loved ones.

    IMO, Those men and women served a purpose irregardless of what many will say was political or necessary. They had the stones to step forward and do the job. God Bless them, each and every single one of them and Welcome Home to all of them. They have my respect to say the very least!
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 22 Oct 11, at 02:39.
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  6. #21
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    Nice to see the troops coming home. Nice to have the major back in the house safe and sound. I'll look forward to a OPSEC-sanitized synopsis of his journeys and observations suitable for WAB eyes at his earliest convenience.

    That would be uber groovy.

    Welcome home Shek.
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  7. #22
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Welcome home, Shek!

    And I second S2's request above.

    Please jot down your thoughts and experiences if you have an hour or two to kill.

    Thank you.

  8. #23
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    Welcome home, mate!
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  9. #24
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    Hats off to those who served in Iraq or supported that service. From a civilian perspective the military performance in Iraq from day one was as professional and well executed as any action in history. The civilian leadership and real politik that went into early decison making isnt worth discussing anymore. hopefully, iraq will remain stable and not slip into autocracy or iranian domination.
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    Thanks for the welcome from everybody.

    I would offer that the withdrawal of the remaining US Forces Iraq forces is not the end, but rather, the transition from a military presence to a civilian one, manned by the largest DoS embassy effort, supported by the Office of Security Cooperation Iraq (OSC-I). This marks a more mature relationship, one where Iraq does all the lifting for it's internal and external security. Democracy is messy, especially in the complex mosaic of Iraq, and so we'll see how this dynamic decides the future of the US-Iraq relationship (and also the Iraq-Iran relationship). However, it's important to note that the billions of dollars that Iraq has on the line in purchasing US F-16s ties the US and Iraq together in ways that will continue a US-Iraq strategic relationship for years to come (as well as the sales of M1s, M113s, and M198s). The sale of the F-16s doesn't mean that there won't be an Iraq-Iran relationship - there will be. However, I think it's an important signal that Iraq has gone the route of US weapons systems and is looking to build capacity that will make it a potential force within the region, and a signal that I'd interpret as not wishing to be a satellite of Persian Tehran.

    Here's a link that spells out the DoS effort: Iraq: The Challenging Transition to a Civilian Mission
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosveltrepub View Post
    Hats off to those who served in Iraq or supported that service. From a civilian perspective the military performance in Iraq from day one was as professional and well executed as any action in history. The civilian leadership and real politik that went into early decison making isnt worth discussing anymore. hopefully, iraq will remain stable and not slip into autocracy or iranian domination.
    RR,
    Thanks for the hats off to those who served - I'd offer that the military leadership early on holds some culpability, both specific individuals for kowtowing to Rumsfeld's bullying and a more general shot across the bow for several generations of Army leadership for wishful thinking in trying to wish away a whole subset of war as undesirable and therefore for attempting to take away a policy choice from the civilian leadership by not maintaining the doctrine and training capability for COIN. This expertise developed in the past decade has been paid for not by sweat at Leavenworth, but by blood and tears in theater and on the homefront.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  12. #27
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Nice to see you back, Shek. Thanks for the insights so far. I suspect you've just scratched the surface and we'll be getting more from you--sanitized, of course, as S-2 said.

    Must be about time to remodel the bathroom again.
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  13. #28
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    Welcome back!

  14. #29
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    Iraq: Should we talk about it; or let it fade away?

    et al,

    Just to remind folks what "victory" is in Iraq:

    Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages
    • Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
    • Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
    • Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.
    (SITREP)

    • Well, it appears that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (a Shi'ite), in a very Saddam Hussein like fashion, is in the process of removing notable Sunni leaders from government and consolidating control over parliament, the executive branch, and the Iraq Security Forces (US trained ISF).

    • Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sent ISF to arrest Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi (a Sunni). Tariq al Hashimi is now believed to be in hiding somewhere in Eril; the Capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). This action only further supports the belief the Saudi Government has that Nuri al-Maliki is a Iranian Puppet; which is something the US does not want to touch. It is not in the best interest of America if it is remembered for installing its first post-Saddam Leader as an agent of Iran.

    • The Sunni Provinces of Anbar, Diyala, and Salahaddin are talking about joint forming a Sunni Regional Government (SRG) similar to the KRG (an semi-autonomous zone). Of course, this would weaken Nuri al-Maliki's power base. Nuri al-Maliki argues that there is no authority for Sunni Provinces of Anbar, Diyala, and Salahaddin to form a Sunni Regional Government (SRG) and has ordered ISF into Diyala to prevent such a move.

    • The revived wound that Nuri al-Maliki has opened (ethno-sectarian friction) between the Sunni and Shi'ites has given new life to the insurgency --- with al-Qaeda (AQI) like remnants banding together in resistance. Thus, creating a new and improved terrorist like threat against the government. In addition, Moktada al-Sadr (an anti-American Shiite Cleric with very strong Iranian ties) sees the new strongman type move by Nuri al-Maliki as an opportunity to dissolved parliament and hold new elections amid the increase in sectarian tension.

    • Iraqiya Bloc (in Parliament) which is led by Ayad Allawi (former Iraqi Prime Minister), in several cases - boycotted participation in Parliament. Under the last election, the Iraqiya Bloc won a (small margin) majority of the seats. But, the Iraqiya was not yet pulled its seven ministers out of al-Maliki’s coalition government.

    • Behind the chaos which is Iraq, there is a contest of diplomatic skills between the US and Iran. As the US influence weakens, and it struggles to hold what little influence it has now, the Iranians are taking a maximum effort approach in consolidating and strengthening its influence over Iraq.

    (COMMENT)

    Well, after all this time the Foreign Service is still wearing Helmets and Kevlar, traveling in armor when they leave the 104 acre, $6B/year embassy that is fortress Iraq.

    The situation is as chaotic as ever. It is very hard to predict what will happen next. But Iraq is not known for its peaceful transition of power.

    As we look at Iraq we might make an argument that it is somewhat successful in fighting terrorists (or insurgents); but it is weakened by the fact that the insurgency gains momentum as the sectarian disputes grow.

    While individual political milestones were met, they did not have that long lasting sustainability that we associate with building democratic institutions.

    The "standing up" of the ISF was accomplished; but to what ultimate end? It is currently being used to purge the government of the Sunni representation; putting into question the wisdom of handing the government that sort of weaponry.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  15. #30
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    The only victory we need to worry about is that the military did as best as they could under difficult political circumstances, all in giving the Iraqis another chance at a long sought civil existence. Now it's up to them whether they want to follow up, or belly up.

    Welcome home troops. And good luck Iraq.
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