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Old 06-02-2006, 01:16 PM   #76
BigV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy
...
It might be that we need guys like you. Too many men mix in conscience with duty, causing problems. You seem like you would be unhindered by any qualms. Illegal order? I doubt that you would even consider that such a thing is possible.
I feel stung on UG's behalf.

Ouch. Dayum!
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Old 06-02-2006, 02:02 PM   #77
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Ayup. Sometimes you can get singed just by being in the general vicinity.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:59 PM   #78
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It's called collateral damage.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #79
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I never take RichLevy too seriously. His writings never give me reason to.

I want the war won. Rich doesn't want it as much as I do, and so conspicuously that I wonder if he wants it won at all. Puts the poop in nincompoop, I tell ya.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:25 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Urbane Guerrilla
I never take RichLevy too seriously. His writings never give me reason to.

I want the war won. Rich doesn't want it as much as I do, and so conspicuously that I wonder if he wants it won at all. Puts the poop in nincompoop, I tell ya.
I still here people, usually with no military experience, say that if we were willing to double the number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, we could have won Vietnam. Are they patriots or idiots?
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:21 PM   #81
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Idiots.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:10 AM   #82
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Idiots.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:55 PM   #83
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I think the best nutshelling of what was wrong with our Vietnam effort I've ever seen was on the pages of The Sunshine Soldiers by one Peter Tauber: we were trying to fight a polite war, as one of Tauber's DI's put it.

When an armed enemy enjoys arbitrarily unassailable sanctuaries and an equally arbitrarily uninterrupted supply of munitions, he's going to be hard to even delay, let alone defeat.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:36 PM   #84
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Shades of Korea.
WW II was the last one we did right.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:57 AM   #85
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Stay long enough in the middle of any insurgency, and soliders will eventually end up taking it out on the civilians.

In part this is because of the correctly held belief that the insurgency would probably not exist without either active or passive support from civlians. Unfortunately, making the distinction between 'guilty' civilians and true bystanders is impossible, and false ID's are almost guaranteed.

Of course, the more assaults on civilians that take place, the more civilians will engage in active or passive support for the insurgents.

This is why it is not possible to wipe out an insurgency except by becoming Saddam Hussein. Hussein kept out terrorists and insurgents simply by being the most brutal bastard in the region. The Germans in WWII were almost as effective and the various resistance movements probably would not have succeeded without Allied support.

The only other solution is to make the insurgency obsolete by addressing the political and social problems leading the the dissatisfaction that the populace feels. In Iraq, this would mean getting the goverment functioning and the occupation/liberation troops out. This would remove popular support. Unfortunately, there would still be the issue of support from foreign sources, which would require a trained indigenous force to handle.

This means that we will be there a while. At a guess, figure 2 to 2 1/2 times where we are in terms of money and casualties.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:17 PM   #86
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That an insurgency cannot exist without passive support from civilians is true.
If all civilians told all they knew about all insurgents... guess what? No insurgency. Simple.
The same is true of the Muslim community as a whole and terrorism... they gripe about being singled-out, yet in communities where cells are known to exist, no one talks. They have no one to blame but themselves.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:59 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkzenrage
That an insurgency cannot exist without passive support from civilians is true.
Goes right back to a basic concept of war. The victor owns the battlefield at the end of a battle. For example, US Navy was devastated in so many battles against Japanese in The Slot. But the Japanese withdrew everytime. Therefore it was an American victory. A devastating but still American victory.

Problem with Westmoreland's outright violations of war principles in Vietnam was demonstrated by his nonsense called 'Search and Destroy'. For when a sweep completed, only the enemy held that terrain. The 1965 battle in la Drang Valley, praised as a victory by Westmoreland, was a devastating defeat for Americans. At the end, Americans did not hold the battle field. Instead Westmoreland would cite enemy casualties to call it a victory.

Why did VC win? Americans saw everyone as gooks. VC would live in the village, work for the farmer, or pay the farmer for the chicken. Therefore a farmer knew who his friend was - and therefore who remained on the battlefield after a battle.

What we learn applies to Iraq. Same thing. Victory required nation building in the very first months. Looting (that George Jr's administration denied) demonstrates how Americans were losing a battlefield (while proclaiming 'Masson Accomplished'). We did not have enough troops to meet a definition of a victory. We did nothing - no nation building - for seven months. By that time, insurgents were so welcome that famous pictures show insurgents setting up a mortar all morning and even using a transit right outside the walls of Abu Ghriad. Why could those insurgents spend all morning setting up for their attack? Because again, who controlled the ground?

It is Military Science 101. To hold the ground, one must hold the hearts and minds of those who control and live on that land. Instead our government only made enemies as Americans also did in Vietnam.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:03 PM   #88
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Then that is what they want... so it's what they get.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:05 PM   #89
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Then that is what they want... so it's what they get.
It gets more complex. Define 'They'.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:07 PM   #90
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It is not more complex... if they, those in Iraq, want Democracy, then they need to turn over the insurgents.
It is not complex. The insurgents live among them, travel with them, shop where they shop and work where they work... the locals know who they are and if they want this all to end all they have to do is say the word.
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