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Iraq
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As of 2/19/06, how would you rate the Iraq War and its aftermath?
Total failure in all respects
43%
 43%  [ 36 ]
Terrible in terms of lives lost and a set back for U.S.-Middle East relations
28%
 28%  [ 23 ]
A major setback on the WOT, but democracy in Iraq at least
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Difficulties were expected yet it probably had to happen
12%
 12%  [ 10 ]
Not too badly, although our intel networks must improve
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Think it has gone relatively well
6%
 6%  [ 5 ]
A complete success so far
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
I don't care as long as I'm safe
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I'm lost, where is the Mallory thread?
3%
 3%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 82

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, and as LM pointed out, even if he does get all the troops out by the end of the year (and I'll bet anyone a good bottle of Scotch that he won't), he's not actually doing anything other than living up to the SOFA that was agreed to while Bush was still president.

But it's not going to happen. There will still be military advisors over there, as well as the civilian contractors. I'll prognosticate now that on 1 January, 2012 there are at least 35,000 Americans, either uniformed military or hired guns, on the ground in Iraq.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supposed to be down to 7000-10,000, I believe, and that's those not classified as Troops.

I think he'll make a valiant attempt, as Cail and Lord Mhoram say, it's Election time and he'll want to at least be able to explain away who's still there.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
Well, and as LM pointed out, even if he does get all the troops out by the end of the year (and I'll bet anyone a good bottle of Scotch that he won't), he's not actually doing anything other than living up to the SOFA that was agreed to while Bush was still president.

But it's not going to happen. There will still be military advisors over there, as well as the civilian contractors. I'll prognosticate now that on 1 January, 2012 there are at least 35,000 Americans, either uniformed military or hired guns, on the ground in Iraq.


Man, if only I weren't so certain that you were right, I'd have to take you up on your bet.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".
Not from me, I believe it's great, I just don't believe everybody will be out by end of the year.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".


What am I, chopped liver? Smile

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments

Quote:
The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150[1] countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,580,255[2] active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. Most of these overseas personnel are deployed in combat zones in the Middle east, as part of the "War on Terror". Many of the remainder are located at installations activated during the Cold War, by which the US government sought to counter the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II.


I'm curious as to why 'civilian contractors' (i.e., mercenaries) are now being considered US forces?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".


It's pretty much been over for a while.... from my perspective...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exnihilotto2 wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".


What am I, chopped liver? Smile

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments

Quote:
The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150[1] countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,580,255[2] active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. Most of these overseas personnel are deployed in combat zones in the Middle east, as part of the "War on Terror". Many of the remainder are located at installations activated during the Cold War, by which the US government sought to counter the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II.


I'm curious as to why 'civilian contractors' (i.e., mercenaries) are now being considered US forces?
If the US is paying them then they are US Forces. Those who join the Military are paid, so, not too much difference there from a "Forces" point of view. Yes, a mercenary is not viewed by the general Population as being as honorable, but, that doesn't change them being US Forces.

For that matter Spies/Secret Agents are also US Forces.

The Cook, the Doctor, The Chaplain are all US Forces and don't even fight, they support the Fighters.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".


It's pretty much been over for a while.... from my perspective...
Exactly, it's been over for quite some time, we're just still there. The question is whether or not Obama will live up to Bush's SOFA and have everyone out by year's end.

He won't, and not even the most hardline Obama supporter genuinely believes he will. Oh, they'll give lip service to the fact that it's just civilian contractors, but that still counts (and is worse, even).
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ex (version 2.1) wrote:
I'm curious as to why 'civilian contractors' (i.e., mercenaries) are now being considered US forces?

Part of the context for raising it was the rationale for leaving, which seems to stem from the refusal of the US to allow Iraqi authorities to prosecute any criminal actions committed by US personnel in Iraq. The "civilian contractors" are a case in point.

Sin's point is valid too, like the outsourcing of supply and logistics to Haliburton/KBR, the true extent of the US presence and its cost can be fudged (as well as syphoning taxpayer dollars into the private sector - in particular the coffers of the previous administrations mates and former co-workers).

I have few doubts that the extent of the US withdrawal will be directly proportional to the chaos and carnage that will ensue. I posted a few years back that the real problem with Iraq and Afghanistan, is that once committed, its hard to "un-f*ck the virgin". My view is that Obama should be crystal clear in any assessment that it is now safe to leave and that those who remain will not be subject to the same or even greater horrors than they've had heaped upon them for the last 20+ years...

It is doubtful that Saddam Hussein could or would have inflicted anywhere near the devastation on Iraq that has been meted out to it by the 'coalition'. But as bad as the prosecution of all phases of this war (GWI & II) has been, leaving too early may be just as bad and the desperate act of an electioneering Pontious 'Obama' Pilate.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

finn, you are correct that it is impossible to get the shit back in the horse. I'm not excessively hopeful but I think the probability of civil war erupting January 1 is not as great as advertised. Much as in the US, I think the Iraqis have had their fill of the allure of war for a while, no matter how justified. I'm reminded a bit of the Napoleon era French, who were willing to trade everything supposedly gained during the chaos of the revolution in the hopes of a little peace and quiet. Hopefully they will have more luck than the French did.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exnihilotto2 wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".

What am I, chopped liver? Smile

You are the delightful exception. I'm pretty thrilled about it myself, and am not to put off by the notion that it's not instantaneous.

The GOP candidates wasted no time in finding fault. They all call it a failure, a political decision, and dangerous. In other words, everyone downloaded the same talking points. [[url=politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/21/romney-blasts-obamas-iraq-decision/]link[/url]]

I fail to see how it can be called a political decision when the date was set years ago. But that's not really anything interesting.

What's interesting is that they all call it a precipitous decision that will endanger stability in Iraq. I contrast that with the comments here which criticizes Obama for actually not having everyone out as fast as the claim.

So, are the GOP presidential candidates all off base for thinking we should have stayed in Iraq longer? Or are they only mindlessly playing the pro-defense card that Republicans always play?

When I think about the bill passed in the House this April which authorizes an ambiguous War on Terror in new and terrifying ways, I can't help but wonder if the third option is that the GOP actually doesn't want the war in Iraq to end?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
Orlion wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Wow. End of War in Iraq gets a "meh".


It's pretty much been over for a while.... from my perspective...
Exactly, it's been over for quite some time, we're just still there. The question is whether or not Obama will live up to Bush's SOFA and have everyone out by year's end.

He won't, and not even the most hardline Obama supporter genuinely believes he will. Oh, they'll give lip service to the fact that it's just civilian contractors, but that still counts (and is worse, even).

But Cail, if we cut the civilian contractors it could result in a loss of employment! </sarcasm>
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh. Laughing

Quote:
Gaddafi, Iraq, 'show renewed US leadership.'

Washington - President Barack Obama says the death of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and the end of the Iraq war are powerful reminders of America's renewed leadership in the world.

At the same time, Obama said on Saturday, the US now must tackle its "greatest challenge as a nation" — rebuilding a weak economy and creating jobs — with the "same urgency and unity that our troops brought to their fight".

Obama informed the nation on Friday that the long and costly war in Iraq will be over by the end of the year and that some 40 000 US servicemen and women still there "will definitely be home for the holidays".

A day earlier, he hailed the killing of Libya's longtime leader as a "momentous day" in the history of a country that Gaddafi had ruled for decades through tyranny.

Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address that these foreign policy successes were part of a larger story.

"This week, we had two powerful reminders of how we've renewed American leadership in the world," Obama said. "After a decade of war, we're turning the page and moving forward, with strength and confidence."

He said withdrawing troops from Iraq has allowed the US to focus on Afghanistan and score major victories against al-Qaida, including the killing in May of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. Troops also have been coming home from Afghanistan.

Obama said ending both wars will allow the US to focus on rebuilding a weak economy so it can start creating enough jobs to reduce high levels of unemployment. That could possibly aid his re-election bid, which is being jeopardized by the tough financial circumstances.

Grave danger

"Over the past decade, we spent a trillion dollars on war, borrowed heavily from overseas and invested too little in the greatest source of our national strength — our own people," the president said. "Now, the nation we need to build is our own."

In the Republicans' weekly message, Sen Richard Burr bemoaned 32 consecutive months with unemployment above 8%.

While Obama on Saturday called anew for passage of his $447bn jobs bill, Burr urged action on a Republican alternative.

Senate Republicans recently blocked Obama's overall bill, leaving Democrats in charge of the chamber to try to pass it piece by piece. But Republican senators also blocked action on the first component of the larger bill, a $35bn measure to boost hiring of teachers and emergency services workers.

In turn, Democrats stalled a measure both parties support that would stop the government from withholding 3% of payments to government contractors.

A test vote is expected next month, after the Senate returns from vacation, on a $60bn bill to finance construction of roads, bridges and other public works projects.

Burr said people are hurting and the economy is in "grave danger".

"It's time for Congress to focus on the American people and not how difficult change might be," he said. "It's time to stop playing games and to get on with the serious business that the American people expect from us."


Politicians.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iraq conflict: Sunni fighters 'control all of Fallujah'
Quote:
The Iraq government has lost control of the strategic city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, say officials and witnesses.

Al-Qaeda-linked militants now control the south of the city, a security source told the BBC. An Iraqi reporter there says tribesmen allied with al-Qaeda hold the rest of Fallujah.

Fighting there erupted after troops broke up a protest camp by Sunni Arabs in the city of Ramadi on Monday.

They have been accusing the Shia-led government of marginalising the Sunnis.

The recent fighting in Fallujah and Ramadi has pitted government troops against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, and Sunni tribesmen.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

A headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda”

How Prime Minister Nouri Maliki described the Ramadi camp
Q&A: Fighting in the west
Local Sunni Arabs have been angered by what they perceive as discrimination by the government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

They also say their minority community is being targeted by anti-terrorism measures implemented to stem the surge in sectarian violence.

'Peaceful takeover'
Late on Saturday, eyewitnesses said al-Qaeda militants were in evidence on the streets of Fallujah, riding pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns.

Reuters news agency said troops were shelling parts of the city in an effort to retake it.

Hadi Razeij, head of the Anbar province police force, was quoted as saying police had left the city centre entirely and were on the city outskirts.

"The walls of the city are in the hands of the police force, but the people of Fallujah are the prisoners of Isis," he told the al-Arabiya satellite channel.

Iraqiya state television quoted Mr Maliki as saying: "We will not back down until we end all terrorist groups and save our people in Anbar."

On Tuesday, he agreed to withdraw the army from towns and cities in Anbar province, to allow police to resume control of security.

But as soon as soldiers left their posts, militants aligned to al-Qaeda appeared in Ramadi, Fallujah and Tarmiya, storming police stations, freeing prisoners and seizing weapons.

The prime minister reversed his decision the next day, sending soldiers back to Anbar.

But on Thursday, militants in Ramadi and Fallujah raised black flags on buildings and used the loudspeakers of mosques to call on people to join their struggle and support a "peaceful takeover".

In recent months Sunni militants have stepped up attacks across Iraq, while Shia groups began deadly reprisals - raising fears of a return to full-scale sectarian conflict.

On Wednesday, the United Nations said at least 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces had been killed in 2013.

The annual death toll was the highest in years, but still significantly below those recorded at the height of the insurgency in 2006 and 2007.


What a complete and utter waste of time, lives, and money.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:

What a complete and utter waste of time, lives, and money.


This is why we should bring home every person currently deployed in that region of the world, quit droning them, ramp up oil and natural gas production here, work with Mexico to ramp up their production, then stop buying any oil/NG/petroleum distillates from that region. Let them fight it out amongst themselves and they can give us a call when they have settled their differences and they are willing to speak with us rationally once again.

I wager that Mr. Maliki was trying to use the correct catchphrases to get support from Washington. Some numb-nut politician will probably talk about supporting them, as well.

How do we know that the "militants aligned to Al-Queda" weren't paid by the government to legitimize their need to control the area? Given that we cannot prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt we cannot rule that out as a possibility.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mission accomplished indeed.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
Cail wrote:

What a complete and utter waste of time, lives, and money.


This is why we should bring home every person currently deployed in that region of the world, quit droning them, ramp up oil and natural gas production here, work with Mexico to ramp up their production, then stop buying any oil/NG/petroleum distillates from that region. Let them fight it out amongst themselves and they can give us a call when they have settled their differences and they are willing to speak with us rationally once again.

I wager that Mr. Maliki was trying to use the correct catchphrases to get support from Washington. Some numb-nut politician will probably talk about supporting them, as well.

How do we know that the "militants aligned to Al-Queda" weren't paid by the government to legitimize their need to control the area? Given that we cannot prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt we cannot rule that out as a possibility.


Mexico is a member of OPEC, otherwise, I'm sorta with you.

On a different note, since we are the only country I know of that kicks the crap out of another country and then gives it back; I sometimes wonder if we wouldn't have been better off to keep them if we are going to the trouble of keeping troops there for the next few centuries.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask England how that Empire thing worked out....
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
Ask England how that Empire thing worked out....


Pretty good for about 500 or so years. It's one of the reasons that English is the language of commerce.
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