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  #101  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:40 AM
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First, any Iranian war would be a naval/air war. Why would we invade? There's absolutely nothing in it for us. It's not like their navy has become MORE capable since the last time we wrecked it, and we're very likely to be dominant in the air as well. Plus, their economy is highly dependent on oil, which means that they're dependent on tankers and oil pipelines, both of which are easy to spot and capture/destroy.

Iran is a second rate at best power. Probably more like third rate when you get right down to it. They are not a serious threat.
You haven't contradicted anything I said here; on the contrary you've reinforced my statement that the US wins in the short, kinetic timeframe. Just as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and went on to get shredded in the insurgency/terrorism battle.
Iran is probably the most capable/decentralized/experienced foe the US has ever faced in this regard.

The US couldn't even defeat the Taliban FFS, how do you think they're going to face a Quds apparatus that operates from Tehran to Lebanon?

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 01-03-2020 at 10:41 AM.
  #102  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:47 AM
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Except the U.S. was at war with Japan at the time, so a military leader was a legit target. We're not at war with the nation-state of Iran -- yet -- and so killing this guy isn't the same as taking out Admiral Yamamoto then or an AlQaida or ISIS leader now. It's a pretty clear casus belli if the Iranians want to run with it.
Oh come off it. The merits of the decision (or mistake) may have been foolish, but he was a senior officer of an adversary inside an active war zone and hence a perfectly legitimate target under any rule of war you can think off.

Now, the flip side is that so are US Generals.
  #103  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:47 AM
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Before we all jump on the bashing Trump bandwagon and being a foreigner to US military policies, how likely is that Trump just woke up in the morning and said to his Generals to take the guy out or in the other hand, the generals came to him and exposed a plan a reason why the guy should be taken out now and Trump agreed to it based on that?
  #104  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:55 AM
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He also had another secret phone call with Putin 2 days ago. That's just as likely a reason.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-03-2020 at 10:55 AM.
  #105  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:56 AM
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In addition, they are hobbled from serving under a President who has done nothing but smear and attack our intelligence community, our military leaders, as well as our allies, including NATO and the Kurds.

Again, the US military is $800 billion of smoke and mirrors which hasn't conclusively won a conflict with true geopolitical consequences and changes since 1945.
If by "of consequence" you mean that it wasn't something like a world war, that's true but also sort of okay by me - since we haven't lost any of those either.

We did win the Cold War and one might argue that the coldness is a pretty decent measure of quality in our military. Similarly, the lack of World Wars could be viewed as a measure of success.

And, we certainly won Operation Desert Storm and could have "won" both Iraq and Afghanistan if we had the same level of goal as we did with Operation Desert Storm.
  #106  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:57 AM
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I wonder if the caption on this comic wouldn't work in Hebrew as well as English...

https://condenaststore.com/featured/...-hamilton.html
  #107  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:58 AM
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We did win the Cold War....
When I look at look at Putin's Russia and Trump's USA in 2020, I'm not nearly as confident in that statement as you seem to be.
  #108  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:01 AM
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He also had another secret phone call with Putin 2 days ago. That's just as likely a reason.
Putin is alright with anything that helps maintain the status quo, in terms of helping to support a player or knocking them down a peg. But he doesn't want more than that - small balancing acts. He won't want an actual war.

I'll throw in to my previous prediction that if Putin does stop the war from escalating, secretly, there's a good likelihood that Congress will remove a sanction or two (probably on a business or person close to Putin) as a thanks.
  #109  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:05 AM
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Before we all jump on the bashing Trump bandwagon and being a foreigner to US military policies, how likely is that Trump just woke up in the morning and said to his Generals to take the guy out or in the other hand, the generals came to him and exposed a plan a reason why the guy should be taken out now and Trump agreed to it based on that?
Almost certainly Trump is too cowardly to start this on his own. Most likely he saw coverage of the embassy siege on Fox News, figured it would affect him badly, asked his generals "who do we hit", and they gave him the best options they had. Hell, there's even a chance that someone else was the real target and they hit Soleimani unintentionally.

I don't see how that changes the stupidity of this whole calculation. And my criticism is not so much about yesterday's decision... there's a lot about it that we don't know. But we do know that Trump shredded the diplomatic framework that was keeping both parties from shooting instead of talking. We know that, at every step, Trump's decisions have pushed us into a place where every decision is more risky and uncertain. So this is really not just a single, sudden bad decision, but the culmination of a yearslong process of slowly taking every good decision off the table.
  #110  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:05 AM
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Again, the US military . . . hasn't conclusively won a conflict with true geopolitical consequences and changes since 1945.
But, Grenada is now free!
  #111  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:05 AM
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When I look at look at Putin's Russia and Trump's USA in 2020, I'm not nearly as confident in that statement as you seem to be.
It's reasonable to say that we let it all hang out after that.
  #112  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:06 AM
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Oh come off it. The merits of the decision (or mistake) may have been foolish, but he was a senior officer of an adversary inside an active war zone and hence a perfectly legitimate target under any rule of war you can think off.

Now, the flip side is that so are US Generals.
Seriously, WTF?!

1) If Iran were to deliberately kill a U.S. general in Iraq, we'd regard it as an act of war, as we damn well should.

2) Same thing goes the other way. Iran and Iraq may not have a formal alliance, but they are on good terms with one another and cooperate on military operations, including eliminating ISIS' territorial control within Iraq, which Suleiman was very much a part of. This was very much an act of war.

3) While Iraq is hardly the safest place in the world, could you tell me what war is going on there? Please to cite that it's an "active war zone."
  #113  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:09 AM
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If by "of consequence" you mean that it wasn't something like a world war, that's true but also sort of okay by me - since we haven't lost any of those either.

We did win the Cold War and one might argue that the coldness is a pretty decent measure of quality in our military. Similarly, the lack of World Wars could be viewed as a measure of success.

And, we certainly won Operation Desert Storm and could have "won" both Iraq and Afghanistan if we had the same level of goal as we did with Operation Desert Storm.
Desert Storm merely restored the status quo, was with massive global support, and... given we fought Iraq in 2002... can't be called a long-term success.

There are many reasons for the US winning the Cold War, true. US Military competence in leading US troops into combat to achieve strategic geopolitical goals was not one of them, however.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-03-2020 at 11:10 AM.
  #114  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:12 AM
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Putin is alright with anything that helps maintain the status quo, in terms of helping to support a player or knocking them down a peg. But he doesn't want more than that - small balancing acts. He won't want an actual war.

I'll throw in to my previous prediction that if Putin does stop the war from escalating, secretly, there's a good likelihood that Congress will remove a sanction or two (probably on a business or person close to Putin) as a thanks.
Putin wants to remain leader of Russia. An easy way to do this is jack up oil prices. This morning, WTI futures are up 4.5%.
  #115  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:16 AM
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Before we all jump on the bashing Trump bandwagon and being a foreigner to US military policies, how likely is that Trump just woke up in the morning and said to his Generals to take the guy out or in the other hand, the generals came to him and exposed a plan a reason why the guy should be taken out now and Trump agreed to it based on that?
Two previous administration had that option and did not exercise it. To that extent, it was hardly Trump's idea to target Suleimani. I'm pretty certain that on any given day, any number of enemy targets are evaluated by US intelligence for potential action. No doubt the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad raised Suleimani's prominence as a target.

What is worthy of speculation and debate is whether there was sufficient justification to take him out now compared to previous opportunities to do so. And ultimately, Trump's motives for doing so. Were the imminent threats to American targets abroad credible, as cited by Pompeo? I don't know if we have the answer to that at this time.
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  #116  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:20 AM
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Except the U.S. was at war with Japan at the time, so a military leader was a legit target.
The analogy was regarding Soleimani's importance to Iran, not the legalities of targeting him.
  #117  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:29 AM
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Seriously, WTF?!

1) If Iran were to deliberately kill a U.S. general in Iraq, we'd regard it as an act of war, as we damn well should.

2) Same thing goes the other way. Iran and Iraq may not have a formal alliance, but they are on good terms with one another and cooperate on military operations, including eliminating ISIS' territorial control within Iraq, which Suleiman was very much a part of. This was very much an act of war.

3) While Iraq is hardly the safest place in the world, could you tell me what war is going on there? Please to cite that it's an "active war zone."
1) Iran has been only one step removed from hundreds of service member deaths in the Middle East. That they haven’t deliberately targeted a US general and carried out the attack themselves is faint praise indeed.

2) The attack on the US embassy in Iraq was also an act of war. I think it’s telling that the Iranian General in question was blown up standing next to a militia leader whose forces would have participated in this attack. So much for plausible deniability on Iran's part, eh?

3) You’ve already acknowledged there is an ongoing campaign against ISIS (and other terrorist groups, too, right?). It may not be what you call "war," but it's not exactly what I would call "peace," either. The name of ongoing operations in Iraq for the US, btw, is Inherent Resolve and there’s a military campaign medal for it.

I’m conflicted about this event only in as much as it’s a new level in the ongoing proxy (or not so proxy) war between the US and Iran.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-03-2020 at 11:30 AM.
  #118  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:35 AM
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Iraq is owned by the US..
That's what the US would like to believe anyway, but Iran seems to be challenging us (How dare they!) and that explains the situation we're now in.
  #119  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:36 AM
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Putin wants to remain leader of Russia. An easy way to do this is jack up oil prices. This morning, WTI futures are up 4.5%.
Hm. I forgot he was up for election.

I saw something about him and ...Belarus? recently, and some deal that would allow him to become the President of a new, enlarged Russia.
  #120  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:42 AM
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1) Iran has been only one step removed from hundreds of service member deaths in the Middle East. That they haven’t deliberately targeted a US general and carried out the attack themselves is faint praise indeed.

2) The attack on the US embassy in Iraq was also an act of war. I think it’s telling that the Iranian General in question was blown up standing next to a militia leader whose forces would have participated in this attack. So much for plausible deniability on Iran's part, eh?

3) You’ve already acknowledged there is an ongoing campaign against ISIS (and other terrorist groups, too, right?). It may not be what you call "war," but it's not exactly what I would call "peace," either. The name of ongoing operations in Iraq for the US, btw, is Inherent Resolve and there’s a military campaign medal for it.

I’m conflicted about this event only in as much as it’s a new level in the ongoing proxy (or not so proxy) war between the US and Iran.
I'm guessing that Americans' definition of an "act of war" isn't necessarily shared and agreed upon by everyone else. Seems to me that trying to force out a global military power is a pretty logical thing to do when you consider that said superpower is a) on Iran's doorstep; b) already indicated that it's interested in toppling Iran's regime; c) dictating Iraqi affairs from 8,000 miles away having no real justification for being there in the first place; and c) invited itself there by violating sovereignty and toppling a regime without international support.

Meanwhile, China's sitting back with a big fat smile on their face, knowing that Mesopotamia and Persia will be the graveyard of the American hegemony.
  #121  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:46 AM
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Putin wants Belarus reintegrated with Russia, from December 24th:

https://apnews.com/0ef06c716e331bd4411441a8b4b63af7

Quote:
The president of Belarus warned Russia on Tuesday against a forced merger of the two ex-Soviet neighbors, saying such a move by Moscow could trigger a war.

In an interview with Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the West would see a forceful attempt to join the two countries as a threat and stand up to Russia.

His statement reflected simmering tensions between the two allies sparked by the Kremlin’s push for deeper integration.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus, a nation of 10 million people, for more than a quarter century while tolerating little dissent and relying on cheap energy and loans from Russia.
Then, just 7-odd hours ago:

https://tass.com/economy/1105463

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MINSK, January 3. /TASS/. Russia has stopped oil supplies to Belarus, two oil refineries in the country continue to operate, but their capacity has been reduced to the minimum acceptable level, a source in Belneftekhim Concern informed TASS on Friday.

"Russian oil is not delivered. The capacity of oil refineries has been reduced to the minimum technologically permissible level," the source said.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-03-2020 at 11:50 AM.
  #122  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:47 AM
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While the US is distracted with Iraq, Russia will invade Belarus and take it over. Just watch.
  #123  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:53 AM
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This has nothing to do with Politics or Elections. I'm going to move it over to Great Debates and combine it with the existing thread over there.
  #124  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:54 AM
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First, any Iranian war would be a naval/air war. Why would we invade? There's absolutely nothing in it for us. It's not like their navy has become MORE capable since the last time we wrecked it, and we're very likely to be dominant in the air as well. Plus, their economy is highly dependent on oil, which means that they're dependent on tankers and oil pipelines, both of which are easy to spot and capture/destroy.

Iran is a second rate at best power. Probably more like third rate when you get right down to it. They are not a serious threat.
It ultimately depends on which war Iran chooses to fight, which battlefields they choose to fight us on, and when they choose to do it.

Let's not forget the fact that the US military is pretty far from home, and Iran is essentially defending its home. Let's also consider there are at least two other nations considerably more powerful than Iran who don't want the United States to win in a war with Iran, so it's likely that they'd get a helping hand.

And finally, Europe doesn't need another refugee crisis, as it would only put more pressure on center left regimes that are desperately fighting off nationalism internally and foreign pressure from Russia.

Whatever upside the US would get from a hot conflict with Iran would be short-lived. It might last just long enough for the Donald to get a photo op aboard a USS carrier and put up a sign that reads "Keep Iran Great." But that moment would quickly fade.
  #125  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:54 AM
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That may explain the Trump/Putin conversation a couple of days ago. They were exchanging late Christmas presents:

Vlad: Donny, I need you to look the other way while I repatriate a small Russian territory of no consequence to you.
Donald: Anything for you, Vlad. You know that. I'll just need you to do me a small favor, tho...
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  #126  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:02 PM
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Lol, I would think Putin is smart enough to not even bring up Belarus, saying instead "This guy is bad, Mr President, very bad. I would like to get him, but my hands are tied. But you? You are the only one who can do this, Mr President. And my team has determined he is going to attack an American base in a week, so this... problem... has to be fixed quickly. Imagine saying you saved lives instead of avenging them, Mr President! That's nice, no?"
  #127  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:04 PM
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Killing Suleiman, accident or not, is an adequate retaliation for their attack on our Embassy. Let them think twice about unprovoked acts of aggression against us or our Allies. The Iranian government is not a popular one and some USA carrot and stick might pay off.
Sure, this will convince them to lay off and back down the same way the September 11th attacks made us think twice about our continued involvement in the Middle East. There is no way this does anything but galvanize the anti-American sentiment in Iran, and make them feel the need to escalate their aggression against us.
  #128  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:05 PM
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Russia apparently has called Trump’s decision “short-sighted” and will lead to “grave consequences”.
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  #129  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:11 PM
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I think I heard that the justification for the attack was to thwart an "imminent" attack on US interests.

If the attack was "imminent" then killing the general won't stop it. If it wasn't imminent, then it was an unprovoked assassination.

The senator from Connecticut (D) on NPR this morning said that Trump's approach to Iran is all tactics, no strategy. Seems right.
  #130  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:13 PM
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I have been fired due to my age and will be out of here on Saint April Fool's Day. Any bets if things will hold off until then?

I'll take "it's not going to hold off". Do you have some sick leave you can use and boogie on out of there?
  #131  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:17 PM
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Lol, some wag on Twitter just noted that Trump has implemented the "Ryan Doctrine", put into place by Tom Clancy's fictional everyman President, Jack Ryan (uh, spoilers?), where Ryan kills an Iranian leader via drone strike during a televised speech, and then declares that the US will summarily kill anyone it considers a danger to US interests.

Yay!
  #132  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:23 PM
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I think I heard that the justification for the attack was to thwart an "imminent" attack on US interests.

If the attack was "imminent" then killing the general won't stop it. If it wasn't imminent, then it was an unprovoked assassination.

The senator from Connecticut (D) on NPR this morning said that Trump's approach to Iran is all tactics, no strategy. Seems right.
All this makes strategic sense from Putin's point of view. Distract from Belarus. Increase oil prices. Fubar the United States. Make their idiot President feel like a man for playing Gavrilo Princip on a massive scale. Start a war which will increase oil prices more, increasing demands to get rid of sanctions.

And more. A lot more.

But, yeah, from the US perspective, Trump's actions make little sense.
  #133  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:27 PM
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^
The less a white dude knows about the region the more confident they are in their “analysis” and the posts.
Never fails.
Not so much a white thing as an American thing. I feel your pain.

'Listen, the Iranians have been around for 2000 years blah blah blah'
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  #134  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:31 PM
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He also had another secret phone call with Putin 2 days ago. That's just as likely a reason.
Cite?
  #135  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:33 PM
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Cite?
Super-friendly phone call.
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  #136  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:49 PM
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You haven't contradicted anything I said here; on the contrary you've reinforced my statement that the US wins in the short, kinetic timeframe. Just as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and went on to get shredded in the insurgency/terrorism battle.
Iran is probably the most capable/decentralized/experienced foe the US has ever faced in this regard.

The US couldn't even defeat the Taliban FFS, how do you think they're going to face a Quds apparatus that operates from Tehran to Lebanon?
So . . . why do that second part? Why not just win in the short kinetic part, like you said, and then just not bother with the decentralized insurgency?
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:54 PM
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So, this bad guy was planning some outrage, and we killed him as a prevention. OK. Who told us about the planning and the immediacy thereof? Sounds like we have really great intelligence sources in Iran.

And these sources? Is this from a different intelligence community than the deep-state corrupted intelligence community that absitively posolutely cannot be relied upon?
  #138  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:54 PM
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The problem for Lukashenko is that he's been in power for, what, 20 years or more? And during this time, Belarus has been far and away the most pro-Russian former Soviet republic. This is the 'thanks' he gets.

It'll be interesting to see how shutting off Belarus' energy will be received by people in Belarus and how they react.
  #139  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:58 PM
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Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi also condemned the “assassination” — which was carried out in Baghdad — calling it “an act of aggression on Iraq” and “breach of sovereignty that will lead to war in Iraq, the region, and the world.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/03/qase...p-general.html

Anyone care to speculate on how this compares to the assassination of Ferdinand?
  #140  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:08 PM
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But, yeah, from the US perspective, Trump's actions make little sense.
I wonder what Trump's military advisors think of this.
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  #141  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:10 PM
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"Underestimating the other fellow is a rookie mistake."
--Some colonel at War College.
I'm not saying I want us to fight them, or that it'll be the first Gulf War over again, but that Iran's not too much of a force-on-force threat. Yes, we'll certainly suffer casualties, but in terms of actually winning vs. their military straight-up, that's not too much in debate.

They'd be smart to use asymmetrical tactics, if they engage at all. I still haven't figured out what it would buy them to engage militarily.

And the nonsense about not winning a war in 70 years is just that, nonsense. Every time our military has fought other militaries, we've won. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I and 2. The problem is that in most cases, there haven't been clear victory conditions, or we've been fighting insurgencies with political constraints that hinder the ability to actually fight the insurgencies.

Case in point- Iraq. What would have counted as a win? The military decisively stomped their actual military into pulp in 2003, but then were cast into a quagmire where there weren't any conclusive goals for the military to work toward.

That's been the general problem- politicians look at the military as a general-purpose tool, when in fact, it's a tool with very specific applications- i.e. fighting other militaries. But since it's quickly deployable, accountable and mobile, they tend to like to send it to do stuff that it's not really trained or intended to do.
  #142  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:18 PM
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When you have to use that many words to describe how we won, we really didn't win. Thanks.

Half of Korea went Communist. Not a victory.

Vietnam. Not a victory.

Cold War. Victory, but not by US military action.

Gulf War 1. Victory, but merely restored status quo and we ended up fighting the same guys again 11 years later.

Iraq War. Not a victory.

We can ground and pound, but when it comes to racking up actual W's, the US military has a reputation which vastly exceeds its battlefield accomplishments.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-03-2020 at 01:19 PM.
  #143  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
1) Iran has been only one step removed from hundreds of service member deaths in the Middle East. That they haven’t deliberately targeted a US general and carried out the attack themselves is faint praise indeed.
Praise?? I'm talking about acts of war. So you're saying Iran has been one step removed from committing acts of war. Not good, but at least they had that much restraint.
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2) The attack on the US embassy in Iraq was also an act of war. I think it’s telling that the Iranian General in question was blown up standing next to a militia leader whose forces would have participated in this attack. So much for plausible deniability on Iran's part, eh?
So you're saying, first, that Iraqis committed an act of war against the U.S. by storming its embassy; and second, that Iran was OK with this attack.

Suleiman added insult to injury, but that's not an act of war on Iran's part. And since Iraqis committed this act of war, are we going to go to war against Iraq? Thought we already tried that.
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3) You’ve already acknowledged there is an ongoing campaign against ISIS (and other terrorist groups, too, right?).
No I didn't actually. Our President declared victory, remember? And irrespective of what Cheetolini has said, ISIS no longer holds any territory within Iraq. There is internal civil strife in Iraq, but that's not the same as a war.
  #144  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:39 PM
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So, this bad guy was planning some outrage, and we killed him as a prevention. OK. Who told us about the planning and the immediacy thereof? Sounds like we have really great intelligence sources in Iran.

And these sources? Is this from a different intelligence community than the deep-state corrupted intelligence community that absitively posolutely cannot be relied upon?
Based on what I have seen before, Israel has some people pretty deep into Iran.

Possibly - if we didn't give them anything like forewarning - we just burned one of their sources and that person is going to be in a concrete hole within the next few weeks.

Usually, we would know based on Israel either getting angry or releasing some information about Trump's stupidity to Vanity Fair that we have screwed them over in some way. (I don't know why they choose VF, but it seems to be their organ of choice.) This happens to be a good moment to screw over Israel though, since Netty needs all the friends he can get at the moment.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-03-2020 at 01:39 PM.
  #145  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:39 PM
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Anyway, this is likely a hijack, so I'll stay mum about US military effectiveness as it doesn't really pertain to the topic on hand.
  #146  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:44 PM
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Wonder if the Trump kids have thought through the personal implications of their Dad officially recognizing assassination as a legitimate activity of the State?
  #147  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:04 PM
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Wonder if the Trump kids have thought through the personal implications of their Dad officially recognizing assassination as a legitimate activity of the State?

I wonder how Jared Kushner's "peace in the middle east" plans are working out. Somehow I feel he's not going get his quarterly performance bonus.
  #148  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:16 PM
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US embassy in Iraq advises all US citizen to depart Iraq immediately.

https://iq.usembassy.gov/security-al...anuary-3-2020/

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Event:
Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the U.S. Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately. U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land. Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice.
  #149  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:22 PM
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When you have to use that many words to describe how we won, we really didn't win. Thanks.

Half of Korea went Communist. Not a victory.

Vietnam. Not a victory.

Cold War. Victory, but not by US military action.

Gulf War 1. Victory, but merely restored status quo and we ended up fighting the same guys again 11 years later.

Iraq War. Not a victory.

We can ground and pound, but when it comes to racking up actual W's, the US military has a reputation which vastly exceeds its battlefield accomplishments.
The U.S. military's job is to break the enemy's military. It's the job of the politicians who come after to 'win' the occupation.

The U.S. military can stomp any other military on the planet into dust. There is absolutely no question about that. If Iran were foolish enough to start a full-scale war with the U.S., its military would cease to exist as a fighting force within days.

That doesn't mean the U.S. could successfully invade Iran and occupy it, or that the outcome of crushing its military would be what the U.S. wants. and I don't believe anyone in the U.S. government thinks a full-scale invasion of Iran would be a smart thing to do.

The key to Iran is its people, who are pro-western and sick of the Mullahs. Invasion and mass casualties would make things infinitely worse by hardening the Iranian people against the U.S. So the U.S. is attempting to put maximum pressure on the Mullahs in an attempt to loosen their grip on the people.

I don't know if killing Suleimani helps or hurts. Reports are that he was very popular in Iran, although with a dictatorship you never know whether someone is truly popular or whether people just say so to avoid punishment.

But one thing is certain: The general was a major loss to the Iranian military and Quds force. Like Yamamoto, he was apparently a brilliant tactician and leader, and the Iranians will be less effective without him. There may also be a significant amount of leadership confusion in the short term, especially since fhe Quds force was semi-autonomous and had its own leadership structure that reported to Suleimani and not to the Mullahs.
  #150  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:22 PM
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I have been fired due to my age and will be out of here on Saint April Fool's Day. Any bets if things will hold off until then?
I'll take a no side on that bet.

I dunno what kind of reaction this furball will get in Saudi Arabia, if this escalates, but if you don't have any kind of protection through your job I'd bug out. Or at least stay the hell away from American embassies, consulates or institutions, many of which are now plausible targets for Iranian retaliation, wherever they can get to them.
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