Suppose its April 2010, and the US has now lost 12,000 lives in Iraq. The Shiites and Sunnis are still trying to slaughter eachother, and the Kurds have a defacto country of their own. What should the USA do at this point? Stay the course or leave? I assume by that time GWB is long retired.
You’ve basically described an intractable situation from our perspective, so I can’t imagine we’d do anything but pull out. Not even GWB would be stupid enough (well, maybe he would, but his successor won’t be so long as he’s breathing) to stay that course forever.
Divide the country up into as many ‘sub-countries’ as needed, even ceeding some land to neighboring countries, to try to make ‘buffer zones’ between waring factions.
Oh! You mean the Gulf of Mosul!
Well, for one thing our casualty rate would have climbed dramatically if we have lost 12,000 (I assume killed) in the next 4 years…since we’ve only lost around 3000 in the previous 3 (and that includes the initial invasion). So SOMETHING major would have to be going on there.
I would guess that IF in 4 years the situation is as you describe it that BOTH presidential candidates will have addressed it during their campaign. Probably both will have some ‘plan’ to get us out, and most likely a time table…probably with a few months of election the withdrawl will begin and it will most likely take several months (my guess: 6-8 months) before we are completely gone.
However, if things are escallating like you are predicting I would say serious pressure will mount on GW and I’m unsure HE will be able to keep us there in that event. In fact, if things essentially remain just as they are today for the next year or so I think things will have shifted enough that there will be serious pressure to ‘do something’ and get our troops out of there asap. I don’t think even GW of the cabeza de piedra (cabeza de mierda perhaps ) will be able to keep the troops there…not if public opinion really shifts heavily to getting them out.
I really cannot imagine that American troops will still be fighting and dying in a war-torn Iraq four years from now. The politics of the whole thing will mean the removal of nearly all American troops before then. If the war is so unpopular now, imagine how unpopular it will be a year or two from now.
If we don’t intend to stay, why are we building those “enduring bases” ? I expect we’ll be there as long as the the Republicans are in office. Even if the Democrats manage to get into power, it’ll take a long time for them to waffle and dither their way into leaving; the Republicans will be jumping up and down screaming “Cut and run ! Cut and Run ! Liberal hippie cowards !” at them.
Don’t we still have bases in Japan and Germany from some old minor conflict with both of them?
I don’t think Iraq could sustain the same level of instability until 2010. By that, I mean that the situation will either improve or decline.
If it declines, I believe it will pull in more of the states in the region (more overtly than is now happening). I’m in Baghdad right now, and we are seeing tens of thousands of people displaced from mixed neighborhoods heading to segregated communities. It picked up a couple of weeks ago and is increasing. I think we will reach a tipping point of no return.
When that happens, the Saudis are going to ramp up their support of the Sunnis, Iran will ramp up its support of the Shia (and really get to work on the nuke they are developing), and I think Turkey will really escalate its efforts to prevent a Kurdish state from forming, which will cause an escalation of Kurdish terrrorist attacks in Turkey.
If this conflict does continue until 2010, I think it will do almost irrevocable harm to the US’ standing in the world. The perception of American incompetence/impotence to stop the spread of chaos will encourage states like Turkey to pursue their own policies independent of US concerns.
Of course the spread of a regional war will be happening in an area with huge oil reserves that are needed in the world market to sustain growth. A major disruption to the oil markets could cause major disruptions to China’s growth and which might cause them to be unable to continue to buy our debt, which could cause a global economic downturn.
To sum up, I don’t think it is possible for things to be the same in Iraq in 2010. In my opinion they will have improved or be much much worse. The current indicators I see on the ground are that it will get much worse.
Those bases purportedly were preserved to defend their countries from external threats (USSR/China), so the people were willing, with some lingering resentment, to accept them. That’s not going to happen in Iraq. The only plausible external threat is Iran – and many Iraqis would welcome an Iranian invasion at this point. Possibly a majority. If such were in the offing, which it isn’t.
More to the point, it would be the reversal of the trend; US casualties have been dropping steadily for months now.
Where’d you hear that?
Period US UK Other* Total Avg Days 4-2006 42 0 0 42 3 14 3-2006 31 0 2 33 1.06 31 2-2006 55 3 0 58 2.07 28 1-2006 62 2 0 64 2.06 31 12-2005 68 0 0 68 2.19 31 11-2005 84 1 1 86 2.87 30 10-2005 96 2 1 99 3.19 31 9-2005 49 3 0 52 1.73 30 8-2005 85 0 0 85 2.74 31 7-2005 54 3 1 58 1.87 31 6-2005 78 1 4 83 2.77 30 5-2005 80 2 6 88 2.84 31 4-2005 52 0 0 52 1.73 30
External, well the nature or warfare seems now to include non-countries as threats (Al-Q for one)
They were also to protect a US strategic interest, which, due to the oil reserves and oil’s importaince on the world stage, I think the case can be made that we have such a strategic interest in Iraq too.
This could be taken that many in Germany and Japan don’t want those bases there either. I would wag that after this minor squabble back then there was even more resentment of the US bases on German and Japanise land.
I have no doubt that some would, but I can’t accept that so many that it might be a majority., I would wag that these numbers are less then 10%, way less.
Also a invasion by Iran into Iraq would be also against the US, so your right it’s not even on the table.
Now if you read my initial suggestion to the , it does involve cutting up the country and maybe even auctioning off sections to the neighbors, which Iran would be one of them.
Well, with the exception of this month, it appears that casualties had been dropping since October. The question becomes, is this month an anomoly, or a new trend?
I think October was the anomaly.
The point is, the Iraqi people are never going to learn to just accept the presence of those bases, the way the Germans and the Japanese did. From their POV, there’s no good reason for the bases to be there; they just help a foreign occupier hold them down. Things are never going to quiet down in Iraq until those bases are evacuated or turned over to the Iraqi military. (That won’t be enough to quiet things, of course, but it would remove a major sore point.)
For US casualties only and excluding April 2006, the mean is 66.167/mo with a standard deviation of 18.073. October of 2005 with 96 is 1.651standard deviation from the mean. March 2006 with 31 is 1.946 standard deviation from the mean.
At 95% confidence both extremes are well within the tolerance factor for the mean of a large population based on a sample of 12 items. That tolerance factor is 3.162 and 95% of an infinite population will lie within that tolerance of the mean. So in this sample we can’t say there are any anomalies.
There’s also the fact that the Germans and Japanese were the aggressors, and the Iraqis are the victims. We wouldn’t have invaded Germany and Japan, save they pushed us into it, so they brought it on themselves.
Nothing the Iraqis did or didn’t do would have stopped us from invading, they were no threat to us, and they know it; they have no reason to feel anything but hate for us, forever. As Iraqis, it is their clear duty to hate us, and work against us as much as possible; they have no reason not to do so, anyway.
It looks like i was prescient-the bush Administartion has ordered the army to prepare to “stay the course”.
Well, it takes a while to manufacture that much Agent Orange.