Enough with the BS re: Iraq Troop Levels

Umm… no. Regardless, I believe it to be correct. Unfortunately it’s working rather too well. I don’t doubt there are other reasons, which is why I said, ‘one reason’.

Well of course you believe it. It is not like these sound-bites are the work of amateurs. Time will teach you the folly of the view better than could I.

Nonetheless that’s pride fuckin’ with me. Here’s an assignment to get you started:

Discuss cause and effect considering; the Iraq insurgency and; the US invasion of Iraq. Refer to the relevant chronology.

First, we have no information how many Iraqi army soldiers joined insurgency.

Second, what was US to do? Detain them all and put in some sort of POWs camps? Or just mow them down? Remember, those Iraqi troops were the ones fighting the least or not at all.

Sure we do, Isky.

What was the US to do with them? Did you fail to hear all the recriminatory discussions right after the invasion about how the old Iraqi Army should have been kept intact, except for its officer corps being debaathified, and turned into the new Iraqi Army?

What do *you * think happened to all of those soldiers? They’re certainly not in the new Iraqi Army, what there is of it, in any similar numbers. Did all these trained soldiers, as patriotic as anyone and as disinterested in having their home occupied as anyone, simply go home and take up farming?

Regarding this particular point, I only wanted to point out that we have absolutely no data how many Saddam army troops went to insurgency, therefore madmonk’s statement that ‘these troops melted away and reappeared as insurgents later on’ is unqualified.

The bigger point I was trying to make was that advocating more troops, ultimately goes hand in hand with accepting more killings and abuses in detention. As an example, madmonk would tell us that if US had more troops it could send some to deal with pockets of unresisting Saddam army, to prevent them from ‘melting away’. However, he wouldn’t explain how exactly we’d ‘deal’ with them to keep them from ‘melting away’ (if we had the muscle).

Somehow, the US Government hinks that Iraq is going to settle down and become a nice, peaceful nation. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. Probably the best thing to do would be to move our troops into isolated areas and turn over the policing to this new “iraqi” army. Four years are long enough. Possibly, a public declaration of withdrawl might calm things down.

I think you are confusing arguments. This often happens when discussing Iraq. I am not commenting on the morality or wisdom of invading Iraq, I am only commenting on the affect of not using more troops in the initial invasion.

The US raced to Baghdad to cause a fall of the Hussein government and bypassed many cities, leaving large pockets of the most highly trained Iraqi units in place. These units melted away. There is strong evidence that many of these units are now part of the insurgency. They were never disarmed, or detained.

As for how they could have been dealt with, a larger force could haved dedicated troops to engage and kill, capture or accept the surrender of these troops. They could have been disarmed. They could have been put to work on reconstruction projects and given a salary. This would have had the benefit of a) giving them a living wage and thus a disincentive to joing the insurgency and b) promoted a sense of stability in Iraq that would have undermined the work of the insurgents.

There is much evidence that by leaving these cities uncaptured, the US sowed the seeds of the insurgency in these communities. The US left a large, organized and armed force in its rear when it captured Baghdad without capturing cities along the way.

For cites I point you to a series in the Atlantic Monthly by Richard Kaplan, in one of the articles (I believe Blind into Baghdad) the US Army argued before the invasion that the cutting of troops would result in exactly the outcome we have now seen. Also the excellent book Assasin’s Gate (the best history of what happened here imo) mentions this.

Once again, I am not arguing that invading Iraq was a good thing, or a wise thing. I am only arguing that the lack of US forces contributed to the rise of the insurgency by not allowing for enough troops to secure the country and establish law and order. It was this lack of law and order, coupled with a trained, idle and armed military that was left intact that was able to exploit Iraqi resentment and frustration with the occupation into full-blown armed resistance.

Follow the initial war plan and prevent the problem from happening.

Think outside the box.

I appreciate the thoughtful response. However, I remain unconvinced that detaining and killing passive troops is better then allowing them to ‘melt away’ without a single shot. As far as creating jobs for them, well, that would be nice…

Because they don’t “melt away”. They don’t disappear. They’re still around, still trained to fight, often still (somewhat) organized as a fighting force.