Which country will we attack next, and when ?

Maybe I should mention that I think all those things I predicted are bad things. I’m personally a pacifist and quite opposed to the way that that United States has been acting on an internation level.

Don’t you see the double standard? What works for the US works for others and so justifies there terrorist actions against the USA.

Well, speculating on which side is more moral is simply a mental exercise that usually leads nowhere.

However, the fact is that there is a war going on and we are fighting it. Regardless of what justifications they may feel they have, they have engaged us in battle and now have to face the consequences of that choice.

I’m going for North Korea / China / Japan since they decided to ditch Microsoft. Germany will be next if it steps out of line.

…or indeed maybe the other way around, adaher? You engaged them in battle and now you have to face the consequences of that choice.

Of course if that was the end of it the rest of us could let you stew in your own juices. But the US war on terrorism exposes all of us to the consequences and makes the world a much more dangerous place.

I was not speculating on which side is more moral. You just don’t get it do you. You cannot win this war on the terms that you are conducting it. It is militarily unending and unwinnable…

Causes not symptoms, m’boy.

I suspect nothing initiated by the US until at least after the Inauguration Speech in Jan 2005. Of course, as others have already noted, if something big happens in the meanwhile, then all bets are off…

After that - depends on what happens in Iraq. I would tend to say that if things seemed to be looking up (in terms of restoring some semblence of sanity there), then resources should be put there in order to ensure continued success. I, however, stand little chance of taking up residence in that particular tract of Washington DC real-estate where such decisions are made, so who knows…

Iran makes some perverse sense as a land bridge between Iraq and Afghanistan - might GWB go in there just on that principle?

Dan Abarbanel

Whoa now, this is not the US war on terrorism. Every nation should consider terrorism beyond the pale and do all it can to fight it, and just about every nation is a victim of terrorism.

If that includes punishing nations like the US and Britain and Russia, who engage in terrorism of their own, then so be it. However, FIRST there has to be peace. You can’t make rules in the middle of a war. It doesn’t make any sense. The war has to be fought and won first. Then during the peace you can discuss what was beyond the pale and what was acceptable warmaking. Currently, all nations can and do use different forms of terrorism to fight their enemies.

Bah.

Anyone who’s ever played Risk knows that Australia is the true key to world domination. Conquer Australia, then lay low and build your forces up for a while. Then head on over to Indochina and POW!

The world won’t know what’s hit 'em.

[/satire]

Bravo adaher! I am increasingly enjoying debating with your (no, our) current mood.

As I suggested earlier, if those of use who think the the War as you put it if unwinable and will be unending are correct then the US is setting itself up to fail as opposition and terrorist action against them becomes increasingly widespread and diversifies it’s sources.

If only every nation, and especially the major powers, could somehow simultaneous address there own use of terror now whilst continuing a wide range of measures (probably including military) to combat the threat then and only then can progress be made.

It is exactly the power of democracies to be able to conduct this simultaneous approach that offers hope. To put it off until there is somehow peace is to throw away the chances of that peace actually coming to pass. It will take an act of faith to pull that off, but one which I am sure the majority of the citizens of the western democracies would applaud.

Address causes not symptoms, m’boy.

WEll, as I’ve maintained, one MAJOR cause of terrorism is tyranny. That is the angle that Bush is pushing, and it is an important one. As long as there is tyranny there will be terrorism.

Sure, it would be great to halt US terrorism, but that would not in any way make Al Qaeda moderate their behavior. Groups like Al Qaeda and Hamas will settle for nothing less than Muslim domination of the world, or at the very least those areas they dominated in the Middle Ages.

Getting at the minor causes takes a back seat to getting at the major ones. I would personally prefer to take the terrorists at their word. Westerners to often try to project their own values on these people and assume that if only we didn’t make them hate us, they’d stop. But their hate is not rational, any more than the Ku Klux Klan’s hate is rational.

However, there are some things we can do. Osama wanted us out of Saudi Arabia. Well, we are about to leave Saudi Arabia, Heh. He wanted the sanctions on Iraq ended. Check. He wanted Palestinians to stop getting killed by Israelis. We’re working on that.

YOu have to admit, even though our methods for doing these things aren’t what a lot of people wanted, we have set ourselves up for having a situation in 20 years where there are no US troops in the Middle East and no Muslims dying at the hands of Jews or Christians except in the various regional conflicts going on that the US has little or no part in, such as Russia/Chechnya and the Sudan.

That does seem to be a situation which would not lend itself to terrorist recruiting if it is successful.

No country is likely to be attacked by the USA in the foreseeable future. Not North Korea, not Iran, nor any other country that decides to undergo the expensive but not over complex task of making nuclear warheads.

The only thing that might make a sudden change of policy likely is the detonation of one or more tactical, but still very destructive, nuclear weapons in the cities of a North American or European country, either cities within its borders or detonated a mile offshore from a major seaport.

As to what happens next, that is anyone’s guess. On the balance of probabilities, we are likely to find out some time within the next ten years.

Between now and then, no amount of diplomatic posturing is likely to have any effect in deterring the likely perps.

As for the countries that would have supplied the perps with nuclear devices, they would feel confident that their involvement will remain a closely guarded secret and that therefore nothing would befall them.

If we can’t control and stabilize Iraq soon, where will we get the troops to engage another nation?
Would the US support a draft just to conquer more countries?
Will we decide to afford rebuilding more coutries?
I think that once the gen pub found out what the price tag for Iraq will be, sticker shock set in. The next war will be a much harder sell.
We won’t seriously propose an attack again until after the presidential elections. Then it’ll take another 18-24 mo to get it underway. That’s a minimum. But I’m not sure it would fly. Of coure, unless we have another Pearl Harbor type event.

That’s why we would only go to war if attacked first.

If a nation attacked us, we would either withdraw our troops from Iraq to fight the war and hope they were ready to be on their own, or implement a draft. In a situation where we were actually attacked I don’t think most citizens would object.

adaher wrote:

“Attacked” in what way? No nation would be foolish enough to launch a direct attack against the US. Do you mean a terrorist attack? Do you think another terrorist attack would cause Americans to support an invasion of, say, Syria? What if it’s an al Qaida attack? Against whom (do you suppose) would we retaliate?

And what of Saudi Arabia, from where (it seems like we have to keep reminding folks) the bulk of the 9/11 terrorists actually came?

We have already bitten off quite a mouthful in Afghanistan and Iraq. Already there is talk of a problem getting soldiers to re-enlist. Will Americans support a draft to fight a never-ending series of wars against other nations only tenuously connected to anti-US terrorism?

Agree. Tyranny, or even the lack of levers on their leaders to change domestic/foreign policy, forces other extreme behaviours.

**

Disagree. Where is your data for all this? You are simply wrong. I know I have been roasted as a euro-wennie elsewhere for mentioning it but I have lived and worked in the Arab world and this is not the policy even of radical Groups like Al Qaeda (you should not put Hamas in the same catagory, they are a national liberation movement and have no global ambitions - I talked with members in Damascus when I was there). I do not see a conquest of Spain or a seige of Vienna on anyones realistic agenda! Seriously, they are concerned about the Muslim Holy Places largely, and western influence/interference in the current Muslin world.

**

This is the crux of the problem and where you and I part company 180 degrees. Their hatred is very rational and they will stop, or at least the influence of the radicals will fade and die as 99.999% (rather than just the 99% as present) no longer support their methods. Again please, you are making this allegation. Can we have some support for it please. Analysis. A study?

**

I not only do not admit it , I vermenantly deny it. You are setting yourselfs up for endless conflict and ultimate defeat. OK you may declare the War on Terrorism as won and turn to other things hoping to forget the painful experience but you will not win any more than you can wind the War on Drugs and for similar reasons.

You are only willing to look at treating the causes once you have the mythical political victory over the symptoms in your pocket and that is NOT EVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

That does seem to be a situation which would not lend itself to terrorist recruiting if it is successful. **
[/QUOTE]

Err, have I overdone the bold…sorry!

My guess is we will not out-and-out invade another country (Iraq/Afghanistan style) in the near future without another 9/11 style terrorist attack on US soil.

More likely, I think, will be that we get sucked into/join in a conflict in the Mideast or Far east.

For example: Israel hits Syria, Iran, or Saudia Arabia in some major fashion, and we send in some troops of our own to help control things and root out terrorists there. Or North Korea finally gets so paranoid (not likely in the next 18 mos., I think, but Kim’s moods swing like a pendulum) that it preemptively invades S.Korea, and we naturally respond. Or China feels that its invasion forces and medium-range missiles are strong enough to dare an invason of Taiwan, and then we possibly get involved in WWIII.

After about 30 or so posts, here is the tally so far:

**_______________________________________________________________________________
No Attack - 6
Syria - 2
Venezvuela - 2
Iran - 2

Each of these with one vote - North Korea, China, Japan, Germany, Canada, USA:smack:
_________________________________________________________________________________**

I have to agree with the majority of posters who predict no attack, barring an eventual terrorist strike. I would love to see the USA move into Syria for example, but I will admit that the no attack scenario is probably the most likely and realistic for the near term future, after having read the posts and arguments. As for the long term future, I still think we will be paying a visit to somebody.

Isn’t this kind of saying both sides have to pay, but them first?

And for there to be a “war” you really need to have defined opposition. Bush’s ‘war on terrorism’ is a fraud with an opposition undefined enough to include or exclude just about anyone that takes his fancy. This means it’ll never be over and never won.

I’m pretty certain that American attention will not waver far from the seven nations identified by Gen. Wesley Clark as targets for overthrow: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, and the Sudan.

With elections looming, the only thing I can see happening prior to November 2004 is a possible proxy war against Lebanon by the Israelis. Syria might be drawn into that conflict, too, and with three divisions deployed in Iraq the United States would be in a unique position to catch Syria in the rump while they’re reaching for the soap in Beirut. The political fallout of such an act would be huge, though, and I consider it to be extremely unlikely.

If Bush is reelected, the next candidate is almost certainly Iran or Syria. Both are attractive because they border on America’s springboard to world domination, Iraq. Iraq would supply the logistic base from which the invasion is launched against either nation. Both countries geographically link up with American allies: Afghanistan and Pakistan for Iran; Israel and (maybe) Jordan for Syria.

If I had to pick one, it would be Syria. Syria has favorable desert-like terrain, it has an old Soviet-style armed forces which can be dealt with in the same fashion that Iraq was handled in 1991, and by knocking over Syria it makes the pacification of Lebanon a real possibility as well. Syria also completes the east-west axis of American domination from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.

But whichever one goes first, the other one is sure to be next on the list.

And then there is the possibility that Bush loses the election, and can’t get close enough to steal it. If that goes down, everyone is fucked.

Remember what Poppy Bush did after he lost the 1992 election? He smacked around Iraq with cruise missiles, declared a no-fly zone over parts of Bosnia (and according to some sources, intended to attack Serbian air bases) and sent 25,000 troops into Somalia as a parting gift for Bill Clinton.

If it happens again, the younger Bush may find himself with three months to play warlord, with the XVIII Airborne Corps at his disposal, and six countries on his shit list, any one of which might be able to be knocked over with a half a division apiece–as long as the next President acts quickly to clean up the mess.

Depends on your time table I suppose. Currently, barring a major new attack against America, I’d say the cupboard is pretty bare. Not only don’t we have a lot of troops currently just laying about idle, but our supplies of such things as guided bombs, missiles, etc are pretty low and have to be rebuilt…least I would assume so. In addition, a lot of the invation oriented weapons systems currently in Iraq, such as tanks, helicopters, planes, etc, have got to be sorely in need of maintenance. I just don’t see us going after anyone else in the forseeable future…say 2-3 years. Again, this is assuming that no new attacks happen in the US. If something major happens (a nuke, a bio attack, another 9/11 style event, etc) then all bets are off. My guess is that any new conflict would be more oriented towards the US air power and Navy though, with invasion well down on the list of options.

-XT

I’m still not real clear on whom we’re supposed to attack if there is a terrorist attack in the US. I see several posters asserting that such a terrorist attack would be met by an invasion of another country, to which I say “Huh?”

And then I say “Why?”

And then I say"Who?"

And what if the terrorist attack comes from a sleeper cell that has been biding its time in the US? Whom should we attack then?What if the members of the sleeper cell turn out (again) to be Saudis?

This is not some half-assed game of Risk we’re playing. Seems to me that another terrorist attack would be proof (if any were needed) that randomly attacking Arab (or more generally Muslim) nations isn’t going to end terrorism.