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How To Win In Iraq

Bob Owens has a couple of must read posts on Iraq. In one he talks about what is necessary to win in Iraq.

Let our soldiers use their massive advantages in firepower, training, and communications to take the fight to the enemy. Quit trying to fight a "nice" war. Such weakness does not result in a victory; to win a war the other side must realize that they cannot hope to win. It should go without saying, but if the other side doesn't feel defeated, then it isn't be defeated. Enable our soldiers to rely on their training and instincts and remove the overly cumbersome rules of engagement that restrict our soldiers to the point they are fighting a defensive war.

In the other post, Owens talks about why the way Democrats propose approaching Iraq is not a winning strategy.

Update: Via Drudge, here is another crazy leftie idea to promote peace. At least this one doesn't involve human shields.


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Comments (32)

Massive firepower is self-d... (Below threshold)

Massive firepower is self-defeating in guerilla warfare.

The Iraq war is inherently lost.

Nice. Why wouldn't a chick... (Below threshold)

Nice. Why wouldn't a chicken-shit like Nickie want to run for Congress with such great ideas?

If the war is lost, it is truly because of such touchy-feely types tying the hands of our troops.

God, that is a terrible ide... (Below threshold)

God, that is a terrible idea.

In a traditional war, it would make a lot of sense. However, at this point, we are not fighting a traditional war and the more aggressive we get the more likely we are to see a) increased casualties b) a bigger pool of insurgents no matter how fast we kill them and c) more chaos rather than less.

Instead of that harebrained idea, we need:

1) Cut 25,000 troops within the next year. This sends message to Iraqi government that they need to get their shit together sooner rather than later. It sends a message to those who view the US as an occupier that we arent staying indefinitely. It allows us to refocus our mission as well.

2) Become less visible in Iraq. Dramatically reduce presence patrols and allow the Iraqi Army to run the show in terms of law and order backed up by the US and accompanied by US advisors.

3) Infuse a big amount of cash and focus upon rebuilding properly areas that are peaceful. Our failure to do this adequately has been a disgrace.

4) Continue to hunt foreign terrorists/AQ in Iraq. Show them no mercy.

In a few points, thats what should be attempted in Iraq.

The military can return hom... (Below threshold)

The military can return home with a victory in less than 90 days if the PC crowd in this country were all taken out and shot. I would make sure people like Sean and Nicolai Brown are first to the wall. The left wing politicians and antique MSM are responsible for 75% or more of the American deaths in Iraq and they can't deny it, just like the same idiots can't deny responsibility for Millions of deaths in Southeast asia as a result of the first 'cut and run'.

The military made a historic march to Bagdad and then the PC's started whining, actually they started lying before the invasion and were saying the U.S. would lose 30,000 + troops and never set foot in Iraq. The 'cowards and losers' of the country are united in the democratic party. Sooner or Later, most likely sooner, there will be another massive attack on America and then I expect 'the people' of this country to take revenge on those on the left that have invited the attack with their open support of the terrorists. It's coming, hide and watch and you'll see i'm right. Someone is logging the names of the traitors that have provided aid and comfort to the enemy so they won't be hard to find. You can say no now, but you will join the hunt if your entire family is wiped out as a result of the left wing traitors serving the enemy.

Just a FYI, I have supporte... (Below threshold)

Just a FYI, I have supported this war from the very get go. I think it was both necessary and in our short, medium, and long-term interests. I am also reliably on the right - though a bit libertarianist.

If you want to buy into the McCain idea of more troops more committment more everything then you are welcome to it. If you want to believe that if only we can reduce Bagdhad to rubble with a nuke or strategic airpower we would be home in 3 months, thats fine too. Unfortunately, you could do all of those and would likely just make the situation worse and then some for us.

But, whatever, obviously everyone who disagrees with anything you believe should be lined up and shot. Sometimes I worry that at the end of this there will be about 10 people deemed ideologically pure on this and everyone else will be quislings, fifth columnists, etc etc. Shallow brooks my friend are noisy and on this you sir are noisy...

Let me put it plain and sim... (Below threshold)

Let me put it plain and simple

We CAN'T win. Anyone thinking otherwise is knee-deep in denial. Bring the troops home NOW!

I have a client who is a M... (Below threshold)

I have a client who is a Marine who served in Iraq.

What pisses him off, still, is that the Army and Marines have different rules of engagement. He said that the Army could watch guys setting up an IED 150 yds away, and were not allowed to do anything.

Marines would have blown them away. War is war, its not meant to be nice, and no one on the other side is anything close to nice. Blw the bastards away, before they take down innocent civilians, and possible 1 or more of our soldiers.

The solution is simple.... (Below threshold)

The solution is simple.

Get Scrapiron and his legions of followers, have Scraps out front waving an American flag, kinda like in the old Civil war days and all out problems will be dealt with. if you know what i mean.

The problem is "mission cre... (Below threshold)

The problem is "mission creep." We should not be just out patrolling with no purpose. We should not be directing traffic and running road blocks. The Iraqis should be doing that, and if they can't do it, that's on them. We also should not be standing between the two sides in the smouldering civil war. Let them kill each other. It's not our concern. We should be hunting terrorists.

Here's what they should do:

1. Find a spot out in the empty desert between Baghdad and Syrian border--let our best experts find the most defensible position possible. There we should build, as quickly as possible, a large permanent base complete with airfield and enough barracks to house about 30,000 troops (about the same number as we currently have on the North Korean border).

2. Once the place is built, redeploy 30,000 regular troops there. No reservists, no guardsmen. Send them all home. Only regular army. End all pointless patrols, traffic directing, etc. (i.e. Americans walking around with targets on their backs). Leave that up to the Iraqis. All supplies would come in by air. No more convoys.

3. On that base, training of Iraqi police and army can continue. From that base, fighting forces can issue on specific missions with specified goals (i.e. clean out a known AQ hideout). If the country devolves, we are in a defensible position out of the line of fire.

4. The base will also act as concentrated flypaper, separating the civil war-bound domestic nutballs from "must-kill-Americans" mostly-foreign nutballs. The former group will stay where they are and kill each other. The latter group will be attracted to the base, will want to attack it, allowing us to kill them.

We've propped this country up as long as we can. We need to end that mission. What happens next to Iraq will be determined by the Iraqis. What we need to do is narrow our mission to fighting AQ and step away from the rest of it.

As for rebuilding, I agree with the person who said rebuilding, etc. should go on ONLY in areas that are peaceful. Similarly, we should help the Iraqi gov't configure the power grid such that power is cut to areas where violence is happening. Other gov't services should be cut off as well. Civilized people should get the rewards of civilization.

I would also recommend read... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I would also recommend reading Eric England's "Six Steps to Victory: A bottom-up plan to defeat the insurgency" at The Weekly Standard.

Those seriously interested in winning in Iraq should read it.

Scrapiron feels American pe... (Below threshold)

Scrapiron feels American people who don't share his beliefs should be shot. That's pretty hardcore dude. Should all Americans who are sick of this war and voted Republicans out be on the chopping block too? Obviously, people feel there should be a better way to handle this situation.

While Scraps is vitriolic a... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

While Scraps is vitriolic and bombastic in his remarks (something you lefties are initmately familiar in doing yourselves) and I disgaree with them, we've yet to see any reality based solutions in Iraq from our liberal commentators.

So what gives, kids? Let's here your big ideas. And P.S., you can't use the words/phrases "immediate withdrawl", "some island in the Pacific", "hopeless" and "let them kill each other" (so much for humanity). Hint: Try using the word "win" when presenting your argument.

Peter FGood link. ... (Below threshold)

Peter F

Good link. I have been out of the loop for the most part on the ground operations over in Iraq for a couple years now. However a couple of basic principles still exist. The link had several good points but I would also include the following.
1. We most cut off the outside support of insurgents, mainly Syria, Iran support. We are constrained to Iraq when the war is region wide. One would think we might have learned that from Korea and Vietnam. One can't fight a P.C. war.
2. Rules of engagement must be more flexible and military goal orientated. Again most of that is P.C. CYA. Mistake will be made and must be accepted. If you not making any mistakes then you are setting on the sidelines.
3. The military must be forceful and fearsome but consistent and just. UW requires quick and overwhelming violence but must not alienate local support.
4.Allow the U.S. propaganda machine to get up full speed and don't apologize for it. It almost non-existing now. The terrorist and MSM both have been propagandizing this war. It is part of war. It is time to get our side of the story out there.

I think the righties should... (Below threshold)

I think the righties should "immdiately withdraw" to "some island in the Pacific" and realize how "hopless" Bush's strategy was/is/never existed and let Scraps and his legions "kill each other". That way the vast majority of America would "win."

As good a plan as Bush's eh Peter?

Cute Hugh, but you're only ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Cute Hugh, but you're only reinforcing the charge that the left doesn't have a plan for Iraq other than to cut and run.

Wayne:I would only... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


I would only clarify/amend your points thusly:

1a.) One can't fight and win a PC war.
2a.) Rules of engagement should not be followed if the enemy is using them for a) cover b) weapons depots or c) recruiting centers.
2b.) Mistakes cannot be made because there are only perfect wars. When mistakes are made we should pull out immediately, wring our hands, read the Gospel that is the NYTimes, drink chi lattes and repeat 10,000 times "America is bad...America is bad...America is bad..."
4.) Yes, gear up the propaganda machine. Just as soon as the Britney/KFed scandal is over, they'll get right to it.

Thanks, Mac. I was trying t... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Thanks, Mac. I was trying to be pithy, but only came up with this:

I only wish Hugh's father had had the good sense to "immediately withdrawl" a few years back.

Mac and Peter:Nice... (Below threshold)

Mac and Peter:

Nice to know that you reinforce my firm conviction of the absence of a sense of humor on the right.

As to your silly assertion that the left has no plan, well I'll answer it this way. It's a silly, meritless, banal, trite, without support and utterly stupid. try actually reading something other than a right win g blog, magazine or newspaper. You'll find it. You might even try googling. You know that thing on the internets.

In short, try being original and try some other argument that's no so worn out, and so predictable. Also, do your own damn work. I read both sides of issues. You two should try it.

I've actually researched our commander-in-chiefs, you know your hero George. plan and I can't seem to find a coherent one. It is his responsibility isn't it?

Hugh,Well, for sta... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


Well, for starters, your second paragraph is as clear as mud. Are you saying that your answer to having a plan is "silly, meritless, banal...etc..."? I think you may want to clarify your point.

Second, you know the old saying that goes when assume something you make an ass out of "you" and "me"? Let's just say you make more of an ass of yourself in your assumption that I don't read the "other side" than you do of me. In fact, I read the "other side" daily (as I had NOT done before when I was registered memeber of the California Green Party and an avowed liberal well into the mid-90's). Just to inform you, my morning "ritual" includes reading the Seattle Times and PI (where I live), the SFChronicle, The WaPo and The NYTimes. Then I follow that up visits to The Nation (usally on Mondays when they decide to actually post new material), New Republic, Townhall.com, The Weekly Standard, NRO. All in all, not exactly tipped to the right side of the scale.

So, in short, your predicatably self-rigtheous, pandering, snotty, over-educated assumption sucks donkey balls. (See, I didn't even have to use the word 'insipid', that should make you happy. lol)

Peter, Peter:Can't... (Below threshold)

Peter, Peter:

Can't resist demonstrating that you know a few advectives can you? You should be damn proud of yourself.

By, the way you're way to smug and humorless to be anything but a winger. Liberal? You were 2 centimeters to the left of George Wallace before he converted?

We do need more force. But... (Below threshold)

We do need more force. But not in Iraq. We should kill Al-Sadr and his entire family. Leave no heirs to claim his Ayatollah rank. Then we should attack Syria and keep on going until we reach Beirut and the Golan Heights. Our goal shouldn't be to occupy, but instead to destroy as much as possible. Make an example of Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon that will remind the Islamic world of General Sherman's march from Atlanta to North Carolina and of Dresden, Hiroshima, Tokya etal. We should specifically target mosques as the HQ's of the enemy. And we shouldn't waste a second on helping anyone who isn't a Kurd. Leave them a wasteland for the various factions to fight over. And then withdraw our troops via Haifa and Beirut.

That should account for most of our troops in Iraq. Some we should leave in the Kurdish areas and perhaps a few in Kuwait.

But most important, our air force and navy should smash Iran. Again, mosques and govt. buildings should be destroyed. Not in the middle of night when only janitors lurk, but during the day when they are filled with our enemies. When they launch mass protests in the cities, we should bomb those protests. Let them find out what chanting "Death to America" really gets you. We should spend an hour or two destroying their naval and air forces. Clearly, we should attack every potential nuclear research site. And it wouldn't hurt to fund rebellion among the Kurds and other minorities. But most importantly, we should attack the source of Iran's power -- their oil fields. Set them ablaze, ruin their pipelines, turn their refineries into scrap metal, make their ports unusable. Iran, Saudi Arabia, etal. think that they can attack us at without consequences because of the oil weapon. It's time to prove to them that they're wrong. Best of all, let's make the Euros howl.

It's time to stop this PC garbage and bring back total war. We should have done this on 9/12/01, instead of this fruitless exercise to make Islam function with freedom, democracy and civilization. It's a religion for barbarians. Submission to Allah is incompatible with free will. And without free will, none of the above will ever succeed for more than a brief time in the Islamic world.

Peter F I'm not sure... (Below threshold)

Peter F
I'm not sure if your trying to be funny, misunderstood my points, or what. With some bloggers it is hard to tell at times. However just in case you were serious.
1a. A "P.C. war" can be fought and won. We shouldn't be fighting "the war" as a "P.C. war". The "P.C. War" deserves some consideration but shouldn't be anywhere near as much as a focus as it is now.

2a. Good and flexible ROE will prevent the enemy from using them for the purpose you stated.
2b. This has to be a joke on your part.

4. Another joke surely? The propaganda machine of the terrorist and MSM are already geared up and running. The U.S. Government and Military need to be engage in the propaganda front also.

Hugh, Hugh, you little piec... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Hugh, Hugh, you little piece of poo (there, now I'm at your humor level),

So instead of actually giving me credit for reading "the other side" or trying to refute me, you resort to a cheaply sarcastic sentence on my appropriate use of adjectives? Wow, yeah, gosh, whatever was I thinking! You're soooo right! I'm soooo smug. I'm the smuggiest smugger that ever smugged a smug! (Again, stooping to your level.)

Now back to regularly scheduled topic:
You still didn't answer the original question of "what's your plan?".

(P.S. I'm actually nationally funny. I've won awards for it. You've seen my work on TV. Want a hint? "That's great. But who are the "Chefs"?" Think: Candy bars.)

Wayne:1 and 2a wer... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


1 and 2a were not jokes.

But 2b and 4 were jokes. Filled with cheap sarcasm so Hugh could relate.

Peter FUnderstood. A... (Below threshold)

Peter F
Understood. As for Hugh, I suspect that he will always be part of the problem and not part of solution. I see problems with of the ideas that the conservatives' side comes up with including my own. However there are no perfect solutions but one needs to start somewhere or one will never go anywhere. The left just want to complain and/or feel they are so superior to the rest of the people that they don't have to explain themselves.

you're only reinforcing ... (Below threshold)

you're only reinforcing the charge that the left doesn't have a plan for Iraq other than to cut and run.

No amount of prose could convince you otherwise, so it's not even worth bothering. But that's not even the issue. I wouldn't claim the left necessarily has a better plan. But I will say this:

  • The current situation is not working, acknowledged by both the right and the left, except perhaps here. So the left at least will have a different plan.

  • No one serious on the left has ever proposed "cutting and running". This was a cheap election-time sound-bite thought up by Republicans, and you're proving yourself a mindless stooge by continuing to repeat it. You might as well call the right's strategy "stay and die" or "snooze and lose" with as much meaning. But you, of course, will stick to your childish little mottoes.

  • While you may not acknowledge that the left has a plan, tell me... what is the right's plan? "Democracy on the march" and "as they stand up, we'll stand down" are not plans. I have never heard Bush put forth a credible plan. What is Bush's plan? Is it to establish an Iraqi government across the whole country? And to get the civil war and sectarian violence under control? If so, the right acknowledges that's impossible. What else does he got?

Well, actually i do see mys... (Below threshold)

Well, actually i do see myself as part of the solution. i exercise my right to vote at every election. I expect to be a part of a major solution in 2008. Yipee, I can't wait.

I just don't like to "play" at being the CIC or Secty of State as do so many on this site, including of course my friends Peter and Mitchell.

By the way the CIC can't decide if he wants more or less or shorter or longer. Not a good place for "The Decider". What's your take(s) on that playmates?

Hughie you still got shit f... (Below threshold)

Hughie you still got shit for brains and after reading some of you posts the turd can't be very big.

HughGetting out and ... (Below threshold)

Getting out and voting in an election is your idea of a solution for the war on terrorism? The next time the President comes to the military for some solutions we can tell him "I plan to vote the next election" or the next time the press ask the President what his solutions is he can say the same thing. Just admit it. The truth is you don't have a clue. You are just bashing the President for the sake of bashing.

Wayne ;The questio... (Below threshold)

Wayne ;

The question to me was did "I" have a solution to the war in Iraq. Of course I don't have a solution. And any nit here who claims he does is a fool. How can one have a solution to a problem unless one has access to all of the available information regarding the problem. Certainly no nit on this site has such information. yet they love to pontificate "solutions" and made utterly stupid statements that the left offers no solutions. The people from the left who are offering "solutions" are ones with knowledge about the problem.

Easy for right wing ideologues to claim to have answers, most of which are based on a political ideology or their xenophobic view of the middle east.

So, for me, the solution is whom should I vote for after I have heard and studied what their positions are and upon what those positions are based.

Voting, by the way, is the principal tool of members of a democratic society. I use that tool and don't pretend I have answers to problems like how to conduct wars. That said, any honest observer would admit Bush has no plan whatsoever at this point in time.

Tom Tomorrow's cartoon this... (Below threshold)

Tom Tomorrow's cartoon this week pretty much hits the nail on the head.

HughYou admit that y... (Below threshold)

You admit that you don't have enough information to make an inform decision yet you claim you "know" that no one else here has the solution. Maybe someone here knows a bit more knowledge than you think or maybe they just getting lucky in their guessing. Also maybe they are trying to brainstorms different possibilities. Sometime the best ideas come from people who don't know what they are talking about. Open discussion about possible solutions can be eye opening not only on possible solution but also for understanding what actually is going on.

Having all available information does not mean one has all the information there is. Most of the time it is physically impossible to study all the data that is available. In the end everyone should try to expand their knowledge as much as possible and must go on the information they have including intelligence agency and the CIC.

Isn't it hard to know who the best person to elect is if you look at policies that you don't have a decent understanding of. I suppose you go off of personality and philosophy. Yes, in the end one must rely much on the elected representative but should not follow them blindly.

I've seen and work with many so call expert with experience that I have found out to be total idiots. In the end I had to judge a person competence with what that person was able to do with the knowledge and experience they had. Often I found some to be much more competent with far less data and experience.






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