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  1. cardio's Avatar
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    #101  
    BARYE, this is very typical of your viewpoints and how you want a discussion to go

    We have had peace keeping successes -- Bosnia, Kosovo, Germany, Japan, the Sinai desert, and the Clinton operation in a Haiti. (I don't want to hear anyone attack the Clinton Haiti deployment).

    You come in and try to lay down the rules (I don't wnat to hear anyone attack the Clinton Haiti deployment). How is this any different than any other deployment? If somone disagrees with it then they can argue about it. Sheesh some people.
  2.    #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    BARYE, this is very typical of your viewpoints and how you want a discussion to go

    We have had peace keeping successes -- Bosnia, Kosovo, Germany, Japan, the Sinai desert, and the Clinton operation in a Haiti. (I don't want to hear anyone attack the Clinton Haiti deployment).

    You come in and try to lay down the rules (I don't wnat to hear anyone attack the Clinton Haiti deployment). How is this any different than any other deployment? If somone disagrees with it then they can argue about it. Sheesh some people.

    Cardio -- I was being semi-sarcastic both because I know it would be a controversial mention -- and obviously outside this thread.

    But if you want ...

    there was a lengthy period -- for Haiti anyway -- of calm after the "General" Cedras' coup govt was replaced by Aristide -- who was the true democratically choosen leader.

    Our troops never got ensnared in combat, I don't think any died there.

    Haiti continues to be a mess - and Clinton's successor was surely less interested in Haiti.

    I don't know much beyond this -- though I have heard many talk about our enabling a coup against Aristide.

    They have had a brutal historic legacy -- the Haitian paople deserved better -- but I fear Haiti seems unrepairable ...
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  3. #103  
    Barye
    All I was saying is that hindsight is 20-20.

    The military used the only available intel (and yes, it was bad intel) to make assessments about deploying forces in Iraq, as well the decisions to dismantle the existing power structure. The reality has turned out to be different and they have adapted to changing circumstances. And you will always find enough people who say "I told you so" when things go wrong.

    As for going forward - I am still hopeful that we can still get other allies (EU and Russia) to help out. I am less optimistic whether the american public will allow the Prez to stay the course. There is too much politicking and vitriol (and the left is just as bad as the right) and too little of trying to do the right thing.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  4.    #104  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    Barye
    All I was saying is that hindsight is 20-20.

    The military used the only available intel (and yes, it was bad intel) to make assessments about deploying forces in Iraq, as well the decisions to dismantle the existing power structure. The reality has turned out to be different and they have adapted to changing circumstances. And you will always find enough people who say "I told you so" when things go wrong.

    As for going forward - I am still hopeful that we can still get other allies (EU and Russia) to help out. I am less optimistic whether the american public will allow the Prez to stay the course. There is too much politicking and vitriol (and the left is just as bad as the right) and too little of trying to do the right thing.

    cool --

    I feared you had taken my snarly caffeine induced (at least enhanced ) tone personally -- truth is I very much appreciate anyone who's willing to participate in a discussion (but especially you and Hobbess !! )
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  5. #105  
    For the most part, Chill expressed my point of view very well. I have posted several times in other threads that you have to look at the situation with what we knew at the time of the decision, not what we know now (with the possible exception of later discovered knowledge about motivations that influenced the decisions of the time). This is always challenging and can become confusing when conducting Monday Night Quarterback with such a complicated event.

    We need to seperate current political opinions and biase and look at that what was happening, what we knew, what we did not know, outside and inside influences (along with their motivations), public opinion, ect... all from that time, not now.
  6.    #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    No doubt familiar with my tactical expertise with artillery and my exploits in conquering europe , you guys think I might have some "expert wisdom" to share. (no more joking...)

    O.K. -- lets have a wide ranging discussion of what should be done to improve our military.

    Part 1 (Iraq Micro)

    lets start with the immediate problem of our soldiers dying daily in Iraq because they were not equipped with the armour their mission required. (Or as Rumy confided – “you go to war with the army you have, not the army you would have wanted.”)

    Premise:

    We went to war at a time and place of our choosing – it was foreseen by many to be conventionally easy, but potentially protracted and bloody. Junior, Rumy, Cheney, and the neo-cons anticipated perfection.

    They planned for a war where we’d be welcomed as liberators, the Iraqi oil revenues and aid from our allies would pay for the occupation, and our troops would be home or stationed on the permanent bases that the grateful Iraqis would grant us, after no more than a year.

    Within six months this fantasy was exploded.

    Most troops continued to ride in unarmoured Humvees for longer than a year after they began dying from IEDs.

    Truckers and convoy duty reservists had nearly no protection for almost 2 years. National Guard and ready reserve were forced to use “uparmour kits” – or DIY “hillbilly scrap” and sand bags, in a largely futile effort to protect themselves.

    Irregardless of the armour provided to the army & marine HMVs, they were – even after uparmouring them –- by design ill-equipped for direct combat and mine protection.

    Because of its flat unsloped base, the HMV absorbed the full effect of mines. Because it was not intended to be a heavily weighted armour vehicle it wears out quickly, and is notoriously unstable –- resulting in countless paralyzed soldiers injured from HMVs overturning.

    Suitable vehicles are made and were available for immediate purchase.

    One for example, is the S. African Mamba – designed from the ground up to be used in a mine-threatened environment. Its V-shaped underside deflects the power of an undersided explosion rather than concentrating it.

    “The design and composition of the hull provides protection to the vehicle’s occupants against the effects of anti-tank mines with charges equivalent to 14kg of TNT detonated under any wheel or 7kg of TNT detonated under the hull”



    It was criminally negligent to not get anything neccesary to protect these troops from the war they were in –- not the one Cheney , Rumy, junior, and the neo-cons fantasized about. This congress would have given any amount requested -– any emergency allocation for armour would have passed the same day it was asked for.

    This is unexcusable -- and unforgivable ...

    a few months ago we had a discussion here on the state of our military in Iraq --

    Over the last few days there have been several articles that reflect on ideas discussed in that thread.

    We spent a fair amount of time talking about the desperate need of our troops to have a vehicle suited to the environment that they're in -- an environment where an improvised explosive device (IED) takes the life or limb of an american soldier nearly every day.

    I mentioned in that thread a South African vehicle which was designed for exactly this type of warfare: The Mamba

    The NY Times and Wash. Post had articles this weekend that are kind of like are bookends to that discussion.

    2000 american lives too late, the Wash. Post Saturday talked about the successful deployment of a variation of that South African vehicle -- the Buffalo. It is still only available in modest numbers, and its used almost exclusively for mine search and clearance (where its design makes it particularly effective at protecting its occupants).

    Almost all US wheeled vehicles continue to be simple armored and up armored Humvees -- a vehicle whose design is especially vulnerable to IEDs.

    The NY times Sunday writes about how the new iraqi "army" is almost entirely bereft of any vehicle armor -- resulting in deaths far higher than which we have suffered. (This is due at least in part to the chronic corruption of that new Iraqi army.)

    And yesterday the NY Times wrote about how the Iraqis have begun to recruit the officers and army disbanded idiotically by Bremmer.

    2010 lives too late – and too late to make a difference – but they have begun to listen to me.


    Iraq Asks Return of Some Officers of Hussein Army

    By EDWARD WONG
    NY Times November 3, 2005

    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 2 - The Iraqi government called Wednesday for the return of junior officers from the disbanded army of Saddam Hussein, openly reversing an American directive issued in 2003.

    The move is aimed at draining the insurgency of recruits and bolstering the Iraqi security forces, Iraqi officials said.
    The Defense Ministry, with the support of the American military, has quietly recruited a few thousand former officers over the last 18 months. But this is the first time it has offered an open invitation to broad classes of former officers to rejoin the armed forces.

    ...With the announcement on Wednesday, any former officers up to the rank of major are eligible for reinstatement...

    ...the most public departure yet from an American policy instituted by L. Paul Bremer III, the former head of the American occupation, of cleansing the Iraqi government and security forces of former members of Mr. Hussein's Baath Party and disbanding the Iraqi Army.

    Many American commanders and military analysts have said the dissolution of the 400,000-member Iraqi Army in May 2003 drove many thousands of Sunni Arab soldiers and officers into the insurgency while depriving the country of a force that could help restore order. American and Iraqi officials now say a core part of the Sunni-led insurgency is made up of former members of Mr. Hussein's military...

    ...Both the Americans and the Iraqis have been retreating in stages from Mr. Bremer's original "de-Baathification" order since early 2004. But American and Iraqi officials said

    Wednesday's announcement was significant for several reasons.
    It not only explicitly extends an invitation to thousands more officers, but in symbolic terms, it also represents an official recognition of a practice under way for some time.

    Some senior American military officials said Wednesday that the announcement seemed aimed at Sunni Arab officers, relatively few of whom have rejoined the military. They added that the Iraqi Army was desperately short of midlevel officers.

    ...many American officers have acknowledged that it will be years before the Iraqi Army is capable of fighting the insurgency on its own. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in September that only one Iraqi battalion was then able to operate without the aid of the American-led forces...

    The disbanding of the Iraqi Army and the purging of former senior Baath Party members from government, both announced in May 2003 by Mr. Bremer, have been widely criticized as two of the worst policy blunders of the American occupation. Some Shiite leaders, especially Mr. Chalabi, strongly supported the moves and continue to advocate such purges.

    But Iraqi and American officials began in 2004 to roll back the changes. Mr. Bremer himself announced in April 2004 that the American administration wanted to encourage the return of teachers, engineers and others who had joined the Baath Party simply for professional advancement.

    Well before the Wednesday announcement, the Defense Ministry had been recruiting former officers to work in commando units and other forces. There have been examples, though, of insurgents infiltrating the new Iraqi units.


    Where the IEDs Lie, the Buffalo Roams
    By Jackie Spinner
    Washington Post

    BAGHDAD -- The padded walls and bulletproof glass kept the sound of the world out as the crew of the Buffalo ambled down the highway at a grazing pace, examining litter.
    Boxes. Rags. Bags. Dead dogs. The American soldiers riding in the military's newest weapon against roadside bombs scrutinized everything they saw beneath their windows.

    "Hey, he says he sees a rag," Staff Sgt. Matthew Dzuricky, 28,
    of Erie, Pa., called out to his men in the Buffalo, a lumbering South African armored personnel carrier designed to withstand land mines. ...

    One of the most dangerous assignments in Iraq is now one of its most critical, as the U.S. military tries to deal with the growing threat of lethal roadside bomb attacks. The number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war hit 2,000 on Tuesday, and more than half of the soldiers killed in the last six months died from improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. Officials said three U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq on Thursday night by such bombs...

    At the center of their mission is the Buffalo, which rides on monster tires and has a steel retractable arm that can poke for potential roadside bombs at a 16-foot distance. Its V-shaped body rides much higher off the ground than a Humvee and is better able to withstand a bomb blast.

    "It's not invincible but it's better than the Humvee getting hit," Dzuricky said.

    The men who ride the Buffalo are well aware of the dangers of their mission. Among soldiers in Iraq, IEDs are one of the most feared insurgent weapons. Crude or sophisticated, the bombs explode in a deadly spray of shrapnel and fire. Most military convoys race at breakneck speeds down highways where roadside bombs are frequent. They steer around soda cans, craters, boxes, anything that could potentially be a bomb or hide a bomb...

    ..."It's dangerous being out here, but when you find something, you've cleared that road for somebody else," McCann said. "And it's not that bad. We get to ride in a great truck."

    Since Echo Company received its Buffalo and its new mission four months ago, the soldiers have found 24 IEDs, said Capt. Barrett Emenheiser, 28, the company commander. Six of the bombs have gone off, including two in which the Buffalo took a direct hit. The windows and sides of the vehicle were damaged and the tires blew out, but none of the passengers was seriously injured...

    ... Fliers have appeared in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood instructing militants to "kill the Buffalo." When it rolls down the street at 5 to 10 miles per hour, passersby gawk...

    Gutierrez, driving in the RG-31, has firsthand experience with IEDs. He was driving a Humvee on a patrol on Sept. 21 in the Iraqi capital when a roadside bomb tore apart the right side of the vehicle. He recalled seeing smoke and assumed he was dead, "already in the clouds."

    Although no one was killed in this particular blast, all five passengers in Gutierrez's vehicles were injured, including the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Ronell Bradley, who lost his legs. Gutierrez had shrapnel wounds to his face, legs and head.

    Gutierrez said he was scared the first time he went back out looking for bombs after his Humvee was hit. But when the Buffalo patrol found three IEDs, two of them were detonated without injuries.


    Lack of Armor Proves Deadly for Iraqi Army
    By MICHAEL MOSS ny times

    After a string of deadly attacks against Iraqi forces in the spring, American soldiers in the Diyala Province northeast of Baghdad established an operation at their Army base to add armor to the unprotected open-bed trucks used by the Iraqis. But it is a meager enterprise: four Iraqi ironworkers armed with two welding torches and thin sheets of metal.

    ...if the Americans have faced an uphill battle in getting vital gear - their shortfalls continue to this day - then their Iraqi counterparts are confronting a herculean task

    ...the vast majority of Iraqis have neither armored nor unarmored Humvees, and are still having to navigate the booby-trapped roads of Iraq in pickup and flatbed trucks. The makeshift armoring operation started in the spring has managed to reinforce only about three dozen vehicles, leaving several hundred more still needing shields, according to American soldiers involved in the operation.

    Meanwhile, Iraqi deaths continue to mount, particularly in Diyala Province where American troops have been working since February to engage more Iraqi troops in the war. At least 209 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have been killed this year in the provincial capital, the vast majority of Iraqis have neither armored nor unarmored Humvees, and are still having to navigate the booby-trapped roads of Iraq in pickup and flatbed trucks. The makeshift armoring operation started in the spring has managed to reinforce only about three dozen vehicles, leaving several hundred more still needing shields, according to American soldiers involved in the operation.

    Meanwhile, Iraqi deaths continue to mount, particularly in Diyala Province where American troops have been working since February to engage more Iraqi troops in the war. At least 209 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have been killed this year in the provincial capital, ...

    ...The American officers attribute the higher Iraqi casualties partly to the lack of vehicle armor ...
    The Pentagon still has only one contractor in Ohio armoring the Humvees, and a backlog of orders for American troops that dates to the early months of the war has forced the Iraqi troops to the end of the line.

    ... most of their vehicles remained without armor. They said they had dedicated more than $100 million to fortify the trucks with steel plates and other shielding, but had left the effort to local military units and could not say how much had been accomplished...

    ...with the Defense Department still struggling to meet the needs of a much larger Iraqi Army, the Pentagon said in its report that the current force of 200,000 Iraqi soldiers and police officers would have to be expanded to 325,000 by 2007 to defeat the insurgency

    ... But the Iraqis were being thrust into the war faster than their American trainers could catch up, said officers with the Coalition Military Transition Team, a group working with Iraqi troops in the field.

    In Baquba, a company of 150 Iraqis struggled to man a ring of checkpoints that required a force of 1,000, Capt. Nick Jeffers, an Army intelligence officer, said at Forward Operating Base Gabe, the unit's headquarters in Diyala Province.
    "We've been screaming since we got here to get some relief," Captain Jeffers said.

    In interviews at their bases of operation and at meetings with American advisers, Iraqi officers said they had pleaded as well for more gear.

    At the Iraqi Army compound in the town of Kanan near Baquba, Maj. Jaafair Khilel Kather told a group of visiting American officers that his men needed more sophisticated radios like American troops used. He said his men were afraid to use their older-model radios because insurgents were able to break into their frequencies to yell, "We will kill you!"
    Contrasts and Casualties

    Iraqi Army and police casualties have risen in the Baquba area since the Americans began transferring military responsibility in February, climbing to 26 in September from 17 in February and averaging 24 deaths each month, with Americans losing an average of one soldier each month, according to United States Army figures.

    ...The delays in equipping Iraqi troops stem partly from troubles at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, which is still trying to find its footing after being created last summer in the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq. An independent audit by Iraqi officials found waste and possible fraud in connection with some of the $1 billion the ministry authorized for equipment. Helicopters acquired from Poland were too unsafe to fly, while poorly refurbished ambulances sit unused at a military depot in Taji, north of Baghdad. ...
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  7. cardio's Avatar
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    #107  
    The Iraqi gov't is starting to make it's own decisions, this is a good thing. They are bringing those officers who now have no loyalty to the old regime into service, a good thing. More Iraqi members joining the military than the Americans can train, a good thing. Looks like progress to me, of course you will have set-backs, but overall things are moving along. The Iraqi military realizes the need for sophicstaced vehicles, appropriate armor, and more sophisticated radios, all good things.
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