Red White & Blue Hens

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Explaining the next 75 days in Iraq

Here is an excerpt from David Ignatius' Column in the Washington Post:
"Ask the generals and colonels who are running the war in Iraq what really worries them, and it's rarely a military problem. "We haven't lost a platoon in combat! We haven't lost a skirmish!" explodes one general when describing a recent poll that reported a majority of Americans think we are losing the war"
Read the rest of it, it's very helpful for explaining the importance of the next few months in Iraq

3 Comments:

  • At 1:58 AM, Blogger M. McKain said…

    "We haven't lost a platoon in combat! We haven't lost a skirmish!"

    I'm not denying the accuracy of that statement, but I have to say, it gave me chills. Though I'm sure it wasn't intentional, it could be taken straight from the Vietnam era; we didn't lose any major battles in that conflict either. I wasn't going to even make a comment, but someone else I was talking to read it and said the exact same thing, that it was eerily reminicent.

    Certainly for every similarity, there is an equal number of differences. Nevertheless, the administration must remain aware of public opinion and work to make it more positive if it wishes to complete the challenging task at hand. Iraq is not Vietnam, and it doesn't have to be. Unfortunatly, many signs indicate that the current leadership wishes to take us down a similar disasterous course by not being open and honest with the American people.

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger spence0422 said…

    I would argue that we lost quite a few battles and quite a few platoons in the war in Vietnam. During May '68 of the Tet Offenzive we had 1500 American soldiers killed, close to the amount of US servicemembers killed in combat in this entire 2.5 year war in Iraq. Yet we were still winning the ground war overall, but at a major cost to the Military and the Nation. The fact is that we are in a much better situation in Iraq, in that we are not losing 200,300,400,500 a week, but maybe 8 or 10 a week in Iraq. Whie each one of those deaths are a personal tradgedy for relatives and friends of the deceased (I know a few), overall the numbers of causalties are insignifacant in terms of fighting and winning a war. Also, the general said skirmish, not major battles, and the fact is we win every battle, and local setbacks are followed by the retaking and pacification of an area. The US military will win this war, as long as the servicemembers feel that the people they are fighting for, Us, let them know the we think they can do it. On top of all that, the politcal situation is continuing to include more and more people in the process. With close to 80% registration rates in some Sunni cities, their mentality is changing from choosing bombs to forward their interests, to choosing ballots.

     
  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger M. McKain said…

    As I said, there are certainly as many differences as similarities between the two conflicts. I guess the connection I saw was that a vast majority of casualties, deaths included, in both conflicts resulted not from major battles but from "cheap shot" attacks/ambushes, etc. - unfortunately, this kind of thing can have a net demoralizing effect on the soldiers. I hope that's not the case this time around.

    Other major differences are key, and I should have mentioned them in my other post. For one, the percent of soldiers who die from their injuries is way down, I believe to around 10% as opposed to almost 25% in Vietnam (I read a Slate article about it). Obviously the draftees vs. regulars/reserves is a major difference. The list goes on and on - I didn't mean to over-generalize about the similarities. I just hope the current administration takes notes from the lessons of history and doesn't repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. Public opinion towards Iraq is already dangerously low, and there is a lot at stake for the nation as a whole, not just any one party or individual President.

     

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