The Alternative War

I just read a couple of articles I stumbled across today when trying to find one of my own blog posts to reference in fact!

The first one has these things to note in it:

1. Vietnam was a battle in a war.
2. He lists the enemies in the last 3 wars (note that I have categorized these myself in message 666 rather than treat them as "suprising enemies that seem to pop up out of the blue for no known reason").
3. He says, as I do, that we weren't there to govern or provide security - just to do the minimum to allow the Iraqis to do that.
4. He explains that as an American, if Bush had filled mass graves, he would want a foreign invasion too.
5. He points out that people incorrectly assume that there was a better way of fighting the war than this very very low-cost one. War isn't like that.

Basically I agree with everything he said. Whenever I read things like this, I wonder how anyone can possibly argue with it, and sure enough, I went looking, and the Left manages to find some way of turning this into a reason why we should leave the Iraqi territory as a place on Earth for institutionalized rape/torture/murder/mutilation.

The second is this. Here, he explains what might have been, had the war been fought with sufficient troops to actually govern the country. Basically too expensive, and subject to a military coup or equivalent. Basically it's a tough slog to do what we needed to do. We needed to set up new security forces untainted by the past (and get the Iraqi people to truly believe that, which they do, because it's true). We needed to get those security forces trained along US lines. Not just so that they don't stage military coups. Not just so that they protect their citizens rather than harm them on a dictator's orders. But also to let them know that you don't win wars by having lots of brave men baring their chests. You win it with air-to-air missiles. So therefore it is pointless for them to waste their oil money on weapons they don't need with grand delusions of defeating Israel when they know they're never going to get the weapons they would need to do that.

Having said that, the "wham, bam, thankyou ma'am option" with 500,000 troops would work in most other scenarios anyway. There is nowhere else on earth, literally, where it is necessary to delicately replace a dictator with a democracy. We already have Chinese (Taiwan) democracies, Russian democracy (as poor as that may be), now we have Arab Muslims (Iraq), and we have African demoacracies. And Latin America. There is nowhere left for the claim to go out saying "xyz people can't handle democracy, they need a brutal dictator to keep them in line".

The sort of places where you would require forced governance are Gaza, Haiti, South Africa, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Rwanda. And if you want to use large forces in those countries, that's fine. Large forces were used in Germany and Japan too. It's mostly a waste of money though. You can achieve what needs to be achieved with small forces. Use valuable resources sparingly! But use them!!!

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