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  #51  
Old November 26th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

<sigh> Do you realize what federalizing your Hawaii NG is doing to your own health and safety in Hawai'i? The feds "took back" their helicopters that were on loan to the HING (for emergency airlifts) for use in Iraq. Therefore, unless the State comes up with a way to pay for an air transport (Medevac) service which you guys were getting for free from the NG, anybody critically injured in a highway accident on the North Shore better hope that ambulance is going to make it to the hospital in time through all the traffic congestion. If the HING troops who are still in Hawai'i have to help you during a natural disaster, would they have the heavy equipment that might be needed to help clear debris. Nope...all of that is going to Iraq.

At one point, the NG comprised more than a fifth of all US personnel posted in Iraq; the numbers are now down to about 19% reserve. That's a whole lot of people carrying and wearing equipment left over from the Vietnam War! And that number might have to go back up again if we continue our current course or unless we reinstitute a draft.

IF the NG is supposed to be sent to the front lines in those large numbers, then the government should train and equip these reservists the same way that they train and equip regular Army troops. These reservists also have lives away from the military---they have jobs they have to leave behind with no guarantee that they will be able to come back to their old jobs when they return, even though the government supposedly "guarantees" it. When the NG goes on active duty, they get way fewer benefits (health care insurance coverage, etc) than active duty personnel. They are treated as second class citizens in every way by the DoD.

That particular NG case I cited is just one woman's story. I have no idea why she didn't choose to work directly for TSA (maybe she signed up for the NG in 2001, before we invaded Iraq, and felt she wanted to do her patriotic duty but didn't want to give up a job that she already had and she needed the extra income). That's not my point. My point is the Congress passed a $30 billion bill last session requiring us to build a fence to keep Mexican nationals from illegally entering our country. Whooptiidoo. That fence is never going to be built, and border states (like AZ and California) don't have enough border patrol agents to secure the border in the first place, and don't have the money to pay for hiring any more agents. Why can't the "citizen soldiers" be assigned to guard our own borders? There's a voluntary program in place now that sends some NG troops to augment border patrol agents in policing the AZ border. I think this would be a far better use of these soldiers than sending them off to a war zone, ill trained and equipped.

Miulang
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  #52  
Old November 26th, 2006, 06:59 PM
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GeckoGeek GeckoGeek is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
<sigh> Do you realize what federalizing your Hawaii NG is doing to your own health and safety in Hawai'i? The feds "took back" their helicopters that were on loan to the HING (for emergency airlifts) for use in Iraq.
Hmmm. Question. Who pays the NG? Without looking it up, I'll bet dollars to donuts it's the Feds. And you know about the golden rule - he who has the gold makes the rules. If the Feds are paying, they are doing it for a reason - and that's to be able to call up the NG as needed.

Maybe not to the front line, but into roles to assist. It's faster the bring up someone on new equipment, then to train them from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
That's not my point. My point is the Congress passed a $30 billion bill last session requiring us to build a fence to keep Mexican nationals from illegally entering our country. .. Why can't the "citizen soldiers" be assigned to guard our own borders? ... I think this would be a far better use of these soldiers than sending them off to a war zone, ill trained and equipped.
Hmmm. Took awhile to get to your point. Protecting our borders? Yeah, I can go for that. That's another hot button for a few people, but I'm fine with the idea.

However, the military needs help. It's got to come from somewhere. It sounds to me like this woman was trained in a specialty that wouldn't likely be used domestically. So, that's why she ended up where she did. Not sure how much say she had in what she was trained for.
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  #53  
Old November 26th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

Tnis whole NG thing gets curiouser and curiouser if you dig deeper (and can decipher ) what the rules are:
Quote:
(c) Duties Relating to Defense Against Weapons of Mass
Destruction.--(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), a Reserve on active
duty as described in subsection (a), or a Reserve who is a member of the
National Guard serving on full-time National Guard duty under section
502(f) of title 32 in connection with functions referred to in
subsection (a), may, subject to paragraph (3), perform duties in support
of emergency preparedness programs to prepare for or to respond to any
emergency involving--
(A) the use of a weapon of mass destruction (as defined in
section 12304(i)(2) of this title); or
(B) a terrorist attack or threatened terrorist attack in the
United States that results, or could result, in catastrophic loss of
life or property.

(2) The costs of the pay, allowances, clothing, subsistence,
gratuities, travel, and related expenses for a Reserve performing duties
under the authority of paragraph (1) shall be paid from the
appropriation that is available to pay such costs for other members of
the reserve component of that Reserve who are performing duties as
described in subsection (a).
(3) A Reserve may perform duties described in paragraph (1) only
while assigned to a reserve component rapid assessment element team and
performing those duties within the geographical limits of the United
States, its territories and possessions, the District of Columbia, and
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(4) Reserves on active duty who are performing duties described in
paragraph (1) shall be counted against the annual end strength
authorizations required by section 115(a)(1)(B) and 115(a)(2) of this
title. The justification material for the defense budget request for a
fiscal year shall identify the number and component of the Reserves
programmed to be performing duties described in paragraph (1) during
that fiscal year.
(5) A reserve component rapid assessment element team, and any
Reserve assigned to such a team, may not be used to respond to an
emergency described in paragraph (1) unless the Secretary of Defense has
certified to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the
Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives that that
team, or that Reserve, possesses the requisite skills, training, and
equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements.
(6) If the Secretary of Defense submits to Congress any request for
the enactment of legislation to modify the requirements of paragraph
(3), the Secretary shall provide with the request--
(A) justification for each such requested modification; and
(B) the Secretary's plan for sustaining the qualifications of
the personnel and teams described in paragraph (3)(B).
(d) Training.--A Reserve on active duty as described in subsection
(a) may be provided training consistent with training provided to other
members on active duty, as the Secretary concerned sees fit.
I blame the whole NG being deployed to Iraq fiasco on Rumsfeld.

Miulang

Last edited by Miulang; November 26th, 2006 at 07:29 PM.
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  #54  
Old November 26th, 2006, 10:51 PM
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GeckoGeek GeckoGeek is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
I blame the whole NG being deployed to Iraq fiasco on Rumsfeld.
And what if Rumsfeld had correctly assessed the troops needed? Wouldn't the NG be going in even sooner?
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  #55  
Old November 27th, 2006, 01:32 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

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Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
And what if Rumsfeld had correctly assessed the troops needed? Wouldn't the NG be going in even sooner?
We would still have invaded Iraq but we would either probably not still be there (public outcry to our soldiers being massacred in large numbers would necessitate a hasty retreat)...or the war would be costing us a whole lot more because we'd have to hire more mercenaries and foreign soldiers to fight our war.

Miulang

Last edited by Miulang; November 27th, 2006 at 01:49 PM.
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  #56  
Old November 27th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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TuNnL TuNnL is offline
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Wink Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
And what if Rumsfeld had correctly assessed the troops needed? Wouldn't the NG be going in even sooner?
The answer to your question is yes. We also probably wouldn’t still be there, and Rummy would still have a job as defense secretary.
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  #57  
Old November 30th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default The Iraq Study Group report

The Iraq Study Group, headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, came to a consensus last night over its recommendations. Those were "leaked" by the NYT, and calls for a "pullback" but doesn't define what that means, nor does it recommend setting a specific timeline for anything to happen.

To some people, this is just a ploy to give the President his way ("hell no, we're not leaving until we achieve victory---whatever that means").

Quote:
Under the recommendations of the commission, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), the emphasis of the U.S. military presence in Iraq would shift from fighting the insurgency and containing sectarian violence to backing up Iraqi security forces dealing with those problems.

This approach would place less emphasis on combat operations and more on logistics, intelligence and training and advising Iraqi units. Also, a large residual combat force would be required to protect all the personnel involved in those operations and to provide a security guarantee to the Iraqi government.

Thus, even if the combat forces were withdrawn, the person familiar with the group's thinking noted, the recommendation envisions keeping in Iraq a "substantial" U.S. military force.

Some people knowledgeable about the group's deliberations said it might be possible in a year or two to halve the U.S. military presence, to about 70,000 troops. Earlier reports that said that the group simply had decided to call for withdrawing combat forces from Iraq were "garbled," the source familiar with the panel's recommendations added. "It wasn't as specific as that, and it was a lot more conditional," he said. He declined to discuss those conditions.
I still think this is a "Go Big but Short While Transitioning to Long" strategy. And to keep the numbers of troops relatively stable without having to issue a draft, the Pentagon is planning on making the tours of duty of current active military troops and the National Guard longer and require additional rotations to Iraq.

Miulang

Last edited by Miulang; November 30th, 2006 at 03:01 PM.
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  #58  
Old December 5th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default 100,000 US contractors in Iraq

While we have 140,000+ military troops serving in Iraq, we also are paying some 100,000 US contractors to also be there, according to a military census of US contractors.

Quote:
The survey finding, which includes Americans, Iraqis and third-party nationals hired by companies operating under U.S. government contracts, is significantly higher and wider in scope than the Pentagon's only previous estimate, which said there were 25,000 security contractors in the country.

It is also 10 times the estimated number of contractors that deployed during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, reflecting the Pentagon's growing post-Cold War reliance on contractors for such jobs as providing security, interrogating prisoners, cooking meals, fixing equipment and constructing bases that were once reserved for soldiers.

...

In addition to about 140,000 U.S. troops, Iraq is now filled with a hodgepodge of contractors. DynCorp International has about 1,500 employees in Iraq, including about 700 helping train the police force. Blackwater USA has more than 1,000 employees in the country, most of them providing private security. Kellogg, Brown and Root, one of the largest contractors in Iraq, said it does not delineate its workforce by country but that it has more than 50,000 employees and subcontractors working in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. MPRI, a unit of L-3 Communications, has about 500 employees working on 12 contracts, including providing mentors to the Iraqi Defense Ministry for strategic planning, budgeting and establishing its public affairs office. Titan, another L-3 division, has 6,500 linguists in the country.

The Pentagon's latest estimate "further demonstrates the need for Congress to finally engage in responsible, serious and aggressive oversight over the questionable and growing U.S. practice of private military contracting," said Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who has been critical of the military's reliance on contractors.

About 650 contractors have died in Iraq since 2003, according to Labor Department statistics.
Just like they have with many jobs in this country, the Administration has decided that the best way to fight wars is to outsource them. Contractors get paid way more than the average soldier, too, which totally devalues the skill and patriotism of those who volunteer to be in the military.

If the Pentagon can't find the volunteers to get the job done, then they either had better request that the draft be reinstated, or make plans to get our troops home as soon as possible.

Miulang
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  #59  
Old December 10th, 2006, 03:43 AM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default The Iraq Study Group Report

Here is the complete text of the ISG report. The news is pretty grim, but I think this is the first time that a bipartisan group of officials has actually worked together to come up with something this comprehensive. Everyone who wants to understand the history and the players on the Iraqi side should read the first part of this report.

Quote:
The United States has made a massive commitment to the future of Iraq in both blood and treasure. As of December 2006, nearly 2,900 Americans have lost their lives serving in Iraq. Another 21,000 Americans have been wounded, many severely.

To date, the United States has spent roughly $400 billion on the Iraq War, and costs are running about $8 billion per month. In addition, the United States must expect significant “tail costs” to come. Caring for veterans and replacing lost equipment will run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Estimates run as high as $2 trillion for the final cost of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Despite a massive effort, stability in Iraq remains elusive and the situation is deteriorating. The Iraqi government cannot now govern, sustain, and defend itself without the support of the United States. Iraqis have not been convinced that they must take responsibility for their own future. Iraq’s neighbors and much of the international community have not been persuaded to play an active and constructive role in supporting Iraq. The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is diminishing. Time is running out.
While I agree with most of the recommendations, the one I disagree with strongly is allowing non-Iraqi interests ("international energy companies") to buy into the Iraqi oil industry. We should be offering technical assistance, but we should not allow the Exxons of the world to control that oil (the control of oil is what got us into this mess in the first place).

Quote:
RECOMMENDATION 63:
• The United States should encourage investment in Iraq’s oil sector by the international community and by international energy companies.
• The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise, in order to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
• To combat corruption, the U.S. government should urge the Iraqi government to post all oil contracts, volumes, and prices on the Web so that Iraqis and outside observers can track exports and export revenues.
• The United States should support the World Bank’s efforts to ensure that best practices are used in contracting. This support involves providing Iraqi officials with contracting templates and training them in contracting, auditing, and reviewing audits. [RED FLAG: We'd better not let companies like Halliburton be the ones to teach Iraqis what best practices are ]
• The United States should provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Oil for enhancing maintenance, improving the payments process, managing cash flows, contracting and auditing, and updating professional training programs for management and technical
personnel.
Miulang
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  #60  
Old December 10th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default $17 billion backlog in refurbing equipment

With the continued heavy usage and extreme conditions that the equipment our troops are using in Iraq and Afghanistan causing problems, and the unwillingness of Congress to allocate more funds to pay for repairing or replacing the equipment, the DoD finds itself with a $17 billion backlog of equipment that needs to be repaired before it can be sent back to be safely used by our troops.

To make up for equipment shortages in the field, much of the equipment used to train troops prior to deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan is being shipped over there, which means that troops gearing up to go to Iraq cannot be adequately trained prior to their deployment.

Quote:
The Army and Marine Corps have sunk more than 40 percent of their ground combat equipment into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to government data. More than an estimated $17 billion worth of military equipment is destroyed or worn out each year, blasted by bombs, ground down by desert sand and used up to nine times the rate as in times of peace. The gear is piling up at depots such as Anniston, waiting to be repaired.

The depletion of major equipment such as tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and especially helicopters and armored humvees has left many military units in the United States without adequate training gear, officials say. Partly as a result of the shortages, many U.S. units are rated "unready" to deploy, officials say, raising alarm in Congress and concern among military leaders at a time when Iraq strategy is under review by the White House and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
...Across the military, scarce equipment is being shifted from unit to unit for training. For example, a brigade of 3,800 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division that will deploy to Iraq next month has been passing around a single training set of 44 humvees, none of which has the added armor of the humvees they will drive in Iraq.
We shouldn't be sending our troops into harm's way without preparing them adequately or equipping them with enough good gear to keep them safe.

Miulang
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  #61  
Old December 11th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Reservists treated like second class citizens

This another one of those things that really fries me...Reservists realize, when they sign up, that they might be called up to active duty at any time. Most Reservists have full time jobs, families to support, bills to pay. When they go on active duty, their jobs (or at least comparable positions) are supposed to be protected until they return.

This is not what is happening to many returning Reservists and Guardsmen:

Quote:
The number of reservists and National Guard members who say they have been reassigned, lost benefits or been fired from civilian jobs after returning from duty has increased by more than 70 percent over the past six years.

The sharp spike in complaints brought to the U.S. Labor Department reflects the extensive use of part-time soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest call-up of reserves since the 1950-53 Korean War.

About 500,000 of the 850,000 reservists and National Guard members eligible for duty have been mobilized since late 2001, said Maj. Rob Palmer, spokesman for a Pentagon office that tries to resolve job disputes.

...Those numbers don't reflect all the servicemen and women with problems. Many of the cases are settled before they get to the Labor Department.

The Pentagon received more than 8,000 complaints this year, nearly double the previous year, but most were resolved without further government action, Palmer said. Complaints range from being fired, losing chances for promotion or being reassigned to jobs with less pay or responsibility.
These veterans deserve better treatment than they are receiving today. They deserve full benefits and job security. They need to be assured that after they have served their duty to the US, that their rights as individual citizens have been protected. They should not have to serve 2 or 3 deployments, which totally disrupts their lives and their livelihood.

Miulang
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  #62  
Old December 13th, 2006, 09:24 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Angry Damned if we do, damned if we don't

While a vast majority of American citizens disapprove of our continued involvement in Iraq, as does a good portion of the Iraqi population, another monkeywrench has been thrown into the equation. There are now reports coming out of Saudi Arabia that that country's sheikhs read the riot act to VP Cheney when he visited that country a couple of weeks ago. In essence, Saudi King Abdullah has been reported as telling the VP that if the US pulls out of Iraq, Saudi Arabia (a Sunni country) will start sending money to the Sunni insurgents in Iraq to help even the score against the current Iraqi government, which is predominantly Shia.

Thank you, Mr. President and Vice President, for putting us between a rock and a hard place with your foreign policies. We're now stuck in the middle of a civil war with no possible way to be victorious. Could this veiled threat by the Sheik be the main reason why the President is postponing the announcement of his new strategies for Iraq until after the new year?

Miulang
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  #63  
Old December 14th, 2006, 12:23 AM
waioli kai
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Default Re: Damned if we do, damned if we don't

.
Miulang== " Thank you, Mr. President and Vice President, for putting us between a rock and a hard place with your foreign policies. We're now stuck in the middle of a civil war with no possible way to be victorious. Could this veiled threat by the Sheik be the main reason why the President is postponing the announcement of his new strategies for Iraq until after the new year? "
Perhaps Junior is anticipating another bountiful season of prayers for his success in military adventures (aka crimes) for Israel and Corporate America. From his perspective: 'Why not take advantage of all those prayers between now and next year? Another 100 American soldiers dead, 1000 maimed/wounded and, 1000 dead Iraqi civilians, 4000 wounded...can't be helped, would be happening anyway....God Bless America and me, their President.'

Last edited by waioli kai; December 14th, 2006 at 12:30 AM.
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  #64  
Old December 15th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Terrorism documents from the US War College

I was rooting around the Internet and stumbled across the website of the US War College (where they train military leaders both for the US and other countries). One of the documents I discovered was one on terrorism and all of its facets. This is fascinating reading if you really want to learn how the US military is training its troops to indentify and handle terrorists.

Miulang
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  #65  
Old December 15th, 2006, 08:42 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Reservist families need to keep track of this

In testimony yesterday, the Chief of Staff of the Army stated that due to our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the size of the Army has to be increased significantly:

Quote:
In particularly blunt testimony, Schoomaker said the Army began the Iraq war "flat-footed" with a $56 billion equipment shortage and 500,000 fewer soldiers than during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Echoing the warnings from the post-Vietnam War era, when Gen. Edward C. Meyer, then the Army chief of staff, decried the "hollow Army," Schoomaker said it is critical to make changes now to shore up the force for what he called a long and dangerous war.

"The Army is incapable of generating and sustaining the required forces to wage the global war on terror . . . without its components -- active, Guard and reserve -- surging together," Schoomaker said in testimony before the congressionally created Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.

...The Army, which had 482,000 soldiers in 2001, plans to grow temporarily to 512,000. But the Army now seeks to make that increase permanent and to continue increasing its ranks by 7,000 or more a year, Schoomaker said. He said the total increase is under discussion.

...The Army estimates that every 10,000 additional soldiers will cost about $1.2 billion a year, up from $700 million in 2001 in part because of increased enlistment bonuses and other incentives. The Army will have to "gain additional resources to support that strategy," Schoomaker acknowledged.

...Army Reserve units now must take an average of 62 percent of their soldiers for deployments from other units, compared with 6 percent in 2002 and 39 percent in 2003, according to the Army data. In one transportation company, only seven of 170 soldiers were eligible to deploy. The other 163 came from 65 other units in 49 locations, said the commission chairman, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, who quoted a Marine Reserve officer as calling the policy "evil."

...Since 2001, the Army Guard has deployed 186,000 soldiers and the Army Reserve 164,000 soldiers for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and in homeland-defense missions.
Without reinstitution of the draft and with a prolonged commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan, this means that Reservists might have to serve more than one tour and serve for longer periods of time on active duty.

Miulang
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  #66  
Old December 15th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default A simple way to win the war in Iraq

This powerpoint presentation was created to show how to win the war by Capt. Travis Patriquin who was stationed in Al Anbar Province, which is the deadliest part of Iraq for US forces. (use your --> key to advance the slides)

Quote:
In a military known for its sleep-inducing, graphically dizzying PowerPoint presentations, the young captain's presentation, which has been unofficially circulating through the ranks, stands out. Using stick figures and simple language, it articulates the same goal as the president's in Iraq.
Sadly, the promising young Capt. died in combat in Al Anbar Province last Wednesday.

Miulang
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  #67  
Old December 17th, 2006, 01:13 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Angry This is sooooo wrong!

I blame the White House and the Pentagon for allowing our troops to be ill prepared, both in training and equipment, for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everytime one of our troops is killed by an IED, an RPG or a sniper, their blood is on the hands of Dick Cheney, George Bush and the military leaders in the Pentagon who allowed mismanagement and botched strategic planning to cause our Army to become so gutted and unable to do their jobs.

And most of all, I blame Donald Rumsfeld who, as a private citizen now, should be put on trial for crimes against humanity (the people of Iraq and our own soldiers). You don't go to war without being prepared. We've spent billions of taxpayer dollars already on Iraq and Afghanistan, only to find out now that what we've sent there is woefully inadequate (or has been frittered away by giving most of it to contractors like Halliburton and Dynacorp). I really really hope the Democratic Congress does do some serious investigating of where all our taxpayer dollars went and that someone is made to pay for its mismanagement.

Quote:
Many of the troops don't even know the basic ethnic makeup of the largely Sunni city. "We haven't spent as much time as I would like on learning the local culture, language, and politics - all the stuff that takes a while to really get good at," says Lt. Col. Clifford Wheeler, who commands one of the brigade's 800-soldier units.

Instead, the troops are learning to use equipment that commanders say they should ideally have been training with since the spring. Many soldiers only recently received their new M-4 rifles and rifle sights, which are in short supply because of an Army-wide cash crunch. Some still lack their machine guns or long-range surveillance systems, which are used to spot insurgents laying down roadside bombs. They've been told they'll pick up most of that when they get to Iraq.

...

It may seem hard to believe that a country which allocated $168 billion to the Army this year - more than twice the 2000 budget - can't cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the two pillars of the Army, personnel and equipment - both built to wage high-tech, firepower-intensive wars - are under enormous stress:

The cost of basic equipment that soldiers carry into battle - helmets, rifles, body armor - has more than tripled to $25,000 from $7,000 in 1999.

The cost of a Humvee, with all the added armor, guns, electronic jammers and satellite-navigational systems, has grown seven-fold to about $225,000 a vehicle from $32,000 in 2001.

The cost of paying and training troops has grown 60 percent to about $120,000 per soldier, up from $75,000 in 2001. On the reserve side, such costs have doubled since 2001, to about $34,000 per soldier.

At Fort Knox, Ky., the cash crunch got so bad this summer that the Army ran out of money to pay janitors who clean the classrooms where captains are taught to be commanders. So the officers, who will soon be leading 100-soldier units, clean the office toilets themselves.

"The cost of the Army is being driven up by (Iraq and Afghanistan). That's the fundamental story here," says Brig. Gen. Andrew Twomey, a senior official on the Army staff in the Pentagon. The increased costs are "not from some wild weapons system that is off in the future. These are costs associated with current demands."
Miulang
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  #68  
Old December 23rd, 2006, 02:12 AM
OSfllwr OSfllwr is offline
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Post Delusional cooperation

The things in Iraq took yet another wrong turn when Bush forced Maliki to meet him in Jordan. The meeting did not help Republicans in the elections, but broke the Iraqi coalition. The faction of Shiite cleric al-Sadr walked out of the government coalition, as promised, because of the meeting.

No one in Iraq has a slightest doubt that Maliki is an American quisling. That’s ok with the people. In Muslims countries, rulers are not expected to represent population; the US and the Qaeda each tries to change that. Muslims are very extroversive and value fac,ade and rituals. Maliki could be a puppet, but he should behave like a tiger – Iraqi tiger. At least, Maliki managed to skip social meeting with Bush and Jordanian King Abdullah (Olmert ignored Arab mentality and met Abdullah several times, a PR disaster).

If that attention to rituals looks silly to rational Americans, it probably is. But that’s how it works in the region. To reach an agreement with Iraqis – rather than simply punish the Baathist state – the US negotiators would have to sit hours and days with various Iraqis, both bureaucrats and radicals, drinking super-sweet Iranian tea, chain-smoking on par with their opponents and talking, talking, and talking. That might or might not bring the desired results, but no other approach could deliver a stable, moderate, US-friendly Iraq.

To please his American masters, Maliki brought together fictitious coalition. Its Shiite faction does not include al-Sadr’s group, the main Shiite organization. It includes only a minor Sunni party, also non-representative. The coalition is advertised as moderate, but listen to the names: Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party (sectarians), the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (sic) in Iraq, and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (separatist organization, as the name makes clear).

The coalition is meant to squeeze Sadr out of politics. He would indeed go – into the urban battlefields. Sadr could show himself a good Muslim, promise to step down the fighting – and use the truce to train his forces. He needs time to grow the Mahdi gang into an army.

Sistani’s approval won’t cement the coalition. He is merely a religious authority. Religious power in Islam is very dispersed because every cleric and theoretically every Muslim could pronounce fatwas. People go along with famous clerics insofar as they opportunistically serve the mob’s wishes. Sistani cannot afford to condemn fighting the Sunnis, thus his blessing of the coalition could only be half-hearted. Moreover, Shiite militia includes few fundamentalists who would blindly obey Sistani. They are common guerrillas who only superficially subscribe to religion or ideology. They fight for the sake of killing. Their loyalty is with Sadr. Iran – al-Sadr’s sponsor – does not care about Iraqi Shiite bosses such as Sistani. Civil war in Iraq suits Iranian national interest: strong and hostile neighbor turns into protectorate.

Iran, not Sadr is the problem, but Sadr handsomely contributes to the situation. Oddly, the US loses its soldiers, kills Iraqis and allows still larger numbers to die in the conflict while al-Sadr, who orchestrates much of the violence, lives in safety. Why not assassinate him?

The White House PR people offended the common sense when they staged Robert Gates’ meeting with a dozen of handpicked soldiers who assured him that the army is on the right track.
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 01:15 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: Delusional cooperation

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Originally Posted by OSfllwr View Post
The White House PR people offended the common sense when they staged Robert Gates’ meeting with a dozen of handpicked soldiers who assured him that the army is on the right track.
Yes, it's ironic that the media really played up that visit while downplaying the fact that many of the Generals in charge of the Iraq occupation (and seasoned veterans of war like Gen. Colin Powell) have publicly expressed doubt that sending in a large force of troops temporarily would do anything but exacerbate the problem of Sunni vs Shia infighting.

What's fishy about the whole thing now is, prior to Gates' officially taking over as Sec of Deeefence last week, the top leaders in charge of the war, namely Gens Abazaid and Pace, both publicly declared their doubt. This morning, however, they seem to have changed their minds. So what happened? Did they cave in to the President because he is, after all, their boss? With their minds being changed, it paves the way for the Prez to announce that he will order more troops to Iraq early next year. In the meantime, the Selective Service Agency conveniently decided that now was the time to fire up the old Selective Service computers to test out its capability to call up 100,000 young men. They claim that the test would probably not happen until 2009 and does not mean that a draft is imminent. Pray tell where, then, are they going to find 100,000 volunteers without bankrupting this country? One of the reasons why the occupation is costing so much is because the cost of recruitment is skyrocketing...some recruits are being paid $40k up front just to sign on the dotted line. Imagine if each of 100,000 volunteers had to be paid $40k to wear an Army or Marine uniform...that's $400,000,000 .

Meanwhile, the American death toll in Iraq approaches 3,000...which is more than the number of people killed at the World Trade Center. And the attack on the WTC had nothing whatsoever to do with fighting the war on terrorism (even the White House admits this now).

Miulang

P.S. al Maliki is buds with al Sadr. Al Sadr is buds with the Iranian government. The US refuses to engage in direct dialogue with Ahmadinejahd. The Iranian gov. is helping fund the Shia insurgency. Ahmadinejahd appears not to be so popular with the Iranian electorate as some members of his political party lost their elections last week. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni majority country (as are most other Middle Eastern countries) and our "friend" is threatening to help fund the Sunni insurgency if we pull out of Iraq. The US has no business being in the middle of a civil war.

Last edited by Miulang; December 23rd, 2006 at 02:05 PM.
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  #70  
Old December 26th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

One proposal to increase the number of recruits for the Army and the Marines that is quietly getting some consideration is allowing more foreign nationals to enlist and using the promise of expedited citizenship as a way to get more of them to sign on the dotted line. Another form of outsourcing our war?

Quote:
Foreign citizens serving in the US military is a highly charged issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans' willingness to serve in uniform.

The idea of signing up foreigners who are seeking US citizenship is gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon, while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that enter the United States legally each year.
Miulang
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Old December 29th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

-- Saddam Hussein's execution will take place before 6:00 a.m. Saturday local time (10:00 p.m. Friday ET), Munir Haddad, a judge on the appeals court that upheld the former dictator's death sentence, told CNN.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 06:07 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

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-- Saddam Hussein's execution will take place before 6:00 a.m. Saturday local time (10:00 p.m. Friday ET), Munir Haddad, a judge on the appeals court that upheld the former dictator's death sentence, told CNN.
I dunno about that. All day there have been conflicting reports coming out of Iraq about whether or not Saddam had been turned over to the Iraqi government. If he isn't executed by late tonight our time, the next time he could be executed would after Eid was over, which is sometime next week.

What I am pretty sure is that his demise will cause even more problems for our troops in Iraq.

Miulang
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Old December 29th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

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I dunno about that. All day there have been conflicting reports coming out of Iraq about whether or not Saddam had been turned over to the Iraqi government. If he isn't executed by late tonight our time, the next time he could be executed would after Eid was over, which is sometime next week.
Yeah - I've been checking news sites all day, following the back-and-forth reports. This is the latest I'd gotten - interesting that, if it happens, it would be just in time for the end of the day newscasts in the US; of course, there's even debate amongst Sunnis/Shiites as to when Eid even begins, though one high-ranking official said that is would be irrelevant to Saddam himself, stating that "he (Hussein) is neither Sunni nor Shiite; he is not Muslim."
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What I am pretty sure is that his demise will cause even more problems for our troops in Iraq.
But of course; there's little left that can be done in Iraq that WON'T cause more problems, at this point (thank you Mr. President.) More Americans have now died in this conflict than those killed on 9/11 - and Hussein wasn't responsible for those horrific attacks. Remind me again...why are we still there? Better yet, why did we go in to Iraq in the first place? Oh, right - Saddam Hussein tried to kill Dumbya's daddy; good reason to send 3000 more Americans to their early graves.
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  #74  
Old December 29th, 2006, 09:15 PM
damontucker damontucker is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

SADDAM IS DEAD!!!

I'll toast to that!
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  #75  
Old December 29th, 2006, 09:26 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

It's gonna be a great new year.
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