I am one who thought that going into Iraq with ground troops at the same time we were in Afghanistan, was a bad idea. I have since changed my mind. It was either a brilliant calculation or a fortunate mistake. I lean toward the latter.
Those who fight in Afghanistan say it is a hell hole. They say we could have committed all our troops to that one place and had twice the casualties with half the kills. As during the Afghan â€“ Russian war, all jihadists would have swarmed back to Afghanistan. As with that war, they would have had the advantage of the border and mountains and no rules of engagement. Assuming our goal is to kill as many jihadists as will stick up their heads, Iraq is a much better place to fight.
As for the WMD argument, it is not accurate to say that we found nothing. It is accurate to say that we did not find what we expected to find. It is also a fact that tons of WMD material identified by the UN are missing. There are many people having studied the available material, I among them, who believe that during our dink with the UN before going into Iraq, the material was moved. There is hard evidence of this, and testimony of same. Given the fact that the UN identified, but did not secure all of this material, it does kind of beg the question â€˜where is the stuff?â€™.
Death in war cannot be avoided. In this war, casualties have been minimal. In Iraq 1, we expected 50,000 casualties. In Iraq 2 we expected a minimum of 10,000. This was based on intel from arab countries that had been monitoring Saddams deployment of WMD, and believed we would be hit as we went into the country. It is not the loss rate that is the problem, but the slow bleed. If we had taken this many casualties and been done with this in a couple of months, no one would think anything of it.
Mistakes in war cannot be avoided. We have made our share. Among them are our rules of engagement. You cannot win a war quickly and decisively, if you canâ€™t kill people and break things. You cannot win if you are signed on to treaties and laws that the other side does not observe, while you do.
A report was written by two Chinese colonels on how to beat the US in war. Their conclusion (the RD version) was this: â€˜the technology of the US cannot be beaten in war; however, Americans are afraid to take casualties. To beat them, you need only find a way to kill a few thousand and they will quit.â€™
UBL drew the same conclusion from our past actions. We have become a nation of cowards in the eyes of the bad guys.
This is not an x-box game. There is neither a pause nor a reset button. This is, in the words of our enemy, a fight to the death. If they see it this way, how can we see it as less?