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Why Bush is losing the war on terror(13 posts)

Why Bush is losing the war on terrorMJ
Jan 13, 2004 1:52 AM

Bounding the Global War on Terrorism

Dr. Jeffrey Record

December 2003

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



The author examines three features of the war on terrorism as currently defined and conducted: (1) the administration's postulation of the terrorist threat, (2) the scope and feasibility of U.S. war aims, and (3) the war's political, fiscal, and military sustainability. He believes that the war on terrorism--as opposed to the campaign against al-Qaeda--lacks strategic clarity, embraces unrealistic objectives, and may not be sustainable over the long haul. He calls for downsizing the scope of the war on terrorism to reflect concrete U.S. security interests and the limits of American military power.
Sure, been watching from across the border: Bush is a Joke.Spunout
Jan 13, 2004 8:25 AM
I hope more Americans can understand this view, read and research without jumping on a jingoistic bandwagon to quarter any individual speaking outside of the nationalistic boundaries(O'Neil aside).
Jan 13, 2004 8:38 AM
it's not exactly a left wing source

it's just another example of Bush playing to the lowest common denominator and making some serious mistakes which aren't tenable in the long run
Jan 13, 2004 9:19 AM
"Losing" was having planes slam into buildings and killing thousands of people. I don't recall any domestic terrorism since 9/11. If results mean *anything*, we certainly are not losing.

didn't recall any for about 8 years prior either.rufus
Jan 13, 2004 10:03 AM
I love how you guys use that argument. "since we haven't had any more attacks on US soil, we must be winning".

i'm sure that sounded pretty reassuring in 1998 too.

sheesh, i'd expect better logic from you people, especially being lawyers and all.
i guess this doesnt count as winning...bill105
Jan 13, 2004 1:40 PM
as long as you keep moving the goal post, we wont win in your mind.

* Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning and are fully independent.

* By early last fall, the country's power generation was exceeding the prewar average.

* All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools. Coalition forces have rehabbed 1,500 schools and are running well ahead of schedule in this operation. Teachers, by the way, are earning 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

* All 240 hospitals and more than 1,200 clinics are open, and doctors' salaries far surpass what they were under Saddam. Also pharmaceutical distribution has gone from nothing to 12,000 tons. The coalition has helped administer millions of vaccinations to Iraqi children.

* A program has cleared more than half of the 27,000 kilometers of Iraq's weed-choked canals, which now irrigate tens of thousands of Iraqi farms. The project, according to the list, has provided jobs for as many as 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

* Most of the prewar telephone services and the potable water production have been restored.

* Some 95 percent of all prewar bank customers now have service, and there is a flood of first-time customers. Iraqi banks actually are making loans to finance business and for the first time in 15 years Iraq has a single, unified currency.

These are some of the more tangible aspects of the postwar occupation, if that is the proper term, on the list. There is ever so much more needed, and progress isn't easily come by.

The intangibles include a spirit of freedom in Iraq that hasn't existed in decades - freedom to practice religion without fear of reprisals -- majority Shiites particularly are beneficiaries; freedom to disagree or to oppose politically without fear of imprisonment or murder; freedom to conduct elections and business and participate in international events; freedom to select the type of education one's children receive and on and on.

On the military side of the equation, there are an estimated 60,00 Iraqis now helping to provide security despite setbacks in the training process and desertions.

This is not meant to diminish the volatility of the situation or to make this picture rosier than it is. The continuing threat to the lives of the coalition forces, both military and civilian, and to innocent Iraqi citizens who often are the victims of their overzealous countrymen makes the task daunting.

From all indications, weeding out and eliminating insurgents will require the presence of coalition forces, largely American and British, for an extended period. But, while that job is underway, there is, as the list of accomplishments claims, the gradual growth of a democratic underpinning that ultimately will succeed if given the chance.

That, of course, depends on the political climate here. Americans aren't a patient lot and daily death tolls aren't a way to correct that problem.

One can only hope that this nation's European allies, namely France and Germany, can view the accomplishments as reason to revise their opposition to participation in the reconstruction effort as long as the U.S. demands control. There seems little doubt, even among those of us who are unschooled in Middle East affairs, that success in building Iraq into a prosperous free state can only be good for the entire region.
it's telling you confuse Iraq with the war on terrorismMJ
Jan 14, 2004 5:20 AM
but Saddam Hussein/Iraq and terrorism are not linked in any way

read the link smart guy - if the US adventure in Iraq is pursued to its conlcusion what do you think is gonna happen

the entire point is that even if Iraq is "working" (there's plenty of evidence to counter your list) it is precisely why the war against terrorism will ultimately be lost

and just in case you've had your head buried in the freaking sand for the past decade we can review a few facts - Iraq didn't have WMD's, was in no position to threaten the US or anyone else and has never ever once been linked to supporting terrorism - the rather self-evident conclusion is that the US invasion was ill judged, not effective and ultimately a distaction from any real war on terrorism - which, unless OBL is currently secretrly residing at GITMO, remains long from over...

are you really this stupid and unquestioning in your flag waving support for the Bushies and other right wing fantasists? do you think Saddam was behind 9/11 too?

seriously where do you get your news People magazine?

it appears so
youre not worth my time, but...bill105
Jan 14, 2004 5:53 AM
i'll give you this gem, the war on terror is the war in iraq. educating you any further is not my responsibility. good bye.
pot, kettle, black...MJ
Jan 14, 2004 5:58 AM
please educate me with just one example of how Iraq was linked to terrorism? just one

and - even if your comment is true (which it isn't) - the link, which you clearly didn't read is pretty clear that Bush is pursuing the wrong approach in Iraq and in the war on terror - any comments re that smart guy?

I understand you may not want to continue this thread with any substantive comments - it's always difficult when you're wrong and having to make stuff up

go read some more People Magazine
It surely can't be won with the current tactics. nmSpunout
Jan 13, 2004 10:25 AM
short sightedMJ
Jan 13, 2004 10:44 AM
you may have won the battle - but the war is going to be lost if the current "strategy" is pursued to its conclusion

you gotta look at the big picture and what is actually sustainable

it appears you have not actually read the link or maybe failed to comprehended the points it makes - in short the current "strategy" is ineffective and not sustainable which therefore puts the US and others at a greater risk of terrorist actions in the long term
How do you measure vinning?Len J
Jan 13, 2004 10:35 AM
How do you measure winning?Len J
Jan 13, 2004 10:51 AM
Being honest, we will not know if we've won until long after the war is over.

As Doug says below, one measure is the lack of attacks. However, if an attack occured tomorrow, does that mean we've lost? I think not.

Ridge's job is thankless. It's like the dial tone on the telephone, as long as there are no attacks, his methods will be questioned as being overbearing, but god help him if there is one. Even if he and his methods have stopped 1,000 attacks, no one will ever really know.

Because Bush has not defined what winning is, he's put himself in a position where it is less likely to be held accountable, good political strategy.