Friday, March 24, 2006

Criswell predicts ...

Pajamas Media has posted a translation of Iraq Document CMPC-2003-001950 which recounts the information provided by the Russian Ambassador to Saddam Hussein. Point numbers 3 to 5 in the document say:

3- During the meeting the ambassador gave us the following information about the US military presence in the Gulf as per the 2nd of March:

Number of troops: 206,500 out of which 98,000 naval forces and 36,500 infantry. 90% of theses forces are in Kuwait and on the Navy ships. [emphasis mine]

US troops have reached the island of Bubiyan (Bubiyan is largest Kuwaiti island in the Kuwaiti coastal islands chain)

Number of tanks: 480 Number of armored cars: 1132 Number of artillery: 296 Number of Apache helicopters : 735 Number of fighter planes: 871 Number of Navy ships: 106. 68 in the Gulf and the rest in Oman (State of Oman), Aden (Yemen), the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Number of air carriers: 5. One nuclear powered. Three in the Gulf one in the Mediterranean and one on its way. Number of Cruise missiles: 583 based on the US Navy and distributed on 22 ships. Number of Cruise missiles on planes: 64 Number of heavy bombers B-52 H: 10 in the Indian Ocean. Number of B1-B: 8 present in the US base of Thumarid in Oman.

4- The ambassador pointed that what worried us (most probably “us” refers to the Russians) was the increase in the number of planes in Jordan where the number of planes in Al Sallt base was as follows: 24 planes F-16 10 planes Tornado 11 planes Harrier He also mentioned that there were 10 A-10 tank destroyers in the Jordanian base of King Faysal.

5- The ambassador also pointed that a certain number of the 82nd Division (82nd Airborne) which was deployed in Afghanistan started coming to Kuwait. The number of troops has reached 750 soldiers.

Some or most of the information on the US order of battle must have come from Russian intelligence sources. The tally of US Naval units for example, or the count of B52-Hs in the Indian Ocean would most likely have been obtained by technical means like satellite surveillance or naval sensors. But the curious thing about the order of battle given to Saddam on March 2 is that the 4ID does appear in it at all. It was potentially the most dangerously placed American unit of all and the most powerful. Yet the Russian ambassador treats the 4ID as if didn't exist.

A contemporaneous account from the New York Times describes what happened the day before the Russian Ambassador provided his order of battle to Saddam.

Turkish Parliament Refuses to Accept G.I.'s in Blow to Bush, By Dexter Filkins, New York Times -- ANKARA, Turkey, March 1 - The Turkish Parliament today dealt a major setback to the Bush administration's plans for a northern front against Iraq, narrowly rejecting a measure that would have allowed thousands of American combat troops to use the country as a base for an attack. ... The final tally was 264 to 251, with 19 abstentions ...

Even before the vote, American officials signaled that they were confident that American forces would probably be allowed to stage through Turkey. When asked on Friday whether the Pentagon was past the point where it needed a definitive answer from the Turks, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "No." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld added, "We'll be all right." Pentagon officials have said that Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the commander of American forces in the Persian Gulf, has backup plans for moving American forces into northern Iraq. "General Franks, as we speak, is looking at lots of options," General Myers said on Friday.

Despite what Secretary Rumsfeld and Generals Myers and Franks were saying on March 1 about "lots of options",  the Russian Ambassador was certain by March 2 that the 4ID was out of the battle. In the event the US landed the 173 Airborne Brigade in Kurdistan in late March. As to the 4ID itself as contemporaneous Fox News release tells the story:

Friday, March 14, 2003 -- WASHINGTON — Signaling impatience with the Turkish government, the Pentagon on Friday began moving warships out of the Mediterranean into the Red Sea, where they could launch long-range cruise missiles on a path to Iraq that would not go over Turkey, officials said. Of the approximately one dozen ships to be shifted, a first group of five transited the Suez Canal on Friday, harbor officials at Egypt's Port Said said. They identified the ships as the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke of the Theodore Roosevelt battle group and the destroyer USS Deyo of the Harry S. Truman battle group.

Update

The other striking thing in Document CMPC-2003-001950 was why the Russians should be particularly worried about the smallest component of the deployment:

4- The ambassador pointed that what worried us (most probably “us” refers to the Russians) was the increase in the number of planes in Jordan where the number of planes in Al Sallt base was as follows: 24 planes F-16 10 planes Tornado 11 planes Harrier He also mentioned that there were 10 A-10 tank destroyers in the Jordanian base of King Faysal.

Why were these relatively small forces so worrisome? My guess is their location near the Iraq-Syrian border and the composition of these air units were suggestive of support for an air assault attack on traffic to and from Syria. What was moving between Iraq and Syria that would be of concern to the Russians?

Commentary

The Pajamas documents provide a peek into the greatest diplomatic catastrophe associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom. The elimination of the 4ID from Turkey relieved Saddam at a stroke from the problem of facing a two front war. The US lost the use of its most powerful ground unit and faced the excruciating logistical problem of sailing it thousands of miles to attack along another axis. It deprived America of crucial manpower in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam. It eliminated the unit tasked with tackling the Sunni Triangle and forced other units to spread out and take up the slack. How did this debacle happen? What were its consequences? Readers are invited to comment.

66 Comments:

Blogger desert rat said...

One thing seems certain.
The Russians had a better sense of Turkey's actions than the US did.

As to why...

3/24/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

President Bush looked in Putin's heart and read him like a book.He might better have looked at his actions and saw a largely hostile regime supplying our enemies with materiel and intelligence.

3/24/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Slate had this postmortem on March 14, 2003. Curiously Slate's analysis assigned nothing of the Turkish debacle to Russia's efforts. The problem, in their view was that the US ignored the UN, NATO and the EU. Acting outside the alliance structure, it could not bring Turkey along.

"Rather than make the most of the extraordinary support the world offered the United States after 9/11, the Bush administration seems almost willfully to have squandered it. In the months after Sept. 11, the administration withdrew from one international agreement after another, from the ABM treaty to the International Criminal Court. It refused NATO's offer of help in Afghanistan, eventually accepting some troops from NATO-member countries but no shared NATO decision-making. Though German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder braved a no-confidence vote to win parliamentary approval to put German combat troops in Afghanistan, he received little thanks from Bush. Nor was he seriously consulted as Bush formulated his Iraq policy, despite (or perhaps because of) growing signs of German discomfort with that policy. Cut out of the loop, Schröder then began to exploit the anti-Iraq war backlash among German voters and become a fierce opponent of Bush on Iraq."

If you look at Point 1 of Document CMPC-2003-001950, this curious item appears right before the Order of Battle:

He said that Russia, France and Germany and both Syria and China were expected to join the three of them, have prepared a project of resolution opposing the Anglo-American project submitted to the United Nations. Voting on both projects will take place on the 9th of March. He pointed that some countries of the Security Council might refrain from voting, like Pakistan, Chili and Kenya.

If Russia did not dissuade Turkey, then a diplomatic alliance of which Russia was apart dissuaded or helped dissuade Turkey. Just speculation.

3/24/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Yusef said...

I think the imapact of the lack of a northern front in OIF has been exaggerated.

Even without the 4ID coming down from the north, the coalition forces quickly annihilated Saddam's regime with historically low losses. The problems of the Sunni insurgency and growing sectarianism took shape over the following months, after the collapse of the regime.

I know some people have theorized that having the 4ID crashing in through Mosul and Tikrit would have had a salutary effect on Sunni attitudes. Others have suggested that a larger initial troop presence may have had a similar effect.

I find both of these assertions doubtful, however. Clearly, the forces actually used in the initial attack were more than adequate to defeat Saddam. The problems that the coaltion has since experienced durring reconstruction have been due, it seems to me, to inadequate initial intellegence and flawed strategic planning.

3/24/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

There are no universally shared values. Each of our "allies" acted on their perceived best interest.
France, a nation of sheep only with a force de frappe that keeps them at the big table. Russia & China are running a game of capitalism with no commitment to human rights in the least. Turkey will never gain European acceptance and they know it, so they folded their tents and abandon the plans agreed to about a two front war.
England and the USA, Australia and New Zealand are the band of brothers.
We must never buy into Russian or Chinese "friendship". Implacable foes forever. We must sever their ties to the Arab world.
Wipe out Syria and Iran now.

3/24/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While the transit of the 4th ID may not have been essential to Iraq's collapse, it was a vital US concern, at the time.

That Turkey disallowed it, after decades of payola, speaks volumns.

The Russians were sure enough of our Order of Battle. We were not.

3/24/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

The Russians, the French and the Germans had one interest in common - they all wanted to see the US armed forces take heavy losses.

3/24/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Yusuf,

I think you are probably right about the OIF outcome being largely insensitive to the deployment of the 4ID -- but only in retrospect. At the time OIF was launched no one knew the conventional war would go so well. Had it gone differently then the absence of 4ID would have been to OIF what the iceberg was to the Titanic. We laugh at the bullets that miss us but only after they miss us.

3/24/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Xmarine said...

The Russians have made SECRET pacts with countries for years whether under the Czars, Communists and apparently now, under Putin.

Clearly, Turkey will not be accepted by the EU and therefore has placed her future in a Russo-Turk alliance of some sort. Or Turkey has come to the strategic realization that Russia, politically and economically, will be a greater ally in the coming years as Ankara breaks away from both the EU and ultimately NATO.

Turkey's rejection of the 4th ID's transit through their country, in a time of war as far as the United States was concerned, is an unforgivable act. She cannot be a dependable NATO ally.

Without the 4th ID blocking the path to Syria, I suspect, Iraq's WMD program, materials and weapons were moved before we arrived in full force.

Thanks for nothing, Turkey!

See ya in Damascus.

3/24/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

"If Russia did not dissuade Turkey, then a diplomatic alliance of which Russia was apart dissuaded or helped dissuade Turkey. Just speculation."

Dead right IMHO. Russia, France, Germany, Chinal and Turkey were doing everything they could to hamstring and harm the US in the lead-up to the war. and no doubt have been since. This shows is that Turkey sees its interests more closely aligned with that group that with the US. Turkey is now a force opposed to US interests and should be treated as such.

What is interesting is that despite all of these efforts by our former allies (even to the point where they gave up to date intelligence to our enemy) had almost no effect in saving Saddam. It must be deeply humiliating to be so impotent.

It also highlights that we may want to think more highly of Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait - than I am ordinarily inclined to. Each of those countries seems to have provided real aid when it mattered.

3/24/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Sorry, "former allies" in my last comment is not appropriate for China and Russia.

3/24/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well cruiser we sure did not stand by our friends in Dubai. That is more than an omen of things to come.
Not good things to my thinking,

3/24/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

As to your question, how this debacle occurred . . . My guess, and that is all it is, is that the issue of staging/basing rights in Turkey for the 4th ID is one of those things that falls in between departmental seams in the makeup of our foreign policy apparatus.

Was it a State function or a Defense function to convice the Turks to let us have our way? If memory serves, both Powell and Wolfowitz made trips to Turkey in the Jan/Feb/Mar timeframe. Who was ultimately responsible? Was everyone on the same page, making the same kinds of overtures to the Turks? or was it a case of an issue -- everyone who's worked in a large organization has observed this phenomenon -- where both were in charge and therefore neither took the initiative, knowing that they had the other to blame if it went south . . .

I think this is an enduring seam in the execution of our policies: the separate chains of command and institutions between the warmakers and the dealmakers quashes the ability to align the execution of policy except at the highest level -- the President. This seam definitely persisted for the entire lifespan of the CPA as well after the fall of Baghdad . . .

I agree, W, that only in retrospect can we say that 4th ID may have made a difference in the Sunni triangle, but I'm not so sure it would have. When we did the big op-pause about 7 days into the invasion, in order to "clean up the Fedayeen in our rear" (as ordered by LtGen McKiernan of CFLCC), the 1st MarDiv's intelligence section's opinion was that such resistance would collapse upon our seizure of Baghdad, and therefore the best way to clean it up was to press on. But somebody higher up wanted to stop, so we did.

This flies in the face of the assertions in Cobra II that Saddam's regime had two centers of gravity: the regime apparatus in Baghdad, AND the spirited insurgency fighters with a spiritual heart in the Sunni triangle (or some such).

I don't think that's an accurate observation. I think it was true that Baghdad was the center of gravity, and therefore the key node of the entire regime's system of power.

I think the real problem was that we dithered too long after Baghdad fell. That dithering was the result of the same seams between diplomats and generals mentioned above wrt to Turkey. Warfare is about creating opportunities and then exploiting them. For the creating part, I give us an A+. For exploitation, a B-.

One wonders if this performance might not be inherent to democracies. We worry so much about whether to go to war, and why, and why shouldn't we, and how else could we, and is there a precedent like this, and what will the French think, and how will people feel, that in the end, this makes the initial action the source of our mental focus, and not the second and third-order effects which is where exploitation -- and victory -- lies.

3/24/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Apparently we are counting on satellite surveillance on Russia as well as the autocratic regimes in the Middle East...

America really seems ill-served by the billions spent in the 1990’s in the CIA, eh…

3/24/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I find both of these assertions doubtful, however. Clearly, the forces actually used in the initial attack were more than adequate to defeat Saddam. The problems that the coaltion has since experienced durring reconstruction have been due, it seems to me, to inadequate initial intellegence and flawed strategic planning."

- yusef

Among other things.

On the eve of war, no one, AFAIK, was really sweating Phase I. That's not where the concerns, the real unknowns, were.

"If things go wrong, they'll go wrong afterward."

And how.

3/24/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

How did this debacle happen? Readers are invited to comment.

Colin Powell.

3/24/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I think the real problem was that we dithered too long after Baghdad fell."

- Chester

I count that "among other things."

3/24/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The diplomatic debacle in Turkey was only one of several negative outcomes of the "seam", the other obvious ones being the poor intel about the WMDs (do they exist?), the linkage between Saddam and Al Qaeda (is it real?) and the debate over whether the US should have kept the old Ba'athist Army in harness to keep order immediately afterward. But clearly the seam pre-existed OIF itself. Step back a little further to the era of containment, which contained within its bosom the OFF scandal and possibly the seeds of 911. You can make the argument that it was the flawed assumption that containment would work which made OIF inevitable. But who knows?

The only safe thing to say is that the texture of events subsequent to OIF is getting more detailed. There are no simple narratives. Maybe there never were.

3/24/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

boghie's comment about the billions spent by the CIA is correct. However it goes back to Stansfield Turner and Jimma Carter on the heels of Senator Frank Church's televised intelligence hearings.
At that time I clearly remember a company wide memo going out stating that "in light of the current hearings, if you feel you have ever done anything illegal, go get your own attorney. We will not provide you with any of your records"
That changed the CIA overnight. It was every man for himself replacing a heretofore cohesive group.
The slide continues to this day. The CIA was ruined by Jimma Carter, Stansfield Turner and the Democratic Congress.
The Operations Directorate (feet on the ground) was decimated and we're paying the price right now.

3/24/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

That there were Russian machinations to thwart us in Iraq . . .

. . . that the "principled opposition" of Europe to the invasion was, in fact, bought and paid for . . .

. . . that both resented the U.S. putting an end to the organized crime concession they were running in Iraq along with their pals at the UN . . .

. . . that China turns up on the wrong side of almost every dispute we have going . . .

. . . that even Mexico, through its proxy army of exported poor in the U.S., has begun openly to challenge U.S. sovereignty (and to appear the victim doing it) . . .

. . . none of this, none of this at all will make a dent in the delusional faith of American transnationalists, or in their belief that protecting national interests is either selfish or paranoid.

3/24/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I am not so certain the 4ID being out of the game was insignificant.

The 4ID could have been down to the Sunni Triangle and Baghdad performing blocking on the Iraqi forces dissolving under the solvents of the Marines, the 3rd ID, and aerial attack. This would have eliminated quite a number of proto-terrorists.

As it turned out, the Iraqi army units around Baghdad dissolved into the population and started to organize a post invasion resistance.

Now, why did Turkey not allow the 4th ID to enter Iraq from the North?

The Kurds> Turkey has its own Kurd problem and most likely they did not think it in their interest the current stability of Iraq get disrupted.

Bought off as others posit. I have little doubt Russia, France, Germany et al. promised goodies to Turkey for doing as they did, goodies that would probably offset losses by upsetting the Anglosphere.

Rank Anti-Americanism. Turkish politicians have to get votes to keep their jobs. As secular as Turkey is, it is still predominantly Muslim.

3/24/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The storyline on Turkey that Spring was "the middle east's successful, western-friendly, Islamic democracy". How could anything go wrong?

3/24/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

There truly is one goat, and one herder. BOFA.

3/24/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Elam Bend said...

Turkey had nothing to lose by denying their land as a staging ground. They certainly have suffered nothing for it.

If they had allowed it, they would have faced the wrath of their ever more anti-American public and the possibility of an even more powerful Kurdistan.

As it was, U.S. soldiers found Turkish special forces hiding out in northern Iraq and properly arrested them; something which the Turkish public is still upset about (and it is alluded to in the latest Turkish anti-American movie).

The Kurds, the Arabs and the Persians will always be on Turkey's flank, I'm sure the Turks took a long veiw and doubted that we'd be their that long.

3/24/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Yusef said...

wretchard and desert rat -- I agree that the northern front only turned out to be unnecessary in restrospect.

I only made my observation about the northern front not being needed because I think there is a bit of mythology being built up around it, suggesting its absence was a major contribution to the insurgency.

marcus aurelius, from my understanding, the disolving Iraqi forces did not slip through the fingers of the coalition; rather, individual soldiers from disintegrating Iraqi units were encouraged not to surrender, but to go home.

When they did so, they found, over time, agitators of various sorts (Bathist, Islamist, nationalist, sectarian etc) who recruited some of them, along with others, into the insurgency and sectarian militias. Wasn't the real problem not that the 4ID didn't eliminate the loose soldiers, but that the coalition let the agitatiors operate freely for long time?

Why didn't the coalition arrest the agitators? Not because the 4ID wasn't there. They didn't because they didn't know who the agitators were.

This intelligence failure seems to get little scrutiny. Besides the WMD and terror-link misconceptions, it appears to me that the coalition forces had little knowledge of the social and political conditions within Iraq, and in particular, who the players were and how to deal with them.

To put it another way, while the coalition was focused on capturing Saddam's associates (the "deck of cards"), there were a great many other dangerous characters allowed to slip through the cracks. Moqtada Al-Sadr is an obvious example.

Some of this was the fog of war. But much of it stems from decades of poor management in the U.S. intelligence community and State Department. Instead of feeding myths about the lack of a division having caused our problems, I would rather see this aspect of our intelligence scrutinized and fixed.

3/24/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Yusuf,

Your comments are fundamentally correct. The counterinsurgency woes did not fundamentally arise from the absence of the 4ID, but as you point out, from deeper problems. Historically even the critics of OIF didn't know what the deeeper problems were. A lot of the early criticism of OIF had to do with the "lack of boots on the ground" with some suggestions that the force be increased to 400,000 or more. Of course part of the problem was that there were no funds to train Iraqi security forces, or rather there were but were buried in the CPA budget. The split lines of command, the lack of a clear strategy, the absence of good intel sources on the ground were far more important the the absence of a single division.

3/24/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rich Rostrom said...

As I recall it, the Turkish government supported the transit of US forces. This even though the ruling party (AK) is mildly Islamic. The AK members all (or nearly all) voted for the transit agreement. It was defeated by the almost unanimous vote of the opposition parties. (These are the long established parties of Turkey, all secular in the Kemalist tradition. AK is new.)

Apparently the opposition could not resist the opportunity for anti-US posturing.

But the real story was the involvement of France and Germany. Turkey craves admission to the EU. The French especially spread it around that if Turkey allowed the transit, they would never get in.

3/24/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

There was another intel failure, which in some ways is the most disappointing, because it would have been the easiest area to get accurate intel on. And that is the woeful condition of Iraq's infrastructure. Far worse than we were prepared for.

3/24/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger reliapundit said...

if the russians would do thjis, wouldn't they also help saddam get his wmd OUT of iraq? YES.

and would they bribe the turks into staying out? NO. the french and germans did this.

the fact that attaturk's turkey is slipping back into isdlamism is proof that democracy ITSELF is not an antidote.

and remember that there have been several attacks on chirstian priest recently in turkey.

therefore: i think they did what they felt was in their interest when they forbade us from using their turf.

i think we should have taken them to the mats on this - AS WE DID MUSHARRAF. we should have goven them a NATO ultimatum: let us use your turf or exit nato.

nush is too timid, and we have - for too long - been fighting with one hand behind our back.

for example we should have assassinated mookie sadr when he assassinated that modeate cleric right after liberation --- and failing that we should whacked him during the najaf uprising.

another example: we should have NUKED tora bora.

binladen and zawahiri w9uld be dead. and (up oyur)-wazir-istan would be under full pakistani central government control.

and we should haveNEVER allowed hamas to get on the ballot without FIRST renmouncing terror and accepting the SOI.

and we should have whacked saddam like we did koosay and oooday.

AND WE SHOULD GO AFTER AMR MOUSSA NOW BIGTIME (since he is implicated in jihadoterror by Abu laban - see agora!).

appeasement never works.

we appeased turkey. that was wrong. it made the insurgency possible.

3/24/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Yusuf,

Still am not certain about those Republican Guards divisions just being let go home. After a certain point that is undoubtedly true but up to that point having the Fourth ID would have been beneficial.

As to intell failures that I agree with, but am skeptical how much preparation in advance could have been done. Rich Lowry had an article about a year ago in National Review about "What Went Right" and it was acknowledged it took time for our operational intelligence to learn enough about Iraqi society and the players therein to be any good. Mr. Lowry and others through him state essentially there was no way to flatten that learning curve.

Especially in light of our current situation with Middle Eastern Studies in our Universities and the damage done to the CIA by Stansfield Turner and Church.

3/24/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Overwhelming force, ruthlessly.

We were denied this "fact" by one of our "NATO allies."

Sez a lot...

3/24/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The diplomatic debacle happened because we were playing by the rules and no one else was.

We could have said "SUCH And SUCH will happen by THIS date or else we dissolve NATO and you can all defend yourselves for a change."

We could have said "Either we go in through your territory, Turkey or plan on giving up a nice chunk of land to the new Republic of Kurdistan."

We no doubt provided the information on our forces' deployment to the Russians in the spirit of cooperation - remember that they are effectively an "associate" member of NATO. They then provided that data to Saddam in an attempt to both curry favor with a dictator and harm us. Every dime we send to Russia to support their "disarmament" should have been cut off the second we realized that treachery had occurred - and that just for starters.

To the people who say that we abrogated too many treaties, I say we did not abrogate enough.

We are the greatest empire the world has ever seen but we cannot act with half the arrogance of the presidents of such pest holes as Venezuela, Cuba, or Iran.

The No.1 lesson of OIF should be "No More Mr. Nice Guy."

3/24/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

On the question of going into Iraq with more troops I beleive the second of these assertions much more than the first:

1. If the US had gone in with more troops, we could have quelled the insurgency with less loss of life.

2. If the US had gone in with more troops, the loss of US troops would have been much higher.

The biggest mistakes the Bush admin made in iraq were not having elections sooner and not putting a Baathist (Chemical Ali) on trial sooner.

3/24/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

As the Doc-Ex project continues to unveil the truth, we see what was obvious but unproven in the wasted year after 9/11. Iraq was expecting the US to be hand-cuffed by their allies Russia and France in the Security Council.

Wretchard has said we've won this war so far with one hand tied behind our back. America's patience is just about spent on this current 'nation building' state of affairs. Most Americans never think about war, and can't imagine we have enemies gathering against us. So they're ready to bail on this "tragic", "pointless", "illegal war", just like they did to our allies in Vietnam in 1975. Even after 9/11. It's weird.

In this case, one of our supposedly reliable allies, Turkey, did their best to strategically damage our most important military operation since Gulf War I.

And the MSM act like nothing happened. And Rummy's plan was sufficient with half its assets denied, and it's called a failure because Baghdad looters broke into the National Museum.

Half of America is willfully ignorant and self-deluded. This is the greatest threat to our war.

3/24/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Regardless of what the Russians or the Turks or the French or the Germans did or didn't do, we kicked the Iraqi's butts from here to Sunday in three weeks, and we could have done much worse to them. All the aforementioned "friends" are well aware of this and will consider it in future regarding any moves they make that might be seen as against the US.

I frankly don't understand the Russians. They should be our best friends. What matters to us and them is bidness; money; their economy. They should be buddy-buddy with us as much as possible in order to encourage our investment in their economy and transfer of our technologies, companies, know-how and attitude to their country. What possibly could the Iraqi's have to offer them that is more valuable than what the US has to offer? I think they are really stupid.

Their actions are at best aid and comfort to our enemy and at worst a declaration of war against us. How stupid do they think we are? We should make them pay. I'd like to see: junior partner in the, so-called, Quartet; lack of conference with them regarding our actions against Iran in the SC. They are totally untrustworthy and should be treated like an enemy.

3/24/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

The recent China-Russia maneuvers out in Central Asia, plus these disclosures, suggest the Asian powers are all aligning more tightly. Turkey and Russia have been at war for nearly 300 years. With the US moving into the Middle East, several new axes are forming in Asia. A Russian-Turkish axis makes exactly the same kind of sense that a Russian-Turkish alliance does. The post-Cold War reactions have begun to show themselves.

Its interesting to see actual hard assets. Ha - neither al Qaeda nor Saddam had any idea how powerful we are. Starting to look as though the "al Qaeda is drawing into a quagmire" is analogous to the post-modern "it's boring-looking because I intended it to induce boredom" ex post facto justification. I wonder what our actual full-out but pre-draft war machine looks like? In my opinion, Iraq and Afghanistan, no matter the ambient tragedy of the MSM stream, make us look quite strong in the eyes of other countries. They'd need a damn conspicuous alliance to truly take us on, excepting coordinated city nukes.

3/24/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger tbrosz said...

The Russian link with the vanishing of Iraq's WMDs has been commented on in many places.

I remembered this article from Ion Mihai Pacepa. And several other articles about the Russian secret services assisting in moving arms and equipment to Syria.

It's possible that the reluctance of the Bush administration to push this new documentation out is because it would incriminate a number of supposed or hopeful allies.

3/24/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Utopia,
Russia still dreams of the glory days of empire.

3/24/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dan,

If anyone ever takes us on with nukes the world will soon see nukes popping up like McDonald's all over.

C'mon, dude! We're supposed to read The Three Conjectures and take a chill pill.

Like most Americans, I hate war, but if you threaten me, I don't pretend you are kidding.

3/24/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Ever since the peace dividend, beginning with Bubba, we've loosened the half-nelson grip on the 3rd world (and most of our former "allies" as well). Once they gained freedom from the cold war entanglements, it became every man for himself. Expect loyalties to go to the highest bidder on a case by case basis.

Our handling of the UAE ports deal shows that we may be following the same scenario whether GWB wanted to or not.

3/24/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger reliapundit said...

if the leak didn't come form a mole in centcom or the pentagon, then maybe it came from some lefty in blair's inner circle who leaked the info to the ruskies though an unsuspicious nato pipeline?

or colin told lavrov? or armitage? or some other state dept official with access. like wilkerson.

or a dem senator on the armed sevices committe like kennedy or levin?

or MURTHA! maybe one of murtha's corrupt cronies/ one of the army general's rummy pissed off?

yeah... maybe murtha has a contact in the pentagon and theyre moles?

i thin it must be someoine wh wants us to lose. so it could be almost any democrat. except lieberman.

3/24/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Russia is indeed the enemy. Their quest for empire has almost cost us Europe. It was the Russians who destroyed Khazaria. The Khazars were allied with the Byzantine Empire against the Sassanid Empire, and stood as the main barrier against the Muslim advance on Europe from the East. Khazaria was destroyed by the Kiev Rus at the end of the 10th century.

3/24/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

As for the Russians, you know a people by the jokes they tell about themselves..Here is one:
Ivan finds an old lamp while working in his field. Upon rubbing it, a genie appears.
The genie tells Ivan he can grant a single wish, BUT. The catch is that whatever Ivan wishes for, the genie must give his neighbor Boris twice as much.
Ivan is distraught and perplexed. After much thought and soul-searching he proudly announces what he wishes...
"I wish you would pluck out one of my eyes..." he shouts smugly.

3/25/2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

W the Cat, (and Friends)
Fourth Infantry Division NOT being there at the Syrian backdoor to Iraq let those 38 truckloads of ???-"Unknown Items"-??? pass into Syria's Bekaa Valley, circa March 24...

Oh, and THANKS a heap, Turkey!

3/25/2006 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Biking in Russia

3/25/2006 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The US has only one or two conventional powered carriers.

Is it possible the Russians were misinforming Iraq?

BTW the carrier bit is easily checked on the net or Janes.

All the ships at sea

Navy Commisioned Ships.

From the last link you can find out that there are only two conventional carriers in the fleet. The Kitty Hawk anf the J.F. Kennedy

3/25/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

I got as far as this:

W: There are no simple narratives. Maybe there never were, and then I demurred.

There is a simple narrative, and it is always there - evolution/cultural change is difficult. Memes die and are replaced by the survival of a more fitting.

Meme-changing is worse than difficult -heartwrenching, totem breaking, family tradition breaking, god killing, poetry/music detroying, everthing that made me human is now clearly shown to be wrong. My life has been wasted.

Now just imagine what it must be like if you are the high priest of all of this. Worse, an Imam. For me, schadenfreud.

Russians, Turks, French, Islamists, it's all over for them and the world will be a better place for it.

Bring on the Anglosphere.

I'll paraphrase Cromwell - 'I beseech you in the bowels of Christ think it possible that you are right.'

ADE

3/25/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger AMac said...

At 6:33pm, yusef made an important point:

When [Iraqi Army deserters] returned home] they found, over time, agitators of various sorts who recruited some of them, along with others, into the insurgency and sectarian militias. Wasn't the real problem not that the 4ID didn't eliminate the loose soldiers, but that the coalition let the agitatiors operate freely for long time?

Why didn't the coalition arrest the agitators? Not because the 4ID wasn't there. They didn't because they didn't know who the agitators were...it appears to me that the coalition forces had little knowledge of the social and political conditions within Iraq, and in particular, who the players were and how to deal with them.


While yusef may be quite right, this is an insight that only comes with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, recall, the talk was of "shock and awe." There was no (public) discussion of how to handle the serious problems that "dealing with the agitators" would have entailed.

It would have been an ethical and P.R. nightmare--not as bad as what has come to pass since, but we didn't understand that at the time. Recall Mark Steyn's account of chicken for lunch at a cafe in Falluhah in late 2003. Or contemporaneous Victor Davis Hanson columns.

"Dealing" would have meant executing large numbers of agitators without a fair trial. Impossible/unethical, you say? OK, then imprisoning large numbers of young men on suspicion of anti-Coalition activity. For years, without trial, and in prison-camp conditions that didn't serve as a training ground for the insurgency.

Even without the Abu Ghraib experience, this would be a very tall order. And one that the civilian leadership and the pro-war section of the US public did not think would have been helpful, much less essential to postwar reconstruction.

Another reason to think that the 4ID's failure to transit throught Turkey is probably, in retrospect, less important than it seemed at the time.

3/25/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger genwolf said...

ALthough the 4ID was not essential (in retrospect) to the winning of the conventional phase I think it's absence in the order of battle and the fact that the Sunni triangle was thus not properly secured in the first 2 months post invasion should be regarded as one of the key factors that enabled the current insurgency to attain it's strength and not least much of it's weaponry. As a previous post here outlined there was already a plan to fight an insurgent war and the Fedayen Sadaam and the release of criminals were ominous harbingers of the the nihilistic nature of the conflict that Uday at least was planning for. Another phenomena whose import has not been sufficiantly analysed is the fact that most of the infrstructure of Iraq's education system was turned itno a distributed Ammo dump in the months leading up to war. Whilst Iraqi familiarity with the danger of US airpower can partially exdplain (though not excuse) this tactic the fact that the same places were used as stores for artillery shells for tubes that the Iraqi's must have expected to lose would indicate that the use of schools as ammo dumps was from the begginning a plan to provide a reserve of materiel for the Insurgents rather than for the regualar army. The absence of the 4th ID meant that, not only did the insurgents escape what would have probably have been a killer blow, but so did much of their materel, which they were able to move before the Americans had the manpower to properly secure them themsleves.

As to who is to blame, obviously most proximately the Turks who repaid a half century of protection against Russia with a perfidious act of betrayal, made the worse for occuring at the 11th hour and fater assurances to the contrary. But more distantly I remeber seeing a peice in NRO at the time that maintained that France had heavily influenced the Turkish decision by promising to strangle Turkeys bid for EU membership completely unless it blocked the US movement through Turkey.

3/25/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Regarding Yusef’s point about the coalition’s level of knowledge about Iraqi internal politics and players, maybe Iraqi’s did not have that knowledge either. I think it is one of the things a repressive totalitarian regime like Hussein’s takes away from a people. Rumsfeld spoke the other day about the learning process Iraqi politicians are having to go through - the give and take or maneuver of representative politics is new to them. The Kurds, not surprisingly, may be a little more advanced than the rest in this area.

3/25/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

...what a byzantine neck of the woods!!

Our friends the Turks had nothing to lose: 1) cozy up to EU 2) Keep Russian/stan oil options tantamount 3) appease their own PC electorate. We don't shut down useless bases overnight...

Yusef, though correct militarily, you discount how the Syrians were emboldened by the perception of Russia not only being correct with their intelligence; but, also the feeling of being under Russia's wing, and the lack of perceived threat in that neck of the woods...especially, after the lack of strafing warthogs along the river corridor roads to Syria...


However, this whole discussion highlites how the nature of the way current "wars" (more correctly, policing actions) are fought.

They are currently being run by lawyer types, not soldiers.

In this age, the media has helped to polarize the populace to the point that politicians do not lead, but rather duck for cover, as any stance is considered extremist by the opposition.
The success of a politician these days is gaged by how well he keeps his head down!

I believe a similar mentality has crept into our intelligence community.
I believe that Chester? is onto something; that the carter/turner/church hearings, designed to shine the light of day on the operations of the pentagon , may have in fact resulted in the opposite happening.
After the successful economic war that brought an end to the cold war, the latter wars of the 20-21st century were increasing fought and intertwined with ecomomic might; however, it was not made apparent to the populace (the couldn't understand) that this was a national interest, so the complex realities of the wars had to be somewhat obscured and the complexities boiled down to an understandable "cause".
With the polarization of the populace, political capital became vaporous; thus, the lawyers began running the show in a game where over riding goal is to make your foe give up with out casualties (vs. blunt force)...

...but, as Bush's base has lately started to cave to the allure of isolationism he's had to take the reigns from Rummie in what may prove to be a bold and optimistic move on his part...
...that perhaps the populace may actually be able to handle the truth.
From the documents that are slowly being released, it's becoming apparent that the administration was acting in a reasonable manner; it appears that Bush is willing to take the risk of allowing the light of day to be shown on our policies - thank goodness, after the fact.

The argument for releasing all the documents now is stronger than ever; the slow release will only serve to allow the MSM to shape all the apparent causation to be selective and shaped by the devil himself - Rumsfield!

Open the floodgates now!

3/25/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The US government needs to hire better lawyers. If a lone sailor can take CAIR to the corner in court, government lawyers need to be there to deliver the knock out. The same regards the MSM mafia. The situation as it is now, is just pathetic.

3/25/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Fleming said...

Wretchard asked: "What was moving between Iraq and Syria that would be of concern to the Russians?"

Could it be Iraq's WMD?

I don't know whether I am joking now or not...

3/25/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

This is slightly off-topic but this video offers the Chinese perspective (kinda sorta) of this upcoming century. It made me laugh HA HA HA AMERICA

Don't suck fragrant monkey tail.

3/25/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Chester sayeth:
Was it a State function or a Defense function to convice the Turks to let us have our way? If memory serves, both Powell and Wolfowitz made trips to Turkey in the Jan/Feb/Mar timeframe. Who was ultimately responsible? Was everyone on the same page, making the same kinds of overtures to the Turks? or was it a case of an issue -- everyone who's worked in a large organization has observed this phenomenon -- where both were in charge and therefore neither took the initiative, knowing that they had the other to blame if it went south . . .

Marcus sayeth:
This is a common situation in organizations. This raises a question, if true why didn't the boss get involved to straighten things out? Was not the boss aware?

3/25/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Hokumsrazor said...

At the time I wondered if we kept the 4th ID bobbing around in the Med to keep the Syrians guessing. I couldn't see the Turkish Military ambushing the Pentagon with the decision.

In this situation Iran and Syria might use Hezbollah to stir up trouble with Israel. And then say "it's a Crusader war for the Zionist" or some such. But we might say "Yeah, and we'll go to Baghdad through Damascus." Far fetched, perhaps.

Personally, I thought we would keep the war going for a few months so we could kill more of the Fidayeen Saddam since that might prove akward in time of "peace." Allowing 50,000 trained sociopaths to escape largely unscathed didn't make much sense. I'm amazed we didn't see that "The Iraq as Bloody Mess Strategy" might be pursued by our enemies (if we are still allowed to use that word.)

3/25/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: 4ID MIA.

This will be another telling chapter in a decade or three when a dispassionate history is written from facts not in evidence today. It's easy to imagine an alternate history where the hot-blooded 10% were forced into battle and eliminated in the north as they were in the south, with the same results. Where the lack of Turkey's cooperation permitted the rage of the moment to subside and cold calculation remain, resulting in the conflict we see today. A close thing perhaps.

Consider Turkey's bribe price (of ~10B$) and the difference between the expected war costs of $50-100B dollars, and today's $500B. $10B looks cheap.

This and similar will likely be tallied as the big mistakes of the war, not too little forces or failing to buy off Russia (100B$) and France (1T$) mercantilists interests. Mr. Powell will likely suffer greatly in hindsight as well (no modern Secretary of State had ever traveled less, nor let his organization run so unleashed and undirected).

3/25/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

If the document was dated 2 MAR for delivery, it was most likely drafted 1 MAR or previous.

If memory serves, and it is a leaky thing of late, the Turks were doing the back-and-forth, maybe-maybe not game for some time, hemming and hawing, saying yes or no for awhile. At the time the argument was made that if the Turks helped the US, then the US would weigh in positively and hard for Turkish entry into the EU. Now, if Germany and France made it known that such a thing would be a deal-breaker then the Turks would have been pretty quick about things... and risked a problem with a NATO ally. So a bit of prevarication there, but for weeks or more?

Then the intersting part of the Russian note not even giving a *possibility* of the 4ID being involved. By not mentioning it the author of the document is 100% certain on the INTEL. That is more than just *guesswork* on someone's part in Russia. That is more than *just having a good feel for the politics* of Turkey. The fix was in.

Add that with the mention of the small air group in Jordan and things do fit together: hamstring a northern move, keep the roads to Syria open as long as possible and hope that the Iraqi's were going to exact a high toll by having the foreknowledge of where the Coalition forces were going to go and have safe fall-back positions.

Saddam, by being an idiot and non trusting his bribed for source of info ('The man is bribeable, he can't be trustworthy!' I paraphrase, but really that is what it boils down to) and thinking that an uprising would be his main problem as seen via the JFCOM analysis really made a bad mistake strategically and left his units tactically out of position for a hard fought and bitterly contested invasion.

So the hopes of Russia, France, China and Germany to have the Coalition forces bled dry by a defense in-depth scenario were snatched out of their arms by... Saddam.

If the 4ID had any *chance* of being in-play, Saddam may have just acted differently. But by taking it off the board he felt assured that the US would be hamstrung by his co-conspirators. Saddam gave his allies too much credit and paid the price.

3/25/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"So the hopes of Russia, France, China and Germany to have the Coalition forces bled dry by a defense in-depth scenario were snatched out of their arms by... Saddam."

This is really the most important lesson to be learned imo, but hasn't, because our government has let them off the hook for the sake of continued operations. There has been no end of politics, and the Democrats, for believing that traditional power politics can be willed away, are idiots.

3/25/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

"Ba'athist Army in harness to keep order immediately afterward"

Its a great plus to have rid the Army of these men.

But there is more at play here.

George's Sada's book makes it clear that most of the officer Corps' Colonel and above was either incompetent or pathologically loyal to Saddam.

Keeping the Old Order would have made it suspect in Iraqi's mind and old habits would have surfaced - both in the Army and in the people.

Today's Iraqi Army is composed of volunteers - and comes from many walks of life - and probably reflects many of the same attitudes of the American or Isreali Army - than the other Militaries of the Middle East - or for that matter - much of the world.

The Iraqis are EARNING their country - much as Americans or Isrealis did. Ownership brings a whole new mindset.

3/25/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

You want to understand Russians?

Then read this site.

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

Vdol Reki, Idyot Loshki.

3/25/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

I never quite understood those that thought it was a mistake to keep the baathist out of the new Iraqi army...

...I believe releasing all the captured Iraqi documents that are in Arabic may create turmoil as people begin to understand the types of syndicates that are running the likes of Russia, and some of the other countries of the security council; and the typical double standard will be applied if our guys had a few closed door meetings of their own in order to deal with these types and the senate demagogues, along with the rest of the do nothing crowd, start their favorite drone which is the sound of listening to themselves...

3/25/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Turkey prohibiting the 4ID did the US a favor. By stabbing the US in the ass, they reminded the US military of the French refusal to allow US planes to go after Libia over French air space and selective German restrictions on US military operations. It is time for all US strategy, tactics and material to be weighted for rapid deployment. Forward pre-deployment, although desirable is unreliable.

I cannot adequately express my contempt for the Russians and the idiot politicians that expect anything positive from them. Bush should send some minor state department official to the G8 and give his soul-mate something to ponder.

3/25/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger RichatUF said...

“Wretched the Cat” (W) introduces another great topic for discussion, the US diplomatic efforts re: Turkey and their affects post-OIF. The questions he poses are: how did this debacle happen and what were its consequences?

A seemingly straightforward answer would be Colin Powell and nothing, but that would kill the interesting contents of the document presented and obscure an interesting debate. The debacle was in the nature of the post-Cold War world and can be laid at the feet of DOS. The larger question of consequences is not in the military-tactical but in the diplomatic-strategic.

The consequences (and the reason) really go back to W’s post on 10JULY05, “Man Bites Dog”, in which, he asked the question of a positive correlation among the ‘insurgency’ in Iraq, the United Nations, and the EU project. Here I think one can argue that the emerging post-Cold War order is taking shape. On both sides it is based on ideology and institutions. The first is what the US (primarily) is fighting against: a tripartite alignment of OPEC, the “Good Intentions Cartel”, and Islamists. The other side of this fight is the side the US (and those aligned with the US): a tripartite alignment of property rights, individualism, and the nation-state. The contours of this battle were exposed in the debate prior to OIF and a prime example of this can be seen in the efforts to secure American transit authority through Turkey.

The document , CMPC-2003-001950, is interesting because it sheds light on Russian motives and their assistance to the Iraqi war effort. It shows that the Russians were willing and able to help the Iraqi’s subvert the US and claims of friendship between the two have been premature. Here, W shows, that the Russians had already excluded the 4ID from the order of battle and that they had confidence that their diplomatic initiatives with Turkey would prevent the 4ID from engaging in the initial battle. This is interesting because I would think that the Russians, with their level of intelligence and experience, would have written off the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein beginning in September 2002, regardless of the 4ID.

The diplomacy of the US State Department with Turkey on this point is a question mark. It seems unbelievable that the political authorities in Turkey could not have gotten an assessment from their military and political experts-the US was going into Iraq and deposing the regime regardless of Turkish sentiment. Then Turkey leaves a concrete aid package from the US and political favor on the table for some ephemeral promises from the France, Germany, and Russia?

This is the alignment that I think is emerging. Turkey fancies itself as “the bridge between the West and Islam” and that maybe they can charge tolls on that bridge. It was a delusion that they could somehow stop the invasion or even make OIF more painful to the US. This is where I think “blowback” comes in and the “quagmire” argument has such sway. The international community, with all their outlets and opinion, really does believe that the US is in decline-the “paper tiger” thesis-and that they do have sway on US defense policy. To a degree yes, but when it counts, no. The US did not carpet bomb Fallijua, we sent in the Marines. In some ways it makes us slower on the trigger, but not enough to change the outcome. In some ways it might even be better, for it requires that we have a more disciplined and more professional force to build up a trust and confidence with the Iraqi population, not a dependency. And this force has more capabilities in the diplomatic, intelligence, and military spheres, than say a Russian division in Chechnya.

It seems that in more ways than one the US State Department was sandbagged, and in the process, the DOS sandbagged the DOD. The confidence that the DOD showed in loading up the 4ID and shipping them to Turkey, really on a promise that they could deploy through Turkey almost seems scandalous. A planner, I would think, would not count on something as indeterminate as a contentious vote. Why did the debate with Turkey even get that far; a US force sailing around awaiting for an invite that would never come?

The emerging international order is where the argument with US diplomacy with Turkey rests. This post-Cold War order was drawn out in some respects in the Pentagon’s New Map. To give a brief synopsis of the book: security=economics; economics =rule sets; and rule sets=Leviathan. In short, that if we want the world to play by our rules, we need to be willing and able to impose our rules. It might seem gross to say, but the alternative is far worse-a world in which rules are imposed on us-global taxation, global censorship, and global movement restrictions. This post-Cold War order is built upon a tripartite alliance among OPEC (member countries), the “Good Intentions Cartel” (TNPL, UN, EU), and the Islamists.

The first segment is built upon the domestic politics of the member governments of OPEC and the Islamists. The Muslim states, to maintain power and credibility, use their oil wealth from monopoly profits to fund Islamist causes, religious ministries, and religious education.

The second leg is the interaction between OPEC and “The Good Intentions Cartel”. This relationship is based on trade-oil and dollars. OPEC needs to sell their oil to the West. OPEC needs the western dollars to fund their lavish welfare states, and to keep the relationship going OPEC needs a threat (terrorism) and a proper response from the West (sympathy). The West needs the oil for their economies to run smoothly, without interference from terrorism nor economically punishing demands from the OPEC states. It is a relationship based on fear: that oil is going to “run out” in the near future and that the only alternative to the status quo is Islamism.

The third segment is the relationship between the “Good Intentions Cartel” and Islamism. This is the one I find most interesting (and one could look at W’s recent posts on the CPT as part of this). This is based on the Islamist idea of ‘recognition’ and the Western idea of “pity for the oppressed”. Here we find the vanity of the western “do-gooder” movement and the narcissism of the Islamist movement. There is no better example of this than the “Oil-for-Food” Program. It seems like an extraordinary statement but that is the best explanation of W’s “Man Bites Dog” and the diplomatic failure of the US with Turkey.

3/25/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"This is the alignment that I think is emerging. Turkey fancies itself as “the bridge between the West and Islam” and that maybe they can charge tolls on that bridge. It was a delusion that they could somehow stop the invasion or even make OIF more painful to the US."

Admittedly, I'm not a Turkey expert.

But from what I've seen, I think less that this is a caculated stance a la Blair, and more of a simple and growing Islamist tilt.

The politicians in Turkey [assuming the (moderately) Islamist PM wants to] can't do much when 90% of Turks have an unfavorable impression of America.

Another long-suckled ally gone off the deep end.

3/26/2006 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

In the emerging international order richatuf speaks of, along with our sino policy, greenspan, growth and consumption would seem as important as our diplomatic efforts!

3/26/2006 05:59:00 AM  

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