Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The fall of Waziristan

Bill Roggio consolidates his dispatches of how the westernmost provinces of Pakistan came under the sway of the Taliban without anyone in the outside world much noticing. Though we will, one day.

The fall of North and South Waziristan and the rise of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan was an event telegraphed by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. During the winter of 2006, Osama bin Laden announced his strategy to establish bases and pockets of territory along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The Taliban and al-Qaeda (virtually indistinguishable in this region at this point in time) had been fighting a long term insurgency against the Pakistani Army after President Musharraf put troops in the region shortly after 9-11. ...

Pro-Pakistani government tribal leaders and informants were murdered and made an example of. The Pakistani Army paid a devastating price for their operations in Waziristan. The official government reports claim around 200 soldiers killed, however the unofficial numbers put the casualties somewhere around 3,000 killed in combat.

On June 25, I sounded the alarm that a truce would be in the offering in North Waziristan. The Pakistan Army was taking a pounding, and President Musharraf lacked the will to fight in the region became apparent. All along, Musharraf and the Pakistani elite attempted to draw distinctions between the Taliban and “miscreants” and “foreigners” - which is merely code for al-Qaeda. The failure to realize the Taliban and al-Qaeda worked towards the same end, and have integrated political and command structures, led the Pakistani government to cut deals with the 'local Taliban' and the eventual establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are by no means finished with their goals of carving out safe havens along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

The series of posts below document the history of the fall of North and South Waziristan and the rise of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, from 2006 onward.

Commentary

Roggio's dispatches bring into focus the problem which everyone who hankers for the "good old days" of multilateralist containment must face. What happens when diplomacy, aid and the United Nations aren't enough? Part of the problem lies in that while we can put anything in a conceptual "box" -- to the satisfaction of the diplomats at least -- and declare it contained, modern Western countries don't really have the tools to reach into the box and straighten things out. Christopher Hitchens described in both dry and scathing terms the public horror at finding its boxed monsters were wriggling out between the bars after September 11.

TONY JONES: It seems that the United States, and much of the Western world, is still learning the lessons of 9/11. After reflecting on this for five years now, what did we get right and what did we get wrong?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Mmm. Well I think we found out that we were at war, which was better than being at war and not knowing it, which was the case until five years and about five minutes ago. Until five years and five minutes ago, for example, we didn't know the name AQ Khan. We didn't know that Pakistan was being Talibanised from within, that there were al-Qaeda sympathisers in its nuclear program - and we weren't doing anything about that either. We didn't know, incidentally, that international black market of rogue states: North Korea, Libya and Iran, linked by AQ Khan and exchanging nuclear and other technologies, formed the corners of the box in which we thought had Saddam Hussein. When people talk about the box he was in, that box included AQ Khan and the North Koreans and the nuclear black market. So that goes also partly to the point that keeps coming up of whether or not we are safer. I always think that's a contemptible question. Not just because it can't be answered, but because it seems to demand that our governments exist to give us a sense of security, rather than a sense of our duties in the case of a war. ...

So what is brewing in Waziristan and what does the West propose to do about it, except cheer Musharraf on?

49 Comments:

Blogger sam said...

NATO needs to tell Musharraf that Waziristan is causing a problem in Afghanistan and if he doesn't go in and clean it up, NATO will. And then NATO needs to follow through.

9/13/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jim in Richmnd said...

The day will come when we are attacked and jihadists in Waszistan take credit. A white anger, but exhaustion with nation building, will result in a launch of missles and bombs. The only question is will it be in the tradition of Clinton or the tradition of Tokyo, Dresden, Horoshima and Nagaski. Just hope Pakistan's nuclear facilities are first destoyed.

9/13/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

jim in richmnd said:

The only question is will it be in the tradition of Clinton or the tradition of Tokyo, Dresden, Horoshima and Nagaski. Just hope Pakistan's nuclear facilities are first destoyed.

A little too late for that, don't you think? Pakistan is a nuclear power, and nuclear powers hit back. Okinawa showed us how hard it was to stop a suicide plane. Now imagine a suicide plane with a nuke set to trigger on impact.

9/13/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Isn't it about time that Mr. Musharref became assassinated? I suppose everyone is afraid that an Islamist would take his place, but at least then the cards would be on the table and we wouldn't have the guy in charge telling us one thing and then doing another.

Wasn't Saddam offered an opportunity to go into exile before we went into Iraq? Musharref looks distinctly peaked, and like he could use a long vacation in exile, too. AND he could be shown the examples of Saddam who didn't, and Idi Amin who did.

At the same time, something needs to be done with his nuclear person, Khan. I think dead would be better for him, than exile.

Shall we vote on it?

9/13/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Waziristan fell?

Was our objective to clear and hold there?

I think it's just as well that these would-be tough guys are mustering again. They're much easier to kill - if that's what you want to do - than when they're hiding in caves or behind their mother's bhurka.

Nahncee:

Mushareef does indeed look like a lame duck. His popularity with the natives must be nil. I don't know how he's held out this long.

I don't think anyone at the state dept or in the oval office thinks he should go. He's been an ally in the WOT as best he could given very bad circumstances there.

9/13/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...
"Isn't it about time that Mr. Musharref became assassinated? I suppose everyone is afraid that an Islamist would take his place, but at least then the cards would be on the table and we wouldn't have the guy in charge telling us one thing and then doing another."

Not just any Islamist, Nahncee, but an Islamist with a nuclear arsenal. Let's think about that for a moment. Hmmm.

Hitchens the Avowed Trotskyite wrote:

"We didn't know, incidentally, that international black market of rogue states: North Korea, Libya and Iran, linked by AQ Khan and exchanging nuclear and other technologies, formed the corners of the box in which we thought had Saddam Hussein.When people talk about the box he (Saddam Hussein) was in, that box included AQ Khan and the North Koreans and the nuclear black market."

Really? Can anyone substantiate that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons progam? That he had actual business dealing with Iraq? If so, could they please notify the Iraqi Survey Group which unsuccesfully hunted for said program? If containment failed to hold Saddam, then what exactly was the threat? His withered third world army? His nonexistent operational ties to AQ (see the President's two recent admissions, or the CIA reports, or the Senate Intelligence Committee's report)?

If Iran really formed part of the "corner" of a box that contained Hussein, should we really assume that they would supply him with a nuclear bomb? What an asinine statement.

9/13/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

My error, that should read "That he had actual business dealings with AQ Khan?"

9/13/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

At the end of the day, I think we face similar problems in Saudi Arabia- we want the Saudis to put an end to the Wahhabi schools (and their teachers) that operate as terrorist indoctrination camps. But if the Saudi regime is further weakened through bowing to our pressure, the danger of the current regime getting "displaced" grows, and the next regime may not only tolerate the Wahhabis but even support them.

I also truly believe in the power of democracy and its ability to teach people what it is they really want- it's akin to dating. You finally date the cheerleader you always dreamed of only to find out that the girl you loved to look at can be hell to live with (hopefully the conclusion of the Palestinians).

What is unclear is whether the world can wait for the Saudis or Pakistanis (or others like them) to figure this out. The wrong government elected at the wrong time in the wrong place could wreak havoc the likes of which we haven't yet seen.

In the end we may be darned whether we do or don't.

9/13/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

I don’t share the fantasies that so many people it seems wish to have. The enemy is not what we wish or want it to be; it is what it is. To expect any change in its behavior without modifying our behavior to affect this behavior is stupid, gullible, and it grows more and more dangerous with every day.

9/13/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

My question is, does the US have a plan to spirit out all of Pakistan's nukes if Musharraf falls? If Musharraf falls, does the US obtain or destroy Pakistan nukes and then send in troop to Waszistan to clean up the mess?

Or is this "just too hard," and we sit back and wait to be attacked once again....

9/14/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/14/2006 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Or is this "just too hard," and we sit back and wait to be attacked once again...."

I think we have a winner, though I wonder if there's actually anything to wait for, since it is unlikely everything's suddenly going to become crystal clear after another attack.

9/14/2006 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Bisaal said...

Musharraf's fall could lead to India facing an explicit Islamist govt in Pakistan and such a govt could give India its Israel moment as India gets the benefit of increased terrorist inflitation backed by missiles.

9/14/2006 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger weswinger said...

It is so nice of reocon to drop by here to give us the benefit of the NY Time's talking points.

See these Lilliputians for the instructions to tie up Gulliver.

What a maroon.

9/14/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Osama bin Laden announced his strategy to establish bases and pockets of territory along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Why is such a dump as the Afghan-Pakistani border an issue in the world? Where TF is Waziristan? How many divisions does it have?

So the Paki elite wants to play Western and the locals don't.

Who cares? Culture change is just rolling its (less than) merry way through the most backward culture on the planet. Won't be pleasant, never has been.

Why do we care? Why are we even discussing it?

What am I missing?

ADE

9/14/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Bisaal,
I agree. The positive aspect of this (and a very significant positive aspect) is that this will bring India closer to us.

As far as Musharraf goes, it is no surprise. Virtually any nation/leader is going to do what is in their best interests, or at least what they perceive to be in their best interests. He is not going to personally sacrifice himself to help us in our struggle.

9/14/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

For all its de facto Mullah cringe, Waziristan is and will remain a territory within the national bounds of Pakistan. As a general officer, Musharref eventually will "just fade away". What then?

Here's a zinger, certain to evoke outraged howls from all and sundry: Unilaterally or otherwise, America should declare the Nuclear Club no longer open. Iran, North Korea, yea even Waziristan, may not and WILL NOT acquire nukes-- deliverable or no, in any wise.

To those who gently admonish, "You're an Imperialist, how dare you presume to dictate transnational foreign policy (sic)!" we reply: This is a matter of civilizational life and death. Hundreds of millions of lives, the enlightened progress of many centuries, are all at stake. Such a ban does not "Rule the World", it imposes reality upon feckless jihadis and other nihilists whose "policy" is not victory or defeat but simply death.

Twenty years from, the Chinese People's Republic (if there is one) intends to plant a permanent installation on the Moon. This will be a military base, whose sole object will be to destroy competitive space-faring by threatening to drop nuclear devices down our Gravity Well. In high dudgeon, who will then lay waste Cathay?

Far-fetched? No more so than the Herzegovian spark that ignited World War I. Once new dynamics form, they run their course... politically impossible? As in Hitler's re-occupation of the Rhineland, who could know that taking action prevented WWII? Alas, not being prophets, we yet must act-- effectively, and in time.

Too bad that Islam and its murderous acolytes force the issue. A Declaration of Nuclear Intent should have been issued by Eisenhower in 1953 if not by Truman in 1945-- backed with explicit guarantees that (for example) Stalin and his henchman Mao would not survive regime-change. Hindsight, yes... but what of hindsight from 2025's perspective? We --the peaceful, prosperous, dynamic civilization of the West-- will otherwise be "one with Ninevah and Tyre".

Rome fell to Odoacer 1,530 years ago last week. Prepare to join her, in a new Dark Age.

9/14/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger JD Sherman said...

Any chance the US still has a good enough relationship with Musharraf that we can get him to award independence to Wazzy-stan. The multi-national force can then clean-up this problem and leave. Pakiland can then re-absorb the now pacified or even depopulated failed country. Everyone wins.

9/14/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Reocon asks, "If containment failed to hold Saddam, then what exactly was the threat?"

One could say we should have just waited to see. But that leads one to ask, post 9/11, if that really is an appealing answer.

As to an operational link to AQ Kahn, the Israelis (no slouches at keeping track of such things) accused Iraq of having sent nuclear physicists to Libya to work on a joint weapons program.

And then there's that whole Iraq paid N. Korea to deliver missiles deal.

Saddam may have been in a box, as it were, but it seems he was determined to break out of it.

Who wants to argue he never would have?

9/14/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

It is beyond me why Wretchard continues to think that Hitchens is witty or wise. Cut through all the rhetorical flash and what Hitchens is saying is: “OK, we found no WMD in Iraq but Saddam COULD HAVE purchased them,” which is the worst post-hoc justification for a failed preventative war imaginable.

Hitchens was part of a cabal with fellow Trotskyite Kanan Makiya and the convicted con man Ahmed Chalabi to convince gullible American policy makers that the Iraqi people would be secular, liberal and pro-Israel. Here is Hitchens weasel-ly mea culpa over his ties to Chalabi:

http://www.slate.com/id/2101345


And here is where Chalabi went politically with all that American goodwill:

http://www.needlenose.com/i/swopa/SadrChalabi.jpg


Yes, that’s Sadr, Chalabi’s ally. Hitchens has much to answer for.

9/14/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

sirius_sir said...
"As to an operational link to AQ Kahn, the Israelis (no slouches at keeping track of such things) accused Iraq of having sent nuclear physicists to Libya to work on a joint weapons program."

Oh please! Another Judith Miller adventure! You'll have to do better than that to convince me. And Weswinger claims I'm putting up NYTimes talking points?! (BTW Weswinger if you want to actually refute the points I raise then please do so.) Miller writes of: "Stories sourced to senior Israeli officials"? What stories, what officials? This is sloppy third hand attribution that shows why Miller is now a radioactive joke in the journalistic community.

Sirius_Sir, if the Israelis had RELIABLE evidence of a joint Libyan-Iraqi nuclear weapons program, don't you think they'd share them with us? I think the Bush administration would be dying to release such info if they had it . . . to justify their Mesopatamian misadventure at least.

Sirius_Sir, you obviously didn't read the second article you posted. Here's the opening paragraph:

"Saddam Hussein's government paid North Korea $10 million for medium-range Nodong missile technology in the months before the Iraq war, but never received any goods because of U.S. pressure, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq said yesterday."

This is a success story for containment. It worked. The Iraqis did not get there medium range missiles. (If they were to be aimed at Iran, maybe they should have?)

9/14/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The best thing we can do to prop up Musharraf is to prosecute Waziristan with great prejudice. He will inevitably condemn the actions and he can show that once and for all what side he is on. It worked wonders for Saddam. Talibani with nukes, jeesh.

9/14/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Reocon,

Saddam was part of a distributed Jihadi WoMD network. The less of these players there are to deal with, the better. Hitchens and Chalabi are unimportant. What is important is the signal sent to all the other players by making example of Iraq. You play this game and you're going to get whacked. Qaddaffi got the message. Iran & Pakistan, not yet.

9/14/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Mzta,
"cuse me sur buts iz try'n hard ta get da bus to da Elephant Bar..would any youz know whenits be by?
imeen by possum feets is kill'n me an ta hear it da gotz free beer and vienna sausage ..hmmm..had one uva dem pickle eggs ..rite dam gud butz i dont see da buss i be needed to heads dat away.

9/14/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

occam whisker said...
"Reocon,

Saddam was part of a distributed Jihadi WoMD network."

Evidence. I ask for some substantive evidence. And before you post it here, please send it first to the White House which needs it even more than I do. (And please, given recent history, spare us the histrionics of a Judith Miller.)

9/14/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Reocon, the point I was making was that Saddam was continually trying to subvert all attempts to contain him, even cooperating with members of the AQ network in trying to obtain proscribed weapons. And not to put too fine a point on it, you obviously skipped right over the part in that same story which you accused me of not reading where it is revealed that Saddam had successfully continued operating illegal weapons programs despite the UN inspections--inspections which, by the way, you argued in a previous thread violated Iraq's sovereignty.

So according to you we were successfully keeping Saddam in his little box, despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite your contention we had no right to do so.

To my way of thinking that is a strange, strange argument to make.

9/14/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Starko said:

"At the end of the day, I think we face similar problems in Saudi Arabia- we want the Saudis to put an end to the Wahhabi schools (and their teachers) that operate as terrorist indoctrination camps. But if the Saudi regime is further weakened through bowing to our pressure, the danger of the current regime getting "displaced" grows, and the next regime may not only tolerate the Wahhabis but even support them."

Starko's comment sums up our basic dilemma for the entire Middle East. The Saudi goverment is an absolute monarchy that owes its power to Wahhabism. However if that government was to fall it would almost certainly be replaced by some obscenity that's not too different from the Taliban. Ditto this basic situation for Pakistan and to a lesser extent for Egypt.

So one is lead to ask: "Is Bush's policy of establishing democracy in the Middle East a fool's errand?" I suspect that democracy in the Middle East is our only option short of invoking a scorched Earth tactic and exterminating most of the Middle East's population. It's clear there will a nasty start transient during which time the local people realize that a Taliban style government is a bad idea. Of course, if they can't figure that out (either due to their religion and dysfunctional culture) then the "clash of civilizations" that we all want to avoid will be unavoidable. What we're observing now is a desperate attempt to avoid that undesireable outcome.

9/14/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Iraq-Libya Nuclear Connection?

9/14/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Eggplant,
"I suspect that democracy in the Middle East is our only option short of invoking a scorched Earth tactic and exterminating most of the Middle East's population."

Exactly! We could arguably (and rationally) have skipped the attempt at democracy and gone straight to scorched earth, but morally and ethically I think we at least needed to make the attempt.

9/14/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Reocon,

I don't know who Judith Miller is. And I don't care.

Whether the evidence was there or not, is really besides the point. It's enough that the suspicion was there and that Saddam, for whatever reason, did everything he could to reinforce that suspicion. The message needs to be clear and unequivocal. If we so much as suspect that you're part of a Jihadi WoMD program, you're going to get whacked. Plain and simple.

9/14/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

exhelodrvr said:

"We could arguably (and rationally) have skipped the attempt at democracy and gone straight to scorched earth, but morally and ethically I think we at least needed to make the attempt."

We really are at a branch point in history. I can imagine President Bush thinking "Will future historian praise me or damn me for what I'm doing now?" IMHO, Bush is very focused on those future opinions which is why he's such an easy target for the moonbats and the MSM.

9/14/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jimdawg said...

It's not that the West lacks the tools to solve the problems that lie within the Black Box, it's the sorry fact that the West prefers to wallow in self delusion and therefore currently lacks the will and motivation to solve the problem. It's a question of when, not if, the black box explodes and forces the demoralized and devastated West to wake up and respond as it should have years ago. Musharraf's capitulation on Waziristan should all we need to drop a couple tactical nukes on the area and show the fanatics that we can play the game better than they.

9/14/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The question is "is how many Muslims would answer the call to a Taliban style Islamic theocracy if they felt that the West had put a target on all Middle Easterners".

Worked wonders for Hezbollah.

9/14/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Guys,

I keep saying and I still believe that there is big opportunity for our side in Waziristan. One proven technique for fighting terrorism is to give them a safe haven wfor a while. Peru used this against the Shining Path.

Waziristan is now a safe haven with US (and NATO for a little while anyway) troops on one side. Something along the lines of Sherman's march to the sea, starting with an Air Assault on Quetta and going to the Afgahn border would have a nice effect.

9/14/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Exactly! We could arguably (and rationally) have skipped the attempt at democracy (A) and gone straight to scorched earth (B), but morally and ethically I think we at least needed to make the attempt."

The problem, in retrospect, is that whereas after 9-11 the US citizenry could have been mobilized emotionally and politically, it now is in many ways impervious to such a drastic change of course. Institutional and cultural inertia.

After 9-11 a significant minority of Americans wanted to use nuclear weapons, now we're debating coerscive interrogation. Whereas the Democratic Party, Europeans, and generally everyone but Iraq was forced into line immediately after 9-11, all of them are now openly or silently hostile - something that might not change even after a significant attack, now that they've got President Bush, Iraq, and American foreign policy as a crutch to last them until the 21st century. Most people will grasp at any straw in order to avoid the conclusion that we need to initiate a war that will kill millions of people (as a wide war in the Middle East would do).

IMO it is extremely unlikely we're ever going to get to (B).

9/14/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

sirius_sir said...
"And not to put too fine a point on it, you obviously skipped right over the part in that same story which you accused me of not reading where it is revealed that Saddam had successfully continued operating illegal weapons programs despite the UN inspections--inspections which, by the way, you argued in a previous thread violated Iraq's sovereignty."

Please. Iraq jury-rigging Silkworm anti-ship missiles into land based attacked missiles? Twelve of them? That's a sad commentary on their declining military effectiveness, not proof that they were a threat to us an ocean away.

"So according to you we were successfully keeping Saddam in his little box, despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite your contention we had no right to do so."

The containment regime insured that Saddam was not a threat to us. Jury-rigged Silkworms and undelivered Nodong missiles and nonexistent WMDs did not constitute a threat to US security. Especially compared to knocking over Iraq and giving it to pro-Iranian Shiite Islamists. No, Saddam still had utility for us in continuing to check Iran. With a little bit of ingenuity we should have had them go at again, which was a nice state of affairs.

occam whisker said...
"Reocon,
I don't know who Judith Miller is. And I don't care."

You should know a little bit about the sources you publish, otherwise they could be pro-Chalabi dupes so thoroughly discredited that they were dropped by even the New York Times. That would be embarassing.

"Whether the evidence was there or not, is really besides the point."

Oh, but of course it is. How silly of me. Sheer suspicion alone should be reason enough to topple an anti-Iranian regime and give it to . . . well, Iran. What was I thinking?

9/14/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Wazistan,

Hellfireland. I doubt they will gather for funerals frequently, now that we showed them what remote-sensing means.

It will beome difficult to operate anything there, with our drone inventory improving to 36-hours time over target, automatic relief, mid-air refueling for UAVs by solar-powered tanker UAVs, etc. Swarms of multipurpose, unmanned, watchers. Nosecone video at 11:00.

9/14/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

annoy mouse said:

The question is "is how many Muslims would answer the call to a Taliban style Islamic theocracy if they felt that the West had put a target on all Middle Easterners".

Any Shi'ity little country can have any 7th Century theocracy they want to, with the caveat that no citizen of that country gets to fly on any Western airline.

9/14/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

This is actually an excellent development. These " safe havens" are nice death traps once we decide they have enough bad guys in them so we can square it with Musharaf.

9/14/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

While there are some positive aspects to having an open and considated enemy area, generally sanctuaries are a net negative. See Afghanistan pre 9-11, Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos, and China during the Korea War. I don't think anybody ever won a war by allowing the enemy to regroup, no matter how temporary they hoped it would be. The smart ones aren't going to stay and fight if you eventually move in anyway. The Second Battle of Falluja probably raised the resistance's collective IQ.

9/14/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Cutler,
"IMO it is extremely unlikely we're ever going to get to (B)."

It will take at least one more major attack on the west to get to that point.

9/14/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Reocon,

We would not be in a position to attack Iran if Saddam was still in Iraq today. We would have had to fight a two-pronged war simultaneously, and the supply of oil from both Iran and Iraq would have been in jeopardy. The fear of an ensuing worldwide economic shock resulting from the loss of oil supply from both these places would have made it impossible to proceed. Even today, with Iraqi oil secure and with just Iran left to use its oil supply as a weapon, there is still great trepidation addressing the Iranians.

9/14/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Geoffgo - "It will beome difficult to operate anything there, with our drone inventory improving to 36-hours time over target, automatic relief, mid-air refueling for UAVs by solar-powered tanker UAVs, etc. Swarms of multipurpose, unmanned, watchers. Nosecone video at 11:00."

Michael Yon has been writing lately on the futility of trying to fight an ideology by military means alone. Especially by a military obsessed with high tech wonder toys. He calculates we spend 10 million dollars or more for each illiterate Talibani we manage to kill, of which there is an inexhaustible supply.

Alas, there is not an inexhaustible supply of dollars China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia are willing to lend wastrel debtor American to play whack-a-mole with Islamist terrorists or develop the multibillion dollar "solar powered UAV nanotech enabled refueling vehicle". Which can't find single people on the ground in sanctuaries we fear to go into and can't do more than tell the generals that they is another target they look at and refuse to bomb because we lack allies, strategic communications in the war with radical Islam, and lack a strategy on how to win. And the people are divided back home from incoherent and conflicted leadership.

So the logical thing to do is build the "solar powered high tech AUV refueling wonder toy" even if it is of no real use in an ideological war...because at least building it with borrowed Chinese money will enable millionaire defense contractors donating to key Congressional people that much richer...

Precisely bin Laden's point when he said his goal, like with the Soviets, was not to militarily defeat America but to help it economically destroy itself and question its corrupted, materialistic culture.

9/14/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Iraq jury-rigging Silkworm anti-ship missiles into land based attacked missiles? Twelve of them?

Reocon, you really must learn to read more carefully. Here, I'll give you another chance:

Mr. Kay, in a telephone interview with reporters, also said the discovery that Iraq's intelligence service had built at least a dozen clandestine weapons laboratories was one of the surprises of the three-month search for weapons of mass destruction and missile programs that he led.

Did you get that? The reference is not to twelve missiles in isolation, but to at least twelve clandestine weapons labs. That's quite a difference, I'd say.

Oh, but I can already hear your rejoinder... Only a dozen or more labs? Is that all?

And then, there's still this, which you seem to have missed too.

9/14/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Sirius_Sir,
It's OK, though, because the 12 weapons labs are contained in a box.

9/14/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Cutler,
"IMO it is extremely unlikely we're ever going to get to (B)."

It will take at least one more major attack on the west to get to that point."


I hope you are right, and I once held out on it, but I'm beginning to think this may be wishful thinking - that even if we lose this round, the next round will somehow be different. Personally, I fear differences between Americans and non-Americans, and Republicans and Democratics, to widen rather than narrow after another attack.

Committing to that sort of adventure is a big leap of faith, especially when someone like Wretchard, won't even commit to fullblown torture. I'm fearing we're more bark than bite insofar as (B) is concerned.

9/14/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Committing to that sort of adventure is a big leap of faith, especially when someone like Wretchard, won't even commit to fullblown torture."

Using torturing terrorists as a benchmark against the ugly stuff that is going to happen fighting a couple hundred million hostile Muslims, backed by foreign public opinion and many of our own opinion makers.

Torture, even full-blown "get out the pliers" type stuff, is small potatoes.

9/14/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

"And then, there's still this, which you seem to have missed too."

And don't forget that during the 2003 liberation of Iraq that US forces came across a previously unknown chemical factory, one that even our satellites had missed. Located near Najaf, the 100-acre complex was surrounded by an electrical fence and the Iraqis had camouflaged the facility by swathing it in sand-cast walls to make it look like the surrounding desert. Inside the factory US forces captured an Iraqi general. Kind of above his pay grade to guarding a "lowly" chemical factory, don't you think? And why would the facility be camouflaged? Answer: Saddam was getting ready for the day that the sanctions would be lifted and he could resume making chemical weapons. You have to remember that Iraq had developed the most extensive chemical weapons in the Third World and had used them in war. They were among only three nations (US, USSR and Iraq) to have produced VX gas on a large scale (they admitted in 1996 to having produced 4 tons of the nastiest nerve agent known to man). Saddam used the Food for Oil program
to influence and corrupt many in the West. With the billions he skimmed out of the program Saddam bought allies and created a constituency (can anyone say France?) to end the sanctions. The "box" was about to be opened. Once the sanctions were removed can anyone doubt that Saddam would not have rebuilt his WMD programs in short order? He was a clear and present danger. He needed to be dealt with.

9/14/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Exhelo,

If you get a chance I'd like to know what you think about my 4:36, I've always respected your opinion. It wasn't just a rhetorical post, I'd genuinely love an optimistic point of view.

9/15/2006 07:02:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger