Referring to the president as merely inept is to pay him a compliment.
Guess the concept of Operational Overreach was discovered after you retired hmmm?
Counter Terrorism ops are much different then total war. There is an old saying something like "the Generals always plan to refight the last war". That is why so many old military people are trying to apply a conventional military solution to an unconventional operation. Counter Insurgency is a strange bastard style of war. It is not total war but it is also more then the Leftist" Police matter". Guess a lot of you don't know the US waged a successful Counter Insurgency in El Salvador during the 1980s and early 1990s huh? It's called the El Salvador option and it works. The other thing most old neo-Isolationists forget is the political aspect. Iraq was doable. We had the political consensus to do it. So since we needed a kill zone we could suck the terrorists into and we needed to get the American people to support the cost, there was no other choice BUT Iraq. Want to real blow the Leftists minds? Tell them this. Even if Al Gore won in 2000 and 9-11 happened, the USA would STILL be doing the same thing now in Iraq.
Why? Because Iraq was doable militarily and politically. There was no other strategic choice for the USA but Iraq. Once Afghanistan was liberated there was NO where else the USA could go but Iraq. For all those who try to say "oh we should of gone into Pakistan/Saudi Arabia/North Korea/Iran etc etc etc people, there was NO grounds, nor political consensus, to attack any of those countries. Even if there HAD been a way to attack them, the USA could not leave an Iraq we were "containing" unfought on our flank. The minute we had committed militarily someplace else, Saddam would of made trouble. The most immediate threat was Saddam so he had to be dealt with one way or another.
Here in a nutshell, is the military reason for Iraq. The War on Terrorism is different sort of war. In the war on Terrorism, we have a hidden foe, spread out across a geographically diverse area, with covert sources of supply. Since we cannot go everywhere they hide out, in fact often cannot even locate them until the engage us, we need to draw them out of hiding into a kill zone. Iraq is that kill zone. That is the true brilliance of the Iraq strategy. We draw the terrorists out of their world wide hiding places onto a battlefield they have to fight on for political reasons (The "Holy" soil of the Arabian peninsula) where they have to pit their weakest ability (Conventional Military combat power)against our greatest strength (ability to call down unbelievable amounts of firepower) where they will primarily have to fight other forces (the Iraqi Security forces) in a battlefield that is hostile to guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia). There are other reasons to do Iraq but that is the MILITARY reason we are in Iraq. We have taken, an maintain, the initiative from the Terrorists. They are playing OUR game on ground of OUR choosing. For the classic Military minded, we are on Sze Tse's Death Ground.
Problem is Counter Insurgency is SLOW and painful. Often a case of 3 steps forward, two steps back. I often worry that the American people have neither the patients, nor the intellect" to understand. It's so much easier to spew made for TV slogans like "No Blood for Oil" or "We support the Troops, bring them home" then to actually THINK. Problem is the Terrorists have NO desire to coexist with us. They see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. They think their "god" will bless them for killing Westerners. So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest realize we are serious.
See in the Arab world the USA is considered a big wimp. We have runaway so many times. Lebanon, the Kurds, the Iraqis in 1991, the Iranians, Somalia, Clinton all thru the 1990s etc etc etc. The Jihadists think we will run again. In fact they are counting on it. That way they can run around screaming "We beat the American just like the Russians, come join us in Jihad" and recruit the next round of "holy warriors". Iraq is also a show place where the USA refreshed in the World Nations minds the object lesson that there are lines they cannot cross. On 9-11 the "Muhajadeen" crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it
It's very sad and frustrating to see the steep decline of the Bush administration from its high point just after the election, when President Bush announced that he was going to spend some of his political capital.
Since then, this once-great administration is so adrift that it can be compared to the Jimnmy Carter administration. The only difference is that President Bush thus far has not blamed American malaise on the citizenry.
Wake up, President Bush. Many of your once-proud loyal voters are increasingly disgusted and disappointed in your failure to adhere to the Bush Doctrine.