Skip to comments.Americans Weary of Nation Building
Posted on 03/12/2012 1:20:37 PM PDT by trappedincanuckistan
Americans left, right, Democrats and Republicans are all sick of thankless nation-building in the Middle East. Yet democratization was not our first choice, but rather a last resort after prior failures.
The U.S. had long ago supplied Afghan insurgents, who expelled the Soviets after a decade of fighting. Then we left. The country descended into even worse medievalism under the Taliban. So after removing the Taliban, who had hosted the perpetrators of 9/11, we promised in 2001 to stay on.
We won the first Gulf War in 1991. Then most of our forces left the region. The result was the mass murder of the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites, 12 years of no-fly zones, and a failed oil-for-food embargo of Saddam's Iraq. So after removing Saddam in 2003, we tried to leave behind something better.
In the last 10 years the U.S. has spent more than $1 trillion and has lost thousands of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both places seem far better off than when ruled by the Taliban and Saddam Hussein at least for a while.
Yet the Iraqis now bear Americans little good will. They seem friendlier to Iran and Syria than to their liberators. In Afghanistan, riots continue over the mistaken burning of defaced Qurans, despite serial U.S. apologies.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
“Americans Weary of Nation Building”
Republicans were, too, when Clinton did it. Then suddenly after a certain date they changed their minds, I guess because they couldn’t think of anything better to do. Hey, it worked in Germany and Japan, didn’t it? Why not in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan? Well, thems the breaks.
We may well be. But, I know we are sick of spending blood on treasure on losing. And, that does seem to be the overall strategy for the last 40+ years.
I have problems with nation building in general, but the biggest problem with intervention in the Middle East is that they are not our friends. They hate Western Civilization.
Big difference. They had to pulverize those countries into submission. Now, they can't even shoot unless they get shot at first.
You can’t build modern states out of savages.
Musta had their weekly US foreign policy strategy meeting at the elite Four Seasons, deciding US foreign polcy in Syria over Brie, chilled Cristal, and Beluga caviar on toast.
For instance, how many young US soldiers should lose their lives in yet another failed MIdeast incursion, and how many trillions of US tax dollars neocons want Americans to pony up.
A Syrian incursion ALSO means neocon bossman Richard Perle needs more US billions to sink into his Iraqi oil company-the one he financed with war profits.....
Americans pay the price at the pump-so that the neos can pocket billions. Neocons strategy was to get out of these hellholes without getting a promise of oil.
Her are the various Mideast American policy failures the US was inveigled into over the last few decades.
<><> Military assistance or punitive intervention without follow-up mostly failed.
<><>The verdict on far more costly trillion dollar nation-building is still out.
<><>Trying to help popular insurgents topple unpopular dictators does not guarantee anything better.
<><> Propping up dictators with military aid is both odious and counterproductive.
<><> Keeping clear of maniacal regimes leads to either nuclear acquisition or genocide -- 16 acres of rubble in Manhattan.....(and elsewhere?)
Keep in mind, all of this has been manipulated by the pariah neocons. These opportunistic ding-dongs actually had an office in the GWB WH---they alone had the secret LIST of coutries the US would invade without provocation.
The n/c's favorite sport---- after looting the US Treasury---- was kicking Repub social conservatives to the curb. McCain's Syrian proposal means they still got Repubs by the b***s.
We’ve had the ‘limited war’ doctrine since 1951 since the Truman administration after Truman threatened to use nukes in the Korean conflict. That’s how long we’ve dedicated ourselves to losing.
You can’t build modern states where people reject the modern world.
It’d be one thing if it EVER WORKED! Or at least didn’t always make things worse.
This administration can’t even build our own nation, let alone those in the Middle East. All they are doing is spending money over there. It’s time we cut the cord. Especially on oil and start producing our own......which we have plenty of if we keep it all here in the U.S.
I have read studies that claimed the Marshal plan may have actually retarded European rebuilding.
“Big difference. They had to pulverize those countries into submission. Now, they can’t even shoot unless they get shot at first.”
Oh, we pummeled Iraqis and Afghanis, too. Remember Shock and Awe? It didn’t take as much, but that’s because their military-industrial capacity was not that of the others. Also, Afghanistan was pre-pulverized from decades past. Wasn’t their average age for adult males like 13, or somesuch ridiculous number?
As for restrictive rules of engagement, I’m sure we had to use kid gloves in Germany and (perhaps less so) Japan after surrender, too. No doubt we’re more politically correct these days, and in many ways it’ll never be the same. But you forget about the distinction, which is as old as manned air flight itself, between ground and air killing. one is unaccountably okay and the other evil. Ground troops may be handcuffed into the mold of post-Rodney King LA cops, but bombs and missles can still, early in the war at least, rain down like it’s 1945.
I stand corrected. Thanks.
> Hey, it worked in Germany and Japan, didnt it? Why not in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan?
1) Japan and Germany have people who are industrious and educated.
2) Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan have people who desire to live in the 7th century.
3) The USA should just get out of nation building. We would not actually need anything other nations have to offer if the leftists and the enviros would allow us to use our own resources and the government would remove all of the anti-business money-grubbing legislation.
Which calls for a different strategy. Fighting a losing war isn’t my idea of a good strategy. But, what do I know?
“Weve had the limited war doctrine since 1951 since the Truman administration after Truman threatened to use nukes in the Korean conflict”
I think we can all agree that nukes pose a special problem. It wouldn’t strain credulity to claim we’re going all out without them. I date “limited war” policy to McNamara and the Whiz Kids.
I’m weary of it. I was weary of it when Pres. Bush tried it with Ashcanistan. We tried to illiterate Moslem savages into a Western democracy, which was obviously not going to work.
Given the nature of Afghanistan, I think we should consider “tribe exterminating” when dealing with these savages.
“Because Germany and Japan are nations with educated and industrious people.”
By the way, I meant the Germany and Japan comments to be from the mouths of neo-cons. I should have put it in quotation marks or included a sarcasm tag. I personally am against nation building except as punishment when the other guys start it, and not even always then. Just like I was in the 90s, which was my post’s main point.
Glad to see a lot of Freepers are against needless interventionism. I hope it stays the norm when we have a Republican President.
Nope. In fact the occupation of Germany was pretty brutal. (Dunno as much about Japan...)
For example, after WWII, there was a coal shortage. With winter approaching available coal was routed to France, the UK, etc. Germany was slighted because it was felt that the US occupation force would have fewer problems shooting German civilians if they rioted... There were no “kid gloves” for the losers back then.
IMHO, the current issue derives from the treaties on the laws of land warfare that were signed AFTER WWII. Roughly translated, they seem to read “The US is not allowed to use its full might to bring a war to an absolute and satisfactory conclusion.”
In his 1999 campaign against Al Gore, George Bush spoke out strongly against the military being used for "Nation Building".
After the 9/11 attack he spent the next 7 1/2 years doing exactly that. Even worse it has proved to be a very expensiove total failure by just about any measurable standard.
George W. Bush in 2000 at a debate with Vice President Al Gore:
Somalia started off as a humanitarian mission and then changed into a nation-building mission, and thats where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed, and as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I dont think our troops ought to be used for whats called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win wars.
I still favor my own idea. Basically if the people of the country wish to live in medieval times, you make it so. You just destroy every technical vestige of civilization until they are living in that era. All machinery, electronics, generators, etc. Pulverize it all and let them live with the fruits of how they choose to act.
I would try to avoid unnecessary casualties when doing this, so use precision strikes, but the end result is the most important thing.
This has the handy side effect of also preventing them from being a useful harbor or future source of terrorists. Nobody will base themselves in a country with no communications or transport.
Are you saying that we won in Iraq and Afghanistan?
“You cant build modern states out of savages.”
And you can’t bomb them back to the stone age when they never left it.
“You can’t polish a turd.”
Here’s what I wrote on the subject of Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan a while back.
We SHOULD withdraw from Iraq via Tehran.
Heres how I think we should pull out of Iraq. Add one more front to the scenario below, which would be a classic amphibious beach landing from the south in Iran, and it becomes a strategic withdrawal from Iraq. And I think the guy who would pull it off is Duncan Hunter.
How to Stand Up to Iran
Posted by Kevmo to TomasUSMC
On News/Activism 03/28/2007 7:11:08 PM PDT 36 of 36
Split Iraq up and get out
***The bold military move would be to mobilize FROM Iraq into Iran through Kurdistan and then sweep downward, meeting up with the forces that we pull FROM Afghanistan in a 2-pronged offensive. We would be destroying nuke facilities and building concrete fences along geo-political lines, separating warring tribes physically. At the end, we take our boys into Kurdistan, set up a couple of big military bases and stay awhile. We could invite the French, Swiss, Italians, Mozambiqans, Argentinians, Koreans, whoever is willing to be the police forces for the regions that we move through, and if the area gets too hot for these peacekeeper weenies we send in military units. Basically, it would be learning the lesson of Iraq and applying it.
15 rules for understanding the Middle East
Rule 8: Civil wars in the Arab world are rarely about ideas like liberalism vs. communism. They are about which tribe gets to rule. So, yes, Iraq is having a civil war as we once did. But there is no Abe Lincoln in this war. Its the South vs. the South.
Rule 10: Mideast civil wars end in one of three ways: a) like the U.S. civil war, with one side vanquishing the other; like the Cyprus civil war, with a hard partition and a wall dividing the parties; or c) like the Lebanon civil war, with a soft partition under an iron fist (Syria) that keeps everyone in line. Saddam used to be the iron fist in Iraq. Now it is us. If we dont want to play that role, Iraqs civil war will end with A or B.
Lets say my scenario above is what happens. Would that military mobilization qualify as a withdrawal from Iraq as well as Afghanistan? Then, when were all done and we set up bases in Kurdistan, it wouldnt really be Iraq, would it? It would be Kurdistan.
I have posted in the past that I think the key to the strategy in the middle east is to start with an independent Kurdistan. If we engaged Iran in such a manner we might earn back the support of these windvane politicians and wussie voters who dont mind seeing a quick & victorious fight but hate seeing endless police action battles that dont secure a country.
I thought it would be cool for us to set up security for the Kurds on their southern border with Iraq, rewarding them for their bravery in defying Saddam Hussein. We put in some military bases there for, say, 20 years as part of the occupation of Iraq in their transition to democracy. We guarantee the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan as long as they dont engage with Turkey. But that doesnt say anything about engaging with Iranian Kurdistan. Within those 20 years the Kurds could have a secure and independent nation with expanding borders into Iran. After we close down the US bases, Kurdistan is on her own. But at least Kurdistan would be an independent nation with about half its territory carved out of Persia. If Turkey doesnt relinquish her claim on Turkish Kurdistan after that, it isnt our problem, its 2 of our allies fighting each other, one for independence and the other for regional primacy. I support democratic independence over a bullying arrogant minority.
The kurds are the closest thing we have to friends in that area. They fought against Saddam (got nerve-gassed), theyre fighting against Iran, they squabble with our so-called ally Turkey (who didnt allow Americans to operate in the north of Iraq this time around).
Its time for them to have their own country. They deserve it. They carve Kurdistan out of northern Iraq, northern Iran, and try to achieve some kind of autonomy in eastern Turkey. If Turkey gets angry, we let them know that there are consequences to turning your back on your friend when they need you. If the Turks want trouble, they can invade the Iraqi or Persian state of Kurdistan and kill americans to make their point. It wouldnt be a wise move for them, theyd get their backsides handed to them and have eastern Turkey carved out of their country as a result.
If such an act of betrayal to an ally means they get a thorn in their side, I would be happy with it. Its time for people who call themselves our allies to put up or shut up. The Kurds have been putting up and deserve to be rewarded with an autonomous and sovereign Kurdistan, borne out of the blood of their own patriots.
Should Turkey decide to make trouble with their Kurdish population, we would stay out of it, other than to guarantee sovereignty in the formerly Iranian and Iraqi portions of Kurdistan. When one of our allies wants to fight another of our allies, its a messy situation. If Turkey goes into the war on Irans side then they aint really our allies and thats the end of that.
I agree that its hard on troops and their families. We won the war 4 years ago. This aftermath is the nation builders and peacekeeper weenies realizing that they need to understand things like the 15 rules for understanding the Middle East
This was the strategic error that GWB committed. It was another brilliant military campaign but the followup should have been 4X as big. All those countries that dont agree with sending troups to fight a war should have been willing to send in policemen and nurses to set up infrastructure and repair the country.
What do you think we should do with Iraq?
Posted by Kevmo to Blue Scourge
On News/Activism 12/12/2006 9:17:33 AM PST 23 of 105
My original contention was that we should have approached the reluctant allies like the French to send in Police forces for the occupation after battle, since they were so unwilling to engage in the fighting. It was easy to see that wed need as many folks in police and nurses uniforms as we would in US Army unitorms in order to establish a democracy in the middle east. But, since we didnt follow that line of approach, we now have a civil war on our hands. If we were to set our sights again on the police/nurse approach, we might still be able to pull this one off. I think we won the war in Iraq; we just havent won the peace.
I also think we should simply divide the country. The Kurds deserve their own country, theyve proven to be good allies. We could work with them to carve out a section of Iraq, set their sights on carving some territory out of Iran, and then when theyre done with that, we can help negotiate with our other allies, the Turks, to secure Kurdish autonomy in what presently eastern Turkey.
That leaves the Sunnis and Shiites to divide up whats left. We would occupy the areas between the two warring factions. Also, the UN/US should occupy the oil-producing regions and parcel out the revenue according to whatever plan they come up with. That gives all the sides something to argue about rather than shooting at us.
38 posted on Thursday, July 12, 2007 3:55:19 PM by Kevmo (We need to get away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party ~Duncan Hunter)
So when a soldier who would understand this more than anyone goes for a walk you would understand and support him 1000%?
And no, I'm not stalking you, I was pinged to this thread and here you was.
It's impossible to be a Fiscal hawk if you're for liberal social issue as those cost money to run. And we know how good Mittens is at 'running things'. Like
health Romneycare in Tax-a-chusetts. And he's said over and over he doesn't want to downsize the FedGov Beast, just make it 'more efficient'.
I bet all the old Neo players from Dubya's days are polishing up their resumes right now. (while dollar signs dance in their heads)
Sure, Shock and Awe was a lot of firepower, but it was strictly a 'military perimeter' engagement. They keeled over backwards not to even scratch a 'civilian' brick or mortar.
I don't recall any cities or towns in Iraq or Afghanistan looking like this...
Oh joy, another Office of Special Ops in the WH (/snix).
Let's see--eeny, meeny, mino mo--which countries do the neos want us to invade after the election?
On second thought, bite your tongue. We have to be very careful what we say about these "innocents"....the sad, sad history is that they've been thrown out of every country that's accepted them b/c of schemes like this (sob).
That's a joke, right? Clinton had no bigger cheerleader for Kosovo than John "I never saw a war I didn't like" McLame.
Yes and no.
They want modern weapons - RPGs, MGs, ARs, etc. They especially like loot.
But they have no use for the trappings of civilization and civil society: Literacy, law, indoor plumbing, etc.
We went about nation building in the wrong fashion. Afghanis are not suited for any sort of representative government. Basically, we should have found a competent sociopath with a good following, trained and armed his followers, and put him in charge. We make sure that he knows that he will survive and the goodies will keep coming only as long as he enjoys our favor. If he forfeits it, or start courting the favor of others, we destroy him AND his family. (Collective punishment WORKS!)
Then we use our pet sociopath for the ugly tasks we don’t want our soldiers to have do, like exterminating entire villages or even entire tribes for supporting Al Qaeda or the Taliban. We crush the resistance, his thugs kill off the old, the women, and the children (the ones the don’t grab for slaves and concubines).
IMHO, that would have brought the Afghanistan campaign to successful conclusion sooner rather than later.
That would certainly be effective, but I don’t think Americans are coldly calculating enough for that anymore. In the Cold War prime, surely, as we did it all the time then. Nowadays, we get all touchy feely and toss our self interest out the window.
Then again, nobody would entertain my solution either so there’s little difference. I just like mine because of the ‘just deserts’ angle.
Yeah, you're right.
Maybe we should have a Tag Day for the Chief Neo, Billy Kristol. 'The word on the street ' is that he's down to his last $25 million dollars. :-)
ps: sorry for these day late replies but I've been busy on a 'project' so my time here has been limited. Should be back to normal later today or definitely tomorrow)
That's why he's got that perpetual smirk on his puss.
He knows he can hit Perle up for another billion or two.
“I believe Germany and Japan did most of their rebuilding themselves, unlike Afghanistan & Iraq where we gave them most of it.
It’s an example of how welfare does not work on the international level either.”
There was the Marshall Plan, which along with the GI Bill is perpetually put forward as an example of Big Government spurring the postwar economic boom.
“For example, after WWII, there was a coal shortage. With winter approaching available coal was routed to France, the UK, etc. Germany was slighted because it was felt that the US occupation force would have fewer problems shooting German civilians if they rioted”
Not that I don’t believe you, but how much was perception and how much reality? How likely was it that a German citizen would be shot, and how often were U.S. soldiers arrested in the aftermath? How easy will it be decades from now to warp random instances of shooting civilians, pissing on corpses, and disrespecting (or not) holy texts into a pattern of brutality? Afghans are doing that already.
"Nation Building" in the Third World has not only been in violation of our Constitution; it has been a very flawed concept. (For example, see Democracy In Third World--Destructive Egalitarian Myth.)
“Are you saying that we won in Iraq and Afghanistan?”
Yes and no, depending on what you’re talking about. You can’t say we didn’t win anything. What else can you call crushing the Republican Guard and routing the Taliban? They’re not in power anymore, even if nothing permanent has taken their place.
What we didn’t win was “the peace.” Nor have we made much headway with that nation-building thing candidate Bush promised he wouldn’t try. Whether we’ve accomplished anything of lasting value is impossible to say, though doubtful. Still, you can’t say we didn’t win anything.
“They keeled over backwards not to even scratch a ‘civilian’ brick or mortar.”
I realize Germany and Japan got it relatively worse, almost to the point where it can seem like setting the World Series next to a little league game. But that’s the way war with Third Worlders works. We dropped more ordnance on Vietnam than all theaters of WWII combined, or something like that, without pictures like you posted to show for it. That’s because we weren’t hitting heavy industry or population centers, for the simple reason that, like Iraq and Afghanistan, they didn’t have heavy industry or a dense population.
We continue to rely on Death From Above, as in WWII. It’s just less so, largely because there’s less to destroy. Also because pretty much everyone realizes firebombing tens of thousands of people per run was overkill and unecessary. Still, if you think we didn’t destroy any buildings or kill any civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan, I have a bridge to sell you.
I got that out of a history book about post-war Germany. We were HARD on the Germans. If we wanted a house, we commandeered it and the family went out into the street. The German economy essentially ran on cigarettes until about 1947 or 48. Dunno ‘bout shooting them, but there were some pretty broad sweeps looking for Nazi criminals.
The entirety of WWII was brutal, the Pacific more so than the European. Never think for a second that it was a “good clean war.” I don’t think that such a thing ever existed.
As for warping “random instances of shooting civilians, pissing on corpses, and disrespecting (or not) holy texts into a pattern of brutality,” the Afghans won’t have to do it, our own media will. There is no reason to care what the Afghanis think of us (we should be killing them whenever they cross us...). We need to explain to the media the difference between “First Amendment Rights” and “giving aid and comfort, treason, and subversion.”
“There is no reason to care what the Afghanis think of us”
There is if we want to nation build, which is why nation building is sucha fool’s errand.
You can “nation build” better if you don’t care what the savages think.
For example, I don’t care what my kids think (much). I’m their father, not their friend. They don’t have to like me, they can hate me if they like. I’m here to protect them, provide for them, see that they educated and disciplined, and that they otherwise enter society as competent and civil human beings, not savages (which is what kids start out as...).
Same thing goes for a conquered nation. We’re their conquerors, not their friends. Do it our way, do it when we tell you - or die. They’ll understand why, eventually. They don’t have to understand right now, and they certainly don’t need to like us. They just need to be very, very afraid of us.
I think, aside from the cultural differences, that is why the Germans and Japanese recovered so well. They’d seen their nations utterly ruined, they knew we could do it again with no problems, and they were very appropriately afraid of us.
In Iraq the Muzzies are driving out the Christians and other non-Muzzie faiths. The Shia sect will oppress the Sunnis and ties between Iraq and Iran will continue to grow.
The Taliban are still in Afghanistan. When we leave there they’ll return to power even if it takes a civil war.