View Full Version : Will "Iraqization" succeed?

07-19-06, 05:46 PM
"We came belatedly to Vietnamization; nonetheless, there are certain principles we followed in Vietnam that would be helpful in Iraq. The most important is that the administration must adhere to a standard of competence for the Iraqi security forces, and when that standard is met, U.S. troops should be withdrawn in corresponding numbers. That is the way it worked in Vietnam, from the first withdrawal of 50,000 troops in 1969 to the last prisoner of war off the plane in January of 1973. Likewise, in Iraq, the United States should not let too many more weeks pass before it shows its confidence in the training of the Iraqi armed forces by withdrawing a few thousand U.S. troops from the country. We owe it to the restive people back home to let them know there is an exit strategy, and, more important, we owe it to the Iraqi people. The readiness of the Iraqi forces need not be 100 percent, nor must the new democracy be perfect before we begin our withdrawal. The immediate need is to show our confidence that Iraqis can take care of Iraq on their own terms. Our presence is what feeds the insurgency, and our gradual withdrawal would feed the confidence and the ability of average Iraqis to stand up to the insurgency.

"I gave President Nixon the same advice about Vietnam from our first day in office. As secretary of defense, I took the initiative in the spring of 1969 to change our mission statement for Vietnam from one of applying maximum pressure against the enemy to one of giving maximum assistance to South Vietnam to fight its own battles. Then, the opponents of our withdrawal were the South Vietnamese government, which we had turned into a dependent, and some in our own military who harbored delusions of total victory in Southeast Asia using American might. Even if such a victory had been possible, it was wrong to Americanize the war from the beginning, and by that point the patience of the American people had run out."


That's from Melvin R. Laird on how to NOT pull another Vietnam in Iraq, never mind how we got there. Hope EJ's pal Warner is listening.

But maybe it's too late :(

"In turn the US Embassy is no longer sure it trusts its very apprehensive Iraqi employees. 'We fear they may exaggerate developments or steer us towards news that comports with their own worldview.' It makes for a dysfunctional workplace. The Ambassador feels it necessary to report the view of an Arab newspaper editor that 'ethnic cleansing...is taking place in almost every Iraqi province.'

"But the most extraordinary segment of the cable needs to be reproduced in full: 'More recently, we have begun shredding documents printed out that show local staff surnames. In March, a few staff members approached us to ask what provisions would we make for them if we evacuate.'

"Shredding documents? If the United States evacuates? Obviously, the Iraqi employees are remembering Saigon in 1975 as Vietnamese employees of the US embassy and armed forces struggled to get on departing helicopters. Are we already coming to that point? It seems some of the Iraqi employees of the US embassy in Baghdad think so, and the US ambassador is so informing Washington."


07-19-06, 08:24 PM
the problem with iraqization is that the new security forces are almost completely shia, and it's now the sunnis saying maybe we shouldn't leave so soon. what a mess.

07-19-06, 11:48 PM
I hear this comparison of two entirely different battles. I can't imagine us leaving Iraq completely for a long-long time. There was no direct economic interest in Vietnam - certainly nothing like Oil. Having an Airfield in Iraq would seem like a wise-wise strategic move.
If we were playing the board game "Risk" - and I was the United States, I'd capture Iraq and be planning on hanging around Iraq for a long-long time. Without Iraq the US would be dependent on Saudi Arabia - who knows what might happen in that county (there alot of Saudis who aren't very pro USA). As long as our economy is dependent on oil - the US will have a presence in Iraq.

07-20-06, 12:08 AM
the problem with iraqization is that the new security forces are almost completely shia, and it's now the sunnis saying maybe we shouldn't leave so soon. what a mess.

glad I don't have any kids that are draft age.