Why does the Army War College HATE America?

Forgive the inflammatory headline. It reflects the frustration among many of us administration critics that criticism of policies that we find unproductive or hurtful to America are cast by administration officials and right wing radio/television as proof we hate America.

Since the beginning of 2003, scholars at the US Army War College have produced a series of monographs which should be required reading for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and even Paul Bremer. Some of these monographs predicted many of the problems that our administration has since claimed were unforeseeable, and others have pointed out serious shortcomings in our occupation and reconstruction. One other, that I've cited here before “Bounding the war on Terror� argues convincingly that Iraq has been an unproductive diversion of resources away from from the fight against al-Qaeda.

I am reproducing the studies' citations with summary, I hope that at least some of you will skim through them, and perhaps download them for your libraries. I should also say that the opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not of the Army War College itself or of the Army. Kudos to the Army War College for fostering the intellectual freedom we need to learn from our mistakes.

The Strategic Studies Institute seems to be having problems implementing Cold Fusion pages, so I have provided non-AWC links for studies that are affected. All the studies should eventually be available through http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/.

May 2004
How Iraq Compares With Vietnam -- And How It Differs
Jeffrey Record and W. Andrew Terrill
Available at (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/teasers/teaser1jun04-SSI.htm)

U.S.political and military difficulties in Iraq have prompted comparisons to the American war in Vietnam. The authors conclude that the military dimensions of the two conflicts bear little comparison. Among other things,the sheer scale of the Vietnam War in terms of forces committed and losses incurred dwarfs that of the Iraq War. They also conclude, however, that failed U.S. state-building in Vietnam and the impact of declining domestic political support for U.S. war aims in Vietnam are issues pertinent to current U.S. policy in Iraq.

February 2004
Gaining Shi'ite Cooperation -- or Opposition?
W. Andrew Terrill
Available at (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/teasers/teaser5jun04-SSI.htm)

The author addresses the critical need to gain the cooperation or at least the passive tolerance of the Shi'ite clerics and community. Such an effort could become more challenging as time goes on, and one of the recurring themes of this monograph is the declining patience of the Shi'ite clergy with the U.S. presence. By describing the attitudes, actions, and beliefs of major Shi'ite clerics, the author underscores a set of worldviews that are profoundly different from those of the U.S. authorities currently in Iraq and Washington. Some key Shi'ite clerics are deeply suspicious of the United States, exemplified by conspiracy theories. These suggest that Saddam's ouster was merely a convenient excuse, allowing the United States to implement its own agenda. Other clerical leaders are more open-minded but not particularly grateful for the U.S. presence, despite their utter hatred for Saddam and his regime.

December 2003
Bounding the Global War on Terrorism
Jeffery Record
Available at (http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/record.pdf)

In the wake of the September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States, the U.S. Government declared a global war on terrorism (GWOT). The nature and parameters of that war, however, remain frustratingly unclear. The administration has postulated a multiplicity of enemies, including rogue states; weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators; terrorist organizations of global, regional, and national scope; and terrorism itself. It also seems to have confl ated them into a monolithic threat, and in so doing has subordinated strategic clarity to the moral clarity it strives for in foreign policy and may have set the United States on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and nonstate entities that pose no serious threat to the United States.

February 2003 [PRE WAR]
Crane, Conrad C. and Terrill, W. A. Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-conflict Scenario.
Available at (http://www.gulfinvestigations.net/IMG/pdf/reconirq.pdf)

The monograph concludes by developing and describing a phased array of tasks that must be accomplished to create and sustain a viable state. The 135 tasks are organized into 21 categories, and rated as “essential,� “critical,� or “important� for the commander of coalition military forces. They are then projected across four phases of transition— Security, Stabilize, Build Institutions, and Handover/ Redeploy—to reflect which governmental, nongovernmental, and international organizations will be involved in execution during each phase. To reduce the amount of resentment about the occupation in Iraq and the surrounding region, it is essential that military forces handover responsibilities to civilian agencies as soon as practicable. They, in turn, should relinquish control fairly quickly to the Iraqis, though not until well-defined coalition measures of effectiveness have been achieved for each task.
December 2002 PRE WAR

The Day After : The Army in a Post-Conflict Iraq (4 page issue paper)
By COL Dennis Murphy, LTC Curtis Turner and LTC Bob Hesse
Available at (http://www.gulfinvestigations.net/IMG/pdf/csl_issue_paper_14-02.pdf)

Summary Quote
Post conflict Iraq security tasks may include: control of belligerents; territorial security; protection of the populace; protection of key individuals, infrastructure, and institutions; and re form of indigenous security institutions. If one “peels the onion� on each of these security tasks, he will find that each comprises a sub set of security tasks. For example, the control of belligerents task includes: implement and maintain the ceasefire; enforce the peace agreement and support disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. Territorial security includes border and boundary control, movement, and points of entry. The tasks associated with protection of the populace include non-combatants, maintaining public order and clearance of unexploded ordnance. The protection of key individuals, infrastructure and institutions include private institutions and individuals, critical infrastructure, military infrastructure, and public institutions. The reform of local security institutions includes national armed forces and non-military security forces. Initial studies indicate well over 100 essential services that the Army must provide or support.



http://www.sunherald.com/mld/thesunherald/news/edi torial/8723924.htm

Posted on Fri, May. 21, 2004

A soldier's view from the frontline



BAGHDAD, Iraq - I am a soldier with the 16th Engineering Battalion of the 1st Armored Division. Our unit is presently in combat against the uprising of Muqtada al-Sadr.

This situation is extremely sensitive. Had we entered this prematurely, victory would not have been possible. We have been involved in preparations and much planning. Today we are scoring amazing successes against this would-be tyrant.

I ask only that the American people be brave. Don't fall for the spin by those portraying this as a disaster. It just isn't true.

In April 2003, while the main war was still going on, I gave a class to my company about the threat posed by Sadr. Though my fellow soldiers didn't appreciate having to attend a class at 8 a.m., they can tell you that what is happening now is no surprise.

Our evaluation more than a year ago was that Sadr presented a formidable and possibly impossible threat. Last summer, as my unit covered Sadr City - the sprawling part of Baghdad that Sadr controlled - his militia made a show of force in defiance of the effort to open Iraq to new freedoms.

Sadr intimidated most of Iraq's Shia leaders and the community at large. He welcomed many foreign fighters to train and assist his militia in terrorist tactics and guerrilla warfare.

Our leaders acted with caution and care to secure ever-stronger cards against Sadr while working to achieve four main goals. The first goal was to isolate Sadr. Second was to exile him from his power base in Baghdad. Third was to contain his uprising. And the last was to get his hard-line supporters to abandon him and to encourage moderates to break from him.

This has been done brilliantly. Sadr is losing everything. Consider just some of the goals we've accomplished recently

* Goal One Sadr's so-called Mahdi Army militia now is fighting alone. The people of Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf are not supporting him. His forces are isolated.

* Goal Two His one-time powerbase, Sadr City in Baghdad, has been lost. Sadr has been exiled. We have him on the run. Other Shia leaders are breaking from him. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has left Sadr's call for jihad and uprising to founder on deaf ears. Paul Bremmer and Gen. John Abizaid stunned the Shia community by negotiating a calm in Fallujah. That tail-spinned Sadr's ability to intimidate Iraq's Shia leaders. The Iraqi people of Najaf and Karbala are offended by this Baghdad thug coming to their cities and trying to hijack them into conflict with the
United States.

* Goal Three Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia are insulting the most sacred sites of Shia Islam daily. This is offending Iraq's Shia leaders
very much. Our units, in fact, are operating within 500 meters of the most sacred Shia religious sites, and the local people are not resisting. This is what the pessimists at home are preventing you from understanding. Something like this would have been impossible before Sadr and his militia thugs went into there to hijack Iraqi Shia Islam. The people of Najaf and Karbala know we are not there to conquer and occupy the religious sites; we are there to liberate them from this would-be tyrant.

* Goal four Now Sadr's patrons and mentor in Iran are breaking from him. Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri in Qom, Iran, is no longer backing him. Haeri was a close intimate to Sadr's respectable father. Sadr has been

I'm not blind to the casualties this is causing us. My battalion should be home reunited with family and friends after serving a full year here. Instead, we are still here where the temperature is reaching 115-125 degrees. And some of my fellow soldiers have fallen.

U.S. soldiers are working their hardest. Be strong and persistent in your faith with us. Sadr's militia is desperate, so it is dangerous, but keep this in perspective.

The pessimists would have you believe this is a disaster. Don't listen. I think some of them believe their reputations require our failure because they have been so negative. Eliminating Sadr's threat is part of the mission. We are further ensuring the liberation of the Iraqi people. This has to be done, and we are doing it.

Don't be seduced by those who would rather that we sit back and just enjoy the freedoms past generations of Americans have sacrificed to gain
for us. This is our time to earn it. I remember President Bush saying after the Sept. 11 attacks "The commitment of our fathers is now the
calling of our time."

Joe Roche serves with the U.S. Army's 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in
Iraq and is an adjunct fellow at the National Center for Public Policy
Research (www.nationalcenter.org), a conservative think-tank. Readers may
write him at NCPPR, 777 N. Capitol St. NE, Suite 803, Washington, DC

--> additional supporting document: http://www.nationalcenter.org/PRIraqStrategy504.ht ml

Hey Daniel,

I'm not a debator, nor do I intend to be. I suspect our political philosophies are enough different that we're going to have to agree to disagree.

We still have troops in Kosovo--that isn't because of Bush.

We still have troops in Germany--that also isn't because of Bush.

Stability in the Middle East has a lot to do with our freedom. We either fight these battles now or we'll forever be fighting them... which we may be anyway. In my opinion, freedom IS worth fighting for--not only for our own, but also for other oppressed peoples of the world.

Leaving Dr. Record aside and recognizing your right not to to take up my reading reccomendations, I'm still honestly interested in your response to three questions implied by my last posting:1) What grounds do you have for saying that physical survival is a freedom?2) What grounds do you have for believing that Iraq was a threat to the SURVIVAL of the United States.3) What grounds do you have for believing that "fighting terrorists overseas means we don't have to fight them here?" What is to prevent terrorists from entering our country while others are being fought in the phillipines, etc?

It wouldn't hurt to take a look at his reasoning. You must intellectually understand an opponent's positions to effectively take them apart.

I haven't read the book... but is this a fair assessment (gleaned from the net):

The author examines three features of the war on terrorism as currently defined and conducted: (1) the administration's postulation of the terrorist threat, (2) the scope and feasibility of U.S. war aims, and (3) the war's political, fiscal, and military sustainability. He believes that the war on terrorism--as opposed to the campaign against al-Qaeda--lacks strategic clarity, embraces unrealistic objectives, and may not be sustainable over the long haul. He calls for downsizing the scope of the war on terrorism to reflect concrete U.S. security interests and the limits of American military power.

"IF" that's a fair assessment, then I can tell already there's no point in my reading the book because I disagree with his analysis--especially the opposition to fighting terrorism on a global level. If that requires beefing up our military in order to do so, then we must. Isolationism is not an option in today's global society.

Daniel, you said,"Your officer writes:"Not to be contentious, but he's no more "my" officer than he is "yours". He's fighting for "us".- I think you are being somewhat contentious. I meant that in the sense of "The person you quoted." I'm surprised and disappointed you think I would disavow our military, the vast majority of which are doing their best in an extremely difficult situation.And then you said,My question to you is "Which of OUR freedoms are we earning in Iraq?"My answer: Survival. The fight against terrorism is and will be fought in Iraq, in the Philippines, elsewhere--but best NOT fought on our turf--if we can protect it adequately.1) Survival is not freedom. Our founding fathers listed both "life" and "liberty" in the Declaration of Independence. If you're a believing Christian (which I don't know), then you understand that "To live is Christ, and to die is gain." There are many brutally repressive countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc which guarantee survival which are not free.2) What makes you think Iraq OR al-Qaeda was ever a threat to our survival? Please at least CONSIDER reading Dr. Record's "Bounding the Global War on Terror" at the top of this thread before answering.3) What makes you think the terrorists are going to patiently wait overseas and be picked off one by one? We're clearly going to have them here as well as there. Even FBI Director Mueller said so awhile back. Dr. Rice expects attacks/attempts on American soil before the election. I can dig up both quotes if you want.The "fight them there, not here" mentality only works with standing armies. Terror cells are much too mobile to be confined to one area, as we found to our cost in Afghanistan.

Daniel, you said,

"Your officer writes:"

Not to be contentious, but he's no more "my" officer than he is "yours". He's fighting for "us".

And then you said,

My question to you is "Which of OUR freedoms are we earning in Iraq?"

My answer: Survival. The fight against terrorism is and will be fought in Iraq, in the Philippines, elsewhere--but best NOT fought on our turf--if we can protect it adequately.

A question I forgot to ask last night:Your officer writes:"Don't be seduced by those who would rather that we sit back and just enjoy the freedoms past generations of Americans have sacrificed to gain for us. This is our time to earn it."My question to you is "Which of OUR freedoms are we earning in Iraq?"

Dr. Record's name authority record at LC NAF shows it associated with 20 bib records. A quick search of OpenWorldCat through Google shows a bunch of books he has authored. If I had access to WorldCat properly right now I could give you a better figure. It seems as if Dr. Record has lots published.

Thanks for posting. How many papers has Dr. Record done?I agree with you that debate about national security policy MUST take place on multiple levels and must NOT be only driven top-down. It's hard to do when you're information deprived, but it's still our duty as citizens to learn as much as we can and give informed input.It's also important that the gov't level with us with what's being done in our name so we can either 1) Prevent it being done, or 2) Give our approval to the general policy so it's not a morale killer when it inevitably comes to light. The recent revelations about DOJ/DOD preparing "how to torture/pressure memos" is a case in point. We need to know, so we're not shocked and surprised by what the gov't is doing.

By posting an entire news article. Much more within fair use guidelines to give the URL and some of the best quotes.I'd also be interested in hearing what you have to say if you find time to read "Bounding the Global War on Terrorism" that I referred to in my last posting. As far as I know, the Army War College doesn't hire Jane Fonda types.Appreciate hearing how our forces are handling Sadr. I hope they find their way safely home and back into the actual fight against terror.

Under the cataloguing rules we had to utilize in my cataloguing classes, Dr. Record would qualify as a prolific author. The point of the Strategic Studies Institute is to provide sober reflection and also alternative viewpoints on issues at hand. Dr. Record's paper on GWOT was one that I actually flagged for my supervising faculty member to highlight as an example in a research methods class he was teaching. It is good to air such things for discussion. Most of their papers are ones for civilized & scholarly discussion and debate. Frankly I would be grateful that we had discussion and debate occuring about national security policy from multiple levels rather than having everything being only driven top-down...

I regret you have chosen to blame this on a political divide than as an opportunity for dialog. Also, I've asked straightforward questions that go to the heart of why we're in Iraq. If you can't think of plausible answers, maybe you should rethink your support for the war.Freedom is worth fighting for, but that's not what we're doing in the Middle East. Ask the people of Saudi Arabia and Egypt what we're doing to lift them out from under their oppressive gov'ts and they'll tell you NOTHING. Why? Because they mostly go along with American policy.When we bring freedom with guns to one of our dictatorial allies, I'll start to believe that we're fighting for other oppressed peoples of the world.You write:We still have troops in Kosovo--that isn't because of Bush.We still have troops in Germany--that also isn't because of Bush.I answer - What does this have to do with anything?