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Debate Topic: War on Terror (Little Upsilon)

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  Debate Topic: War on Terror (Little Upsilon)

FarmerBob (Little Upsilon)

Monday, June 9, 2008 - 06:20 am Click here to edit this post
Your points are well taken, Kieth. Invading Iraq was undoubtably an ill-conceived gamble on the part of the Bush administration. I lost $100 the day we invaded because I simply couldn't believe that our top military leadership would sit quietly by while we committed the lion's share of our combat power into an open ended conflict with such horrible ratios for pacification, assuming conventional operations were sucessful. The conduct of unconventional war was formulated and tested in Vietnam. Force level requirements were established and proven there. The military learned valuable lessons itself about preventing itself from getting thrust into these commitments by an overly ambitious NCA. Those lessons were apparently lost on the senior leadership that survived the Clinton Administration and decided to play ball with Bush. So you won't get any argument out of me regarding the strategic wisdom of our presence in Iraq. I will interject here, however, my pride at the kids serving there who are conducting some of the most difficult miltary operations possible(urban pacification) with such small force levels and so few "incidents" which invariably arise from them.
That said, however, I don't believe that passive non-interference is always the best policy. We possess perhaps the only miltary still capable of forcing the kind of strategic decision with conventional forces that would require other nations to use WMD. What I mean by that is that Iraq was removed from the equation of Middle Eastern stability with out becoming a holocaust or a wider regional conflict. Whether that was a positive or negative development remains to be seen as Iran is now the number one threat to the region and has the capability to influence Iraq for the forseeable future. The unmentioned 800 pound gorilla that must always be remembered when discussing ME conflict is Israel's nuclear capability. If israel percieves itself to be sufficiently threatened, that card will come into play. Therefore, our presence does at least refocus regional hostility and in a perverted sense protect those hostile to us from possible catastrophe.
Pacisfism, in general, has not historically proven to be a wise national policy. The rhetoric spewing from the ME since the end of the Cold War is chillingly similar to that flowing from Germany and Italy in the 30's. We all know how that turned out. We can dismiss such as just propaganda for domestic consumption, of course, until those nations do something dramatic as they have several times in the past.

The larger questions that I posed above were sincere. Are we facing a cultural conflict in which one side has so indoctrinated itself to hate the West that war becomes inevitable?
It is revealing that in many countries of the region, the governments are the most liberal and modern elements of their societies who fear popular fundamentalist uprisings. I would cite the Saudi's flirtation with women's suffrage and ability to hold political office as an example.
The Oil must continue to flow to Europe and the Far East or nations with a much less gentle approach to warfare are going to be facing economic collapse. My question still stands. Are the religious leaders who are so bent upon whipping their followers into a frenzy rational?
That is not a given by any means.

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