Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Analysis of Iraq War

As of late a majority of the resources of this organization have been devoted to ending the War in Iraq. I encourgae my fellow bloggers to follow suit.

I sincerely write about this topic in neither hope nor anticipation of my country, the United States loosing the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and on Terror. However, because I believe that in our Democracy it is the duty of American citizens to entertain such a discussion to pledge support on the challenge of our generation.

Excerpts from the essay How the Weak Win Wars are the basis of this paper. Since the start of the War in Iraq, five items have repeatedly appeared on the media and discussions amongst the public.
1) The Motives for Going to War2) Justifications for the Iraq War3) Information provided to the American People and International Governing Bodies in regards to the War4) The legalities of charges and subsequent conviction of ousted Iraq President Saddam Hussein.

Rational leads one to question the validity of these charges based on humanitarian incursions occurring in 1982. This being the second instance the U.S has waged War in Iraq based on these identical charges. Secondly, allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), now known to be to be a false claim. Therefore one would induce charges being brought against Saddam Hussein are at the least questionable. Furthermore, there is a deeper theoretical concern; these indictments are nearly spurious unless all the citizens of Iraq equally are instituted in the opportunities manifested by a stable democratic government. Subsequently more questions arise; how can these charges be justified in light of faulty intelligence. Moreover, how are these charges justified when the motives, ethics and credibility of certain U.S. political leaders are in question?

5) The War on Terror. The readers of this paper don’t to be enlightened however the fact that Al Qaeda moved to wage war against the U.S.A. and not Iraq is worthy to be restated. It is fact not partisan rhetoric the War in Iraq has diverted government resources (law enforcement, FBI, CIA), funding, military, diplomatic resources from eliminating Al Qaeda. Great Britain, the closet ally of the United States for example has endured multiple terrorist attacks coordinated by Al Qaeda and their sympathizers. To paraphrase the words of Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair “an attack against Great Britain is an attack against America“.

Below is a summary and excerpts from an essay entitled:How the Weak Win Wars“With the U.S. military engaged in armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ivan Arreguin-Toft’s How the Weak Win Wars is a timely contribution to the ongoing debate over U.S. defense strategy in the post-September 11 security environment. First, Arreguin- Toft provides a well-structured discussion of existing theories in the literature on how weaker actors have won wars against substantially more powerful states and articulates his own hypothesis to explain this phenomenon, which he calls “strategic interaction theory.”
He postulates that intuition would tell us “power matters most,” but notes that history tells us otherwise. In fact, not only have weak actors had sporadic successes in asymmetric conflicts, but the trend of their successes is increasing.
His argument is constructed on the premise that there are four competing explanations for weak victory in asymmetric wars, each of which has weaknesses in predicting outcomes or explaining the trend of increasing weak actor victories. The first of these hypotheses focuses on the nature of the actors. In this theory, authoritarian strong actors are said to have a greater probability of success in asymmetric conflict because they tend to lack the political vulnerability of a democracy. The second theory states that the diffusion of arms, particularly since the Second World War, has closed the aggregate power gap between weak and strong. In other words, even a weak power has a chance of success when equipped with modern weaponry. The third theory is that of interest asymmetry, which asserts that asymmetric wars tend to be fought with limited means for limited ends by the strong actor, but with unlimited means for the unlimited ends by the weak. Theoretically this interest asymmetry is more important to the outcome than relative power.
The final competing explanation is Arreguin- Toft’s own theory of strategic interaction. He postulates that the interaction of the strategies employed by the actors in an asymmetric conflict is the most likely predictor of outcome. His method of proof begins by dividing military strategy into two general categories. These categories are direct, such as conventional attack or defense, and indirect, such as counter-insurgency or guerilla warfare. His thesis is that when asymmetric actors employ similar strategies, as in the cases of direct versus direct or indirect versus indirect, the conflict favors the strong. On the contrary, when the strategies are of dissimilar types, the conflict favors the weak. The bulk of How the Weak Win Wars is dedicated to five case studies chosen from the statistical sampling. They include the Russo- Murid War of 1830- 1859, the Boer War, the Italo- Ethiopian War of 1935 - 1940, the Vietnam War, and the Afghan Civil War of the 1980’s.

Finally, he refers to the current conflict in Iraq as a “costly quagmire.” Arreguin- Toft means to convince the reader that when the very strong meet the weak in asymmetric armed conflict, strategy matters more than power. His work is extremely relevant in the current geopolitical context and serves as a warning to US policy makers to get military strategy right, regardless of relative power. Arreguin- Toft’s argument makes perfectly clear the perilous consequences of neglecting the importance of strategic interaction. ( Excerpts taking from a Review Essay found in the Harvard International Review Vol. 27 # 2, pg. 78 ) ”.

Article published Checks & Balances Org 07/25/05 by Anthony T. Brooks
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1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

It made no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see: