Thursday, January 11, 2007

# Posted 1:46 AM by Patrick Belton  

The new US ground commander picked by President Bush to direct the military “surge” into Iraq believes that the war can be won with a radical change of tactics: those used by the British in (Malaya and) Ulster. (Times)
(10) opinions -- Add your opinion

Notice that he did not say it would be won quickly. Malaya and No. Ireland were protracted camaigns that did ultimately end successfully for Britain.

Weighed against the consequences of failure, it's still a better plan, even if that means another tour extension for me.

Will the American public lose heart? I hope not.
The Middle East is too strategic a place for us to ignore. We can with draw now, but we will one day have to go back in, and the conditons will be even less favorable, and the suppport of allies even more reduced than they currently are.

No more half measures.
Maybe the US Adminstration should have listened to the British regarding the importance of hearts and minds before starting the war and thought more seriously about minimising the loss of civilian lives from day one. 13 people were killed by the British on Bloody Sunday and this resulted in 30 years of terrorism and violence... learning from the British, at this point, is too late. The harm has been done and Iraqi hearts and minds have been lost for a generation.

This is not going to work. I'm sorry, but Iraq isn't a similar enough case to Malaya. There won't be enough troops. Can anyone else see this?
I have a suspicion that the British knew what they were trying to achieve in Malaya and also knew what the enemy were trying to achieve.
Counter-insurgency operations are not going to work in Iraq. The opposition is too well armed, funded and resupplied from areas in Syria, Iran, and yes, Saudi Arabia.

Americans should face the obvious before we needlessly waste more lives and money in this calamity. It seems we are more concerned more about not losing this war than winning. The U.S. needs a Cold War style military. The cuts of the past 15 years have been to deep, and the results are we have a military that is a shadow of its former self.

With a population of 300 million people the US has a standing army of only 473,000 men and women, in which only 20% are combat troops. What a joke!

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana
I hope wé´re all aware that the british didn´t actually win in N Ireland. At best, they were able to fight the IRA to a standstill, and limit its capabilities of killing garrison troops, but not destroy it or prevent its capacity to carry out operations against economic, civilian or police targets. And that was with the support of the 60% majority Protestant population - a circumstance which does not pertain in Iraq.
Well, there in the Malaya Emergency comparison we have our answer! Paging Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. To Iraq, stat!
Given the fact the poster is named Patrick, isn't there a hint of irony in the italics-drenched 'fantastic' applied to using British NI policy as a model? Just pointing out something other commenters seemed to ignore....
Yes, I'd love to see us try to forcibly deport the entire Sunni population of Baghdad into fortified villages. That worked so well in Vietnam, when they tried it then (see the fantastic success of the "Strategic Hamlet" program, overseen by Sir Robert Thompson). But why bother with American troops when the Mahdi Army is already doing the job for us?
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