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The Legacy of Obama’s ‘Worst Mistake’

Rogue Valley

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The Legacy of Obama’s ‘Worst Mistake’

It's not just in Libya—the last 15 years of U.S. military interventions has revealed a troubling gap in the way America goes to war....

defense-large.jpg
 

joG

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Simpleχity;1065775096 said:
The Legacy of Obama’s ‘Worst Mistake’

It's not just in Libya—the last 15 years of U.S. military interventions has revealed a troubling gap in the way America goes to war....

defense-large.jpg

You think so? I thought it was the after-war that we no longer like to do.
 

Chomsky

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Maybe it's about time the U.S. learned that 'going to war' often has 'unintended consequence', and as such should only be done when faced with the most dire circumstances?
 

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Maybe it's about time the U.S. learned that 'going to war' often has 'unintended consequence', and as such should only be done when faced with the most dire circumstances?

You'd think we would have learned that in Vietnam, but no, we had to repeat the same mistake in Iraq. Will there be a third unnecessary war? Stay tuned, folks. Memories tend to be short, and those who don't know history are still repeating it.
 

Chomsky

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You'd think we would have learned that in Vietnam, but no, we had to repeat the same mistake in Iraq. Will there be a third unnecessary war? Stay tuned, folks. Memories tend to be short, and those who don't know history are still repeating it.
I assure there will, when there's enough profit in it for the guys that Eisenhower warned us about way back then!
 

Beaudreaux

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Maybe it's about time the U.S. learned that 'going to war' often has 'unintended consequence', and as such should only be done when faced with the most dire circumstances?

The problem that the US faces with every act of warfare we undertake, is that our country doesn't do so for to conquer or claim land or resources. Why is that a problem? To maintain peace after a war, the winning side must occupy the conquered people's land and impose the rule of law and put down any reactionary uprisings. We did this in Germany, Japan, Italy, and South Korea. Although we have not claimed the right of annexation of any lands we occupied since the Spanish-American War in 1898, we have until recently imposed our will over the conquered people and their lands. In fact, we still have armies in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and even Italy although they are a little different because they turned on the Germans and became a quasi-ally after our invasion of Italy during WWII. Our post-WWII/Korean War doctrine worked - sort of an "Occupation Light" version of ruling a conquered people. In fact, it worked so well that government officials that followed during the era of Vietnam, Iraq 1991, and so on, felt that we could even go even lighter. That's where we failed.

In Iraq, both times, we did neither - impose the rule of law or leave an occupying force. We set off on a new version of foreign policy, a new version of the Marshall Plan called "Nation Building" but without the occupying force, without the imposition of outside force to impose the rule of law, and a policy which did exactly the opposite of what the name (nation building) implies.

You are correct in your post that the US going to war "should only be done when faced with the most dire circumstances" which includes the dire circumstances which are invariably faced when the war is over which will require the US to do what modern US citizens may not like or agree with - occupation and imposition of the rule of law until the local government can maintain security and then keeping a security force in country for decades, maybe for generations.

War is ugly, and so is the recovery process required after the fact. A war cannot be prosecuted half-ass with any reasonable expectation of success, nor can the post-war recovery be undertaken in a half-ass, let's get the hell out as soon as possible, no more boots on the ground neglecting of our duty to help the people we conquered to rise back up and re-enter the world of peaceful nations.
 
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Chomsky

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The problem that the US faces with every act of warfare we undertake, is that our country doesn't do so for to conquer or claim land or resources. Why is that a problem? To maintain peace after a war, the winning side must occupy the conquered people's land and impose the rule of law and put down any reactionary uprisings. We did this in Germany, Japan, Italy, and South Korea. Although we have not claimed the right of annexation of any lands we occupied since the Spanish-American War in 1898, we have until recently imposed our will over the conquered people and their lands. In fact, we still have armies in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and even Italy although they are a little different because they turned on the Germans and became a quasi-ally after our invasion of Italy during WWII. Our post-WWII/Korean War doctrine worked - sort of an "Occupation Light" version of ruling a conquered people. In fact, it worked so well that government officials that followed during the era of Vietnam, Iraq 1993, and so on, felt that we could even go even lighter. That's where we failed.

In Iraq, both times, we did neither - impose the rule of law or leave an occupying force. We set of on a new version of foreign policy, a new version of the Marshall Plan called "Nation Building" but without the occupying force, without the imposition of outside force to impose the rule of law, and a policy which did exactly the opposite of what the name (nation building) implies.

You are correct in your post that the US going to war "should only be done when faced with the most dire circumstances" which includes the dire circumstances which are invariably faced when the war is over which will require the US to do what modern US citizens may not like or agree with - occupation and imposition of the rule of law until the local government can maintain security and then keeping a security force in country for decades, maybe for generations.

War is ugly, and so is the recovery process required after the fact. A war cannot be prosecuted half-ass with any reasonable expectation of success, nor can the post-war recover be undertaken in a half-ass, let's get the hell out as soon as possible, no more boots on the ground neglecting of our duty to help the people we conquered to rise back up and re-enter the world of peaceful nations.
Thanks for the excellent & detailed post!

I agree completely, especially with your initial paragraph, that being your analysis regarding being an 'occupying force'.

That, along with the decision to go to war needing to be set at an exceedingly high bar, are in my mind the duopolistic tenets required of a positive decision to declare:

"Besides the reason to enter, there needs to be some level of occupation; do we want (or need) to be an occupying force"?

An excellent point, Beaudreaux.
 

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I assure there will, when there's enough profit in it for the guys that Eisenhower warned us about way back then!

Of course, Ike also warned us about letting one nation fall to extremists, and that we should fight to keep each and every nation from doing so.

What you say only makes sense if taken out ofc context, without considering many other of Ike's beliefs.

Kind of like taking some of the statements of General Butler, when ignoring the rest of his long military career.
 

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War is ugly, and so is the recovery process required after the fact. A war cannot be prosecuted half-ass with any reasonable expectation of success, nor can the post-war recovery be undertaken in a half-ass, let's get the hell out as soon as possible, no more boots on the ground neglecting of our duty to help the people we conquered to rise back up and re-enter the world of peaceful nations.

This is also where we can trace the troubles in Afghanistan today. With the pull-out of the Soviet Union.

We did pretty much the same thing when we left Iraq. We left a nation without a stable government, and of course it shortly fell to collapse. What amazes me is that people actually claim to say they could not see that coming. And here we have the same people trying to say we need to get out of Afghanistan as fast as we can, and that the same thing will not happen again.

I seem to remember a much wiser man then myself saying something about doing the same thing and expecting different results.
 

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Of course, Ike also warned us about letting one nation fall to extremists, and that we should fight to keep each and every nation from doing so.

What you say only makes sense if taken out ofc context, without considering many other of Ike's beliefs.

Kind of like taking some of the statements of General Butler, when ignoring the rest of his long military career.
My post wasn't as much being out-of-context with Ike, as it was attempting to stay ontopic with the thread.

Ike was a passing reference, not the thrust of my point.
 

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Simpleχity;1065775096 said:
The Legacy of Obama’s ‘Worst Mistake’

It's not just in Libya—the last 15 years of U.S. military interventions has revealed a troubling gap in the way America goes to war....

If this is Obama's worst mistake I'll take it. Too me it wasn't much of a mistake as much as it was an unfortunate, but necessary and inevitable thing that needed to happen for the long term good of Libya, Africa, and the world.


In my opinion Obama's worst mistake was not getting more done in his first year on office when he had a super majority. He should have recognized the republicans work with him no matter what and just rammed home as much liberal legislation as he possible could have while he had the chance. The economy likely would have returned faster, and we might not have lost the 2010 midterms.
 

Dittohead not!

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Regardless of how many mistakes our neophyte president may have made, none of them even come close to the decision to invade Iraq.
 
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