The GWoT and Strategy

September 11th, 2007 by xformed

Last Friday, Rush got on quite a straight forward monologue, and a particular part of it got me thinking.

Over the last several years, the constant complaint from the Left has been that we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. In actuality, we did so quite deliberately, rather than a spur of the moment idea. Rush was talking about this very thing and I realized the move into Iraq was brilliant. Why?

Trying to fight in Afghanistan, which is proving to be successful, is a tough proposition. Over not all that distant history, at least two major superpowers found out the hard way that taking conventional military forces into that region of the world caused disaster. The lines of communications are long, and between the sea and the mountainous country of Afghanistan are other sovereign nations, which requires diplomacy for the access or further military operations to seize and hold supply lines. We face the same thing today. Certainly, with the airlift capacity of the Air Force, we can haul lots of cargo and men, but there’s nothing that beats ships and logistics trains of trucks, trucks and more trucks. So, from a strategic logistical standpoint, fighting in Afghanistan is a too hard for a major conflict.

From a terrain standpoint, there are all sorts of issues. A lot of real estate, where the enemy can easily hide, are up at the top end of the altitude range for our ever present air mobile transports, in other words, helicopters. Add to that, the mountains make flying close air support a difficult task. Tactically, our ability to mass firepower becomes limited quickly.

From Afghanistan, troops can strategically tie down terrorist forces, and pick away at them, keeping them from the larger engagements in the GWoT. Not only can they keep them off the main field of battle, Iraq, as stated by the many communiques of al-Qaeda, but also out of our shopping malls and government buildings here at home. That, in and of itself, is a successful employment of our service personnel, and that of NATO and other allied nations to that country.

Iraq, on the other hand, while hot and sandy, has access to seaports (limited, but there is some, as well in neighboring Kuwait) and the land mass is characterized by lots of open terrain, ideally suited to bring many types of vehicles to any fight. Helos are not limited by the altitude and TACAIR isn’t in constant danger of colliding with ridges and mountains while carrying out their missions of ground support. Caves are not a prevalent attribute of the land, either.

But, let’s cut to the chase: When fighting a “stateless” enemy, with forces comprised of citizens from many countries, many whom are, at the national level, allied with us, just where do you stand to conduct the military operations? That’s the real salient point Rush got me thinking about. If not in Iraq, one at least with a basically secular and educated population, because of and in spite of Saddam’s rule, then where?

Which US citizens would provide their land within our borders to let us have the fight here, so we don’t conduct military operations on the soil of another country? My bet is tending toward none. For the Democrats, which Blue State would be first to offer their territory to serve as the staging area for the terrorists of many lands, to come and have the fight they are spoiling for? Tending towards zero again, I’d venture once more.

If the battles were to take place here, with the demonstrated ability of the terrorists to slip through our dragnets, who would actually want to risk them loose in our neighborhoods and cities? I think many would change their tunes about “freedom fighters” when they same were somewhere nearer to them than about 6,000 miles away.

Given the propensity of the Left to make this out as some sort of law enforcement effort, once the decision was made to not disturb any other country, would they want to turn the “work” over to police, sheriffs and the FBI? Something about Posse Comitatus might certainly come up, thereby depriving us of the most effective arm of the Government to take on this fight.

Fanciful, I know, the part at the end, but, if not in Iraq, as Rush alluded to, then where would we have had this war to date?

All in all, the choice or Iraq is brilliant for the full employment of our military forces, in my opinion.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 12:01 am and is filed under Geo-Political, History, Military, Military History, Political. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “The GWoT and Strategy”

  1. Galrahn said:

    Austin Bay predicted Iraq was a trap for Al Qaeda before the invasion.

    http://strategypage.com/on_point/20030219.aspx

    I had a similar thought back then, but it was simplistic. We used to joke at work that the reason Bush decided to invade Iraq is because someone put up a map of the Middle East during a breifing, and he was talking to his peeps when he pointed to the map and said “why can’t we fight the bastards there.”

    If you have ever stood next to a large map of the Middle East, unless your 5’6″ you will end up pointing to Iraq or Iran. Those among us who distrust Saudi Arabia used to joke it was too bad Bush isn’t shorter.

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