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  #81  
Old 24 October 2007, 01:18 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
People would get pissed off at the insurgents and more actively help in rooting them out.
Sure, and every time you got a tip off you could lumber down the road waiting for slow drivers to get out of the way, like NFBSKing sitting ducks while the insurgents take pot shots at you and walk away. That would be very effective. There can't be any "rooting out" at all without effective firepower and mobility.
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  #82  
Old 24 October 2007, 01:24 PM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Welcome here, iampiscesrawr! Hope you'll like it here.

...

The stupid thing about that kind of terror (apart from moral issues) is that if you are not the target by staying clear, they will hit their own potential recruitment pool instead, thus basically attacking themselves. People would get pissed off at the insurgents and more actively help in rooting them out. Win their hearts first and all that stuff.
I second your welcome to iampiscesrawr.

Troberg, your suggested approach is emphatically not the best way to win hearts and minds, as you are effectively arguing to abandon the populace to the control of AQI. I don't see how that can be a good thing for Iraq.
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  #83  
Old 25 October 2007, 06:35 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Sure, and every time you got a tip off you could lumber down the road waiting for slow drivers to get out of the way, like NFBSKing sitting ducks while the insurgents take pot shots at you and walk away. That would be very effective. There can't be any "rooting out" at all without effective firepower and mobility.
When you have a known target, you can move in in force. That's a completely different situation, which does not encourage small scale ambushes.

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Troberg, your suggested approach is emphatically not the best way to win hearts and minds, as you are effectively arguing to abandon the populace to the control of AQI.
You could call it that. You could also call it giving them the freedom to fight the war the way they want (and, for that matter, on the side they prefer).
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  #84  
Old 25 October 2007, 07:21 PM
Delta-V
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
The stupid thing about that kind of terror (apart from moral issues) is that if you are not the target by staying clear, they will hit their own potential recruitment pool instead, thus basically attacking themselves. People would get pissed off at the insurgents and more actively help in rooting them out. Win their hearts first and all that stuff.
That would depend on whether the insurgent group would actually turn on their supporters, and if they did so, whether they would be able to terrorize the civilians into silence.

Remember that there are at least three distinct groups of insurgents: Shi'a, Sunni, and Al Qaida. Shi'a groups conduct operations against Sunni civilians, a tactic that is unlikely to lose them support within the Shi'a community, particularly since the Sunni groups are conducting ops against the Shi'a civilians. The Shi'a groups also win support by attempting to provide security for the Shi'a civilians (which means they could be part of the solution if they could stop attacking the Sunni). The reverse is true of the Sunni groups.

However, neither group are particularly well suited to conducting counterinsurgency operations against the other. In part because they lack the training and technology, but mostly because they have no interest in winning the hearts and minds of the other side's supporters. Their idea of response to attack on their civilians is retaliation against the other side's civilians. This just leads to a cycle of violence that is hard to stop. Neither side has a reason to stop unless they're being hunted by Coalition and Iraqi government forces.
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  #85  
Old 26 October 2007, 06:17 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Remember that there are at least three distinct groups of insurgents: Shi'a, Sunni, and Al Qaida. Shi'a groups conduct operations against Sunni civilians, a tactic that is unlikely to lose them support within the Shi'a community, particularly since the Sunni groups are conducting ops against the Shi'a civilians. The Shi'a groups also win support by attempting to provide security for the Shi'a civilians (which means they could be part of the solution if they could stop attacking the Sunni). The reverse is true of the Sunni groups.
I think you are underestimating the "average guy" in Iraq. To most people, those divisions are not that important and they are perfectly willing to live and let live if that makes it possible to live in peace and safety.
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  #86  
Old 26 October 2007, 06:19 PM
Delta-V
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
I think you are underestimating the "average guy" in Iraq. To most people, those divisions are not that important and they are perfectly willing to live and let live if that makes it possible to live in peace and safety.
I think you overestimate the capabilities of inaction. Unless the average guy is willing to fight to stop the extremists, it won't change anything. The extremists don't need the full support of the average Iraqi, they'll settle for non-interference (which they insure by targeting those that interfere). They can derive enough support from a sizable minority of the population to operate. Extremists can offer money, security (of a sort), and even jobs to the population that supports them as well. In return, the supporting population doesn't interfere with their operations against the opposing faction. All that's required is for the 'average guy' to do nothing.

Unless there's some sort of non-extremist group (Colition and Iraqi Govt) providing security for the average guy, he's going to continue to do nothing. Only when the average guy feels secure enough to turn on the extremists will you really be able to root them out.
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  #87  
Old 26 October 2007, 08:35 PM
iampiscesrawr
 
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Originally Posted by Delta-V View Post
I think you overestimate the capabilities of inaction. Unless the average guy is willing to fight to stop the extremists, it won't change anything. The extremists don't need the full support of the average Iraqi, they'll settle for non-interference (which they insure by targeting those that interfere). They can derive enough support from a sizable minority of the population to operate. Extremists can offer money, security (of a sort), and even jobs to the population that supports them as well. In return, the supporting population doesn't interfere with their operations against the opposing faction. All that's required is for the 'average guy' to do nothing.

Unless there's some sort of non-extremist group (Colition and Iraqi Govt) providing security for the average guy, he's going to continue to do nothing. Only when the average guy feels secure enough to turn on the extremists will you really be able to root them out.
Exactly. Inaction is just as bad as unwanted action. If we were to let them solve it on their own the solution would end up being a dictator who shoots those who oppose him. What if we would have let the Jews solve their own problems? Those they fire at are not just their "recruitment pool". It is also innocent men, women, and children who are in the way of this war. I want to say that is why America is there. Granted it might not be our choice to make, but it was done and nothing can undo it. I only hope they do some good while they are there, and do not leave this country in shambles when we decide to finally pull out.
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  #88  
Old 27 October 2007, 05:38 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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I think you overestimate the capabilities of inaction. Unless the average guy is willing to fight to stop the extremists, it won't change anything.
Inaction is acceptance. If the average Iraqi agrees with the insurgents, who are we to tell them they are wrong?
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  #89  
Old 27 October 2007, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Inaction is acceptance. If the average Iraqi agrees with the insurgents, who are we to tell them they are wrong?
Inaction does not equal acceptance, tolerance maybe, but in many cases it has to do with realizing that fighting the insurgents will get themselves and/or their family killed. I would be just as wrong to say inaction is fear. Inaction can be caused by many things. Acceptance is only one of them and I don't think acceptance/agreement is as common here as you seem to believe.
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  #90  
Old 27 October 2007, 11:26 AM
pinqy pinqy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Inaction is acceptance. If the average Iraqi agrees with the insurgents, who are we to tell them they are wrong?
So, because we so need a Nazi analogy, you're saying that since the average Jew didn't take action against the Nazis, they accepted the Holocaust and who are we to say they were wrong?

pinqy
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  #91  
Old 27 October 2007, 08:21 PM
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Seburiel Seburiel is offline
 
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Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
So, because we so need a Nazi analogy, you're saying that since the average Jew didn't take action against the Nazis, they accepted the Holocaust and who are we to say they were wrong?

pinqy
(shhh, you'll mess up Troberg's argument!)

Last edited by Seburiel; 27 October 2007 at 08:23 PM. Reason: erm... just 'cuz
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  #92  
Old 28 October 2007, 05:38 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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So, because we so need a Nazi analogy, you're saying that since the average Jew didn't take action against the Nazis, they accepted the Holocaust and who are we to say they were wrong?
To a certain extent, yes, but the circumstances where very different. Certainly, over ten million Jews would have made up a formidable distraction for nazi Germany if they had chosen to fight, causing troubles which couldn't be ignored, thus drawing several times that much military manpower from the war effort, probably give them a better chance of surviving as well. On the other hand, they were spread all over Europe which made organization and coordination very difficult, as well as making it difficult to pass that initial incendary torch needed to start an uprising that is simultaneous enough.

Iraq, on the other hand, doesn't face these strategic problems. Distances are small, modern communications make coordination easy.
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  #93  
Old 28 October 2007, 06:01 AM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Troberg, your imagery seems to owe more to Les Miserables than to the last century and a half of military development. The idea of the Jewish population of Europe fighting the armed might of the German Reich, or the peaceable civilians of Iraq being able to stand against the armed and brutal insurgents, seems crazy to me. I fear that you overlook the very profound tactical disadvantage which an unarmed civilian has when facing a man with a machine-gun.

You have only to look at Hungary 1956, Chechoslovakia 1968, the early stages of the Malayan Emergency in the 1950s, or the horrors of Somalia and Rwanda to see how far the righteous unarmed man gets against a tank or gun.
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