The choice is yours
Dear Editor:The elections of 2006 are just a few weeks off. The most important single issue to voters may be the Iraq War. The president is saying the U.S. military must continue doing what it is now doing, at least through the year 2010. Meanwhile, almost every measure of the conditions in Iraq continues to worsen.It now comes to light that members of the Pentagon have been working on new approaches to fighting against a guerilla resistance. This type of fighting is not new; the Americans successfully used guerilla tactics against the British in the Revolutionary War. These military strategists have the same motivation the British Army had, they are loosing.In an article in Military Review, nine paradoxes are described. In each case, the current tactics of the US Military in Iraq are shown to be counterproductive. For example, breaking into private homes in the middle of the night and shooting people and dragging people off to prison strengthens the Iraqi’s opposition to the Americans. So does removing most of the 300,000 citizens of Falluja and leveling the city with bombs and artillery.The planners point out that every application of military force by the occupation has the opposite of the intended effect; the people choose the resistance. The only hope of defeating the resistance is to so improve the quality of life in the country that people would turn against the violence. Shortly after the invasion, American observers said there was a brief window of opportunity to help the Iraqi people find success without Saddam. That window is long gone.We have the same problem in Afghanistan.I think the only chance for a positive outcome in either country is to construct a broad multilateral group of countries, groups and industries that will take an honest interest in reconstructing these countries. The U.S. must participate, in fact be a leader, but not as a military force inside these countries. Not to do so may cause the Middle East to disintegrate.Now you can try to elect farsighted people that can work with the international community, or, you can “stay the course.”Patrick HunterCarbondale
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