Friday, April 07, 2006
Why We're Going to Succeed in Iraq
Wow, you people really are coming by here to see what 's going on. I'm amazed and flattered and humbled and everything in between. Thanks, I hope you'll continue to drop by...
I heard there was some big uproar about illegal immigration last week? I missed it all- you see, I was vacationing in Mexico. And guess what (I'm not joking)- President Bush was there, too. It was in all the Mexican newspapers, and I know because I can read espanol. For the record- Mexico is really amazing. Wow.
But I digress...
Sometimes I think I'm the only person in America who thought the War on Terror was going to be tough one.
I never thought that we shouldn't fight it.
I never thought that we couldn't win it.
I just thought that it was going to be a tough struggle.
Why? I don't know- maybe because there are so many people out there who are more than willing to blow themselves up in order to enjoy a night out with some virgins that they'll never meet, or even worse- recruit others to blow themselves up for some "cause" that seems to involve enslaving women and chopping people's heads off for the simple act of intellectual noncompliance.
Yes, there will always be a pool of poor young teens looking for glory; mentally retarded "outcasts"; "disgraced" women seeking redemption after having the audacity to entice someone to rape them; even "normal" people who are just too plain stupid to figure out that if "martyrdom" was really such a cool thing, people like bin Laden and Zarqawi would be doing it too!
Lots of them out there- lots and lots.
And how prepared were we for this war before 9/11? Here's a hint. Almost 5 years later, we're STILL postured for that big showdown with the Soviets. If those commies ever decided to cross that line in Germany, we'll have more than enough troops to fight 'em off, dammit!
So yes, I was pretty sure this would be a tough one.
People are surprised by a lot of things, but I think the thing that surprises me most is that here we are going on 5 years since 9/11, and number of American troops lost in combat has yet to surpass the number of innocent lives that were taken from us on that one day that we all remember so clearly. We do remember what happened, right? Just checking.
I always thought that the one of the most important keys to winning this thing was to understand what we're up against- sooner than later. We still don't fully comprehend what this enemy is and how we're supposed to fight it, but I think our old friend and my former Commanding General, LTG David Petreaus, is leading the way to understanding. Check this out:
Observations from Soldiering in Iraq
1."Do not try to do too much with your own hands."
2. Act quickly, because every Army of liberation has a half-life.
3. Money is ammunition. (This is so true- capitalism can really put a dagger through the terrorist's hearts -2Slick)
4. Increasing the number of stakeholders is critical to success.
5. Analyze "costs and benefits" before each operation.
6. Intelligence is the key to success.
7. Everyone must do nation-building.
8. Help build institutions, not just units.
9. Cultural awareness is a force multiplier.
10. Success in a counterinsurgency requires more than just military 0perations.
11. Ultimate success depends on local leaders.
12. Remember the strategic corporals and strategic lieutenants.
13. There is no substitute for flexible, adaptable leaders.
14. A leader's most important task is to set the right tone.
Read the whole thing, because this guy knows what the hell he's talking about...