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Gen. Dubik's Assessment: Sadr's Victory In Iraq Puts A Lot At Risk
Longer version: Military, diplomatic, and economic force is supposed to be used to attain strategic, political objectives. What have been ours? Depose Saddam’s regime, establish a free and democratic Iraq that is a partner against terrorism and not a threat to its neighbors.
- Saddam’s gone.
- How free is Iraq? A debatable question given the extend of Iranian influence and the inequality and suppression of minorities in Iraq.
- How democratic is Iraq? Also a debatable question. Certainly, becoming a democracy is a process, and an uneven one at that. Look at our own history. Iraq had an election; I guess that’s a good thing. But what no one knows is whether Iraq is on a general spiral toward democracy or on a different trajectory. And given out spotty engagement history, we’re not much of an influence one way or the other.
- Partner against terrorism? Against some brands of Sunni-terrorism, like AQ and ISIS, sometimes. But for sure not against some brands of Shia-terrorism. Certainly, Sadr has not been a partner with the U.S. on much of anything up to now. And the last time his party had control of ministries, sectarianism, violence, and corruption was their norm.
- Threat to neighbors? Ask them. I think they’d say that the jury is still out and they’re not feeling good.
One way to look at the result of this election is to ask how the inconsistency of American policy and engagement has contributed to the result. For sure, our policies didn’t cause the result in any direct way. Equally sure, our hot and cold fluctuations over the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations must be viewed as unnecessarily prolonging the instability in Iraq and contributing to the continuing consequences of that instability.
General Dubik is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War and the author of Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory. He served in Iraq, as well as Haiti and Bosnia.
It sure would be nice to know what the hell is going on in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently claimed the U.S. military had killed more than 1,000 Taliban fighters in little more than a week – because body counts worked so well in Vietnam – and President Donald Trump said during his speech commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that the United States had gone on the offensive against the Taliban.
"The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue," Trump said, without elaborating further.
It's clear that Afghanistan is the new hotness, but the only people who aren't talking about how the strategic situation has changed since Trump abruptly ended peace talks with the Taliban via tweet are the U.S. military leaders in charge of actually fighting the war.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.