Is the war in Iraq having a negative effect on the larger GWOT?

What are your thoughts on the war in Iraq as part of the larger GWOT?

  • The war in Iraq is creating more terrorists than it is destroying.

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • The war in Iraq is a long-term benefit to winning the GWOT.

    Votes: 8 80.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .

Marauder06

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An article in today's Washington Post explores the possibility that the war in Iraq is having a negative effect on the larger GWOT. A couple of excerpts (my emphasis in bold):

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. Rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, it concludes that the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position...

War as recruiting tool
According to officials familiar with the document, it describes the situation in Iraq as promoting the spread of radical Islam by providing a focal point, with constant reinforcement of an anti-American message for disaffected Muslims. The Web sites provide a narrative of a war with frequent victories for the insurgents, and describe an occupation that they say regularly targets Islam and its adherents. They also distribute increasingly frequent and sophisticated messages from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, urging Muslims wherever they are to take up arms against the "Crusaders" on behalf of Iraq.


I see two points of view here. One is that we're actually creating more terrorists than we are destoying by the fact that we are in Iraq, and our actions there. An alternate point of view is that by bringing the fight to the enemy, we make the terrorists fight us in their own back yards, instead of in ours.

I tend to subscribe to the point of view that both Iraq and Afghanistan are like giant jihadist bug zappers where we can get everyone who wants a piece in one or two places, where we can destroy them without having to fight it out with them in America. Kind of like a roach motel- they check in, but they don't check out.

My question to the board is, "Does the ongoing situation in Iraq contribute to, or take away from, our ability to successfully wage the GWOT?" Please explain your answer.
 
V

Viking

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I agree with, and find amusing, the "bug zapper" analogy.


On the flip side, I think that Iraq is hurting the GWOT because of a loss of legitimacy on the foreign policy side, and the loss of focus on other areas of the GWOT which may be important. From a fiscal point of view, where could we have better spent the $ elsewhere, in both defense and other issues? How much HUMINT could we have purchased, how many satellites could we have put up? Of course, I have no idea how much good intel is being gathered at the national level from folks we've captured as a result of Iraq.

I can't really vote for either option
 
L

Looon

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I still sorta think that the war over there has helped keep the fuckers from attacking us here.

BUT, at the same time, we need to get hit again, in a big way for the idiots in this country to wake the fuck up.:doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:
 
B

Boondocksaint375

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I'm in between as well. I think we should fire up the super war machine!
 

Polar Bear

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I am with Luna, Americans in general have a very short memory. We are going to have to be bitched slapped again for us to get our head out of our butts.

Have we created more terrorists? I really don't thing so. I have nothing to back this up but I think Iraqi violence is more sectarian than anything. Iraqi is following the same lines as the former Yugoslavia.
 

Marauder06

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I agree with, and find amusing, the "bug zapper" analogy.

The bug zapper analogy was something that popped into my head when I was giving a presentation on my experiences in Iraq. I'm not sure if it's something I came up with on my own, or if it's something I heard somewhere else and just decided to take credit for ;)
 

LibraryLady

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Hmm...

I'm having problems with the choices in the poll. Yes, there's a long-term benefit to the war, but I'm not sure about the effect on terrorism creation/reduction. Your second bolded statement highlights the dichotomy. Disaffected folks are easily led into radical beliefs and there in lies the problem. It's possible the longer they see this war go on, the more inclined they will be to walk the radical road.

As others have stated, our general populace is so self-absorbed, it won't get behind the concept of the GWOT unless we get hit again. And then I'm not sure it will last very long.

... urging Muslims wherever they are to take up arms against the "Crusaders" on behalf of Iraq...

As always they are trying to make this into a religious war. So now they are calling us Crusaders? The Crusaders conducted a religious war, yes, but we're not attempting to exterminate their religion, we're bending over backwards (and sometimes more) to keep religion out of the conversation. Well, I suppose with our modern arms, we do appear to be armored knights... :rolleyes:

LL
 

Chopstick

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yep

I still sorta think that the war over there has helped keep the fuckers from attacking us here.

BUT, at the same time, we need to get hit again, in a big way for the idiots in this country to wake the fuck up.:doh: :doh: :doh:
I agree with this..and sadly I think we need to set someplace back to the stone age to get their attention. Ask Japan about that:eek:
 

pardus

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The Iraq campaign MUST be won, a loss there will enhance the terrs immensley.

The Iraq campaign is a wonderful recruiting tool for the terrs, mainly for fighting in Iraq where we can kick the shit out of them.

Ive always thought the invasion was wrong simply because it was done without the UN's consent and is therefore illegal under international law therefore making us loose all credibility in some circles.
That being said im glad we got rid of Sadaam and it was just a matter of time anyway.

So at the moment Im leaning toward the top option right now, if we do destroy the insurgency in Iraq it'll be of great benefit to us later.

So I cant vote
 
B

Boondocksaint375

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Zarqawi's replacement announced that we have killed 4000 foreign fighters.
 

AWP

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Zarqawi's replacement announced that we have killed 4000 foreign fighters.

That's a good start!

From Aug. 2004 to Aug. 2006 fixed-wing CAS alone was credited with about 2,500 dead in Afghanistan. I think that number is inflated but I've seen enough imagery to believe that the above number isn't off by much.
 

pardus

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NICE!

Though I must add that means nothing, if we kill 40,000 it still means nothing, there is always someone else waiting to enlist, killing alone isnt going to win this war.
 

AWP

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One that sticks with me is of a JTAC talking to an A-10 while a Pred filmed the TIC. The audio was synced to the video so when the JTAC called out that an RPG launched you could see it in the video.

Rather surreal to watch men fight for their lives like that.
 

Frank S.

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I agree with, and find amusing, the "bug zapper" analogy.


On the flip side, I think that Iraq is hurting the GWOT because of a loss of legitimacy on the foreign policy side, and the loss of focus on other areas of the GWOT which may be important. From a fiscal point of view, where could we have better spent the $ elsewhere, in both defense and other issues? How much HUMINT could we have purchased, how many satellites could we have put up? Of course, I have no idea how much good intel is being gathered at the national level from folks we've captured as a result of Iraq.

I can't really vote for either option

Sums up what I think, pretty much. Particularly the policy (political) side both here and abroad. Currently it doesn't look good to me. But in the longer term, I hope efforts against terrorist financial networks will begin to pay off more visibly, but that remains a big question mark.
 

Polar Bear

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I hope efforts against terrorist financial networks will begin to pay off more visibly, but that remains a big question mark.

From what little I know on this it is being done just not to the extent that I personally would like to see.
 
W

William Hazen

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Yes. The War is a Strategic Disaster. We have played right into the hands of OBL and his supporters. Our Army and Marines are slowly bleeding to death in the Iraqi Desert while our real enemies bide thier time and prepare. Everyday we are there... is one more fine soldier killed or wounded... one more disabled tank in need of repair... One more of our dollars loaned by the Chinese to spend us into debt...One more day of political polorization here at home...and One more day for our enemies to get ready.

When will fools in power realize that you cannot control the War Genie once you let it out of the bottle.

Who will step foward and lead us to victory?

William Hazen:soap:
 

Sigi

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We have played right into the hands of OBL and his supporters.
William Hazen:soap:
How so? Do you really believe that OBL actually thought we'd enter Afghanistan, let alone Iraq?

What makes you believe OBL is pulling any strings right now?
 
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