January 18, 2007

New York times discusses better uses for 1.2 trillion dollars

Better uses for the conservative estimate of the Iraq War 1.2 trillion

Currently the war is not buying much. A shift should be made to a lower cost approach. Just engage enough to prevent safe havens for terrorists. Redeploy to borders. Occasional sweeps through different cities. Reduce the objectives. Shore up allies Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, Kurds, Afghanistan, etc... Let Sunnis and Shia fight it out. Come back at a time of the US's choosing. A later unpredictable surge. Run experimental tech through Iraq. New UAVs, robot fighting systems, make things more unpredictable.

Put some of the money into research in game changing military sensors and technology. Re-engage when technology projects change the way things can be done.

Fareed Zakaria indicates the problem of the Arab states being mostly poorly run. The successful non-Arab muslim states of Turkey and Malaysia are examples what should be encouraged

Another Fareed Zakaria piece. Looking at our circumstances in Iraq should give us some appreciation for the difficulty of his [Kissinger's] task. With a losing hand and deteriorating conditions on the ground, Kissinger maneuvered to extricate the United States from a situation in which it could not achieve its objectives, while at the same time limiting the damage, shoring up regional allies and maintaining some measure of American credibility. A version of such a strategy is the only one that has any chance of success in Iraq today.


Anonymous said...

How much money would it take to rebuild New York (with the exception of the New York Times) after it's hit with an Iranian nuke? I would like to see that estimate.

What were buying with our money is not a necessarily a better Iraq but a safer America. The Kissinger period to which he refers was the latter 1970's was disaster for American security>

bw said...

1. It is not that easy to make a high yield nuke. Look at N Korea with their semi-dud (1 kiloton).

2. How is security against Iranian nukes achieved by wasting money in Iraq ?

Note: I was for the initial entry into Iraq. The rolling up of the main standard armies in the first few weeks and months was what I expected. But the mistakes started by not being willing to get dirty and make hard choices like leaving the Bathist mostly in place but with a US selected bastard as a puppet.

Now the US is still not willing to make deals that for US interests which include getting out at a cheaper cost. also, the US can always drawdown now and then return when no one expects it and when the US has tech and situation lined up in their favor.

3. The US needs to move the technological goal posts on Iran and N Korea. Non-proliferation has delayed things but is now failing. The new shift should be to Active Denial and post-Proliferation denial. finish creating remote sensors to find the nukes and nuclear material from long range. Then create the systems for selective surgical strikes. Deep diggers etc...

4. Leaving Iraq means that you have more resources to focus on Iran but also on better tech etc..

5. The Kissinger period was the early 70's. The later 70s was the Carter period. Mistakes were made in both periods. But getting out of Vietnam has worked. Vietnam is now a capitalistic country. Communism is around only in small pockets and in a very bastardized form.

6. Hitting Manhattan with a small nuke would not destroy all of Manhattan and then both Iran and N Korea would be wasted in reprisal. The reprisal would not have to be nuclear. Rolling Thunder (massive conventional bombing) like in Vietnam but hitting cities and military installations instead of jungle.