George Bush a shrewd strategist?

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Lucifer
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George Bush a shrewd strategist?

Post by Lucifer »

So I've been thinking about it a bit more, and it occurs to me that the US going into Iraq might have actually been a Good Move in Bush's War on Terror, and I thought I'd share. :)

First, everyone go refresh their memories on who Osama Bin Laden is, the failed Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the formation of Al-Qaeda. To sum up, the core of Al-Qaeda now has to be the same people that fought under Bin Laden during the Soviet occupation and ultimately pushed what was a power comparable to the US at that time out of their country.

That's who we went to fight in Afghanistan. Possibly the best guerrilla fighters in the world that have picked up quite a few espionage skills in the years since then when operating as a terrorist group.

So you're going to invade a country that you already know contains elite guerrilla fighters. The last time you fought even just plain good guerrilla fighters you got your ass kicked (Vietnam), and you're going to invade a country that has the very same fighters that beat off your old nemesis. What do you do?

So just looking at it strategically, it seems to me that if you pump all your resources into Afghanistan, you fight the war on their terms, and they call the shots. They're already in a very good defensive position, and their experience, the terrain, and mostly their position nullifies a significant amount of your technological advantage. Not all of it, certainly, but a lot of it. They can operate using traditional scouting/skirmishing for intelligence, you need billions of dollars of spy satellites to operate. And so forth. And what you get for it is they call the shots, the choose the fields of engagement and the tactics that will be used, and that's exactly what they have done since then.

How do you defeat such an enemy?

Well, you need to pull them out to a place where *you* can call the shots, dig in, pick the fields of engagement and so forth. So you pick some other nearby country with a Known Bad Guy for their leader and plan a quick invasion to flush out that government, quickly replace it with its own You-Friendly government, and now you're in a position that Al-Qaeda has to respond to, and when they do it's on your terms.

That gives you several things you didn't have before. First thing it gives you I already mentioned, you're fighting on your own terms in your own prepared positions--they have to attack you to do anything. Second thing it gives you is you've forced Al-Qaeda to split their resources, in essentially a 2 front war. That weakens their original defensive position. Third thing it gives you is a long-term forward base from which to operate.

What got me thinking about it was Israel's attack on Lebanon. I kept trying to figure out why Israel would do such a thing, and it occured to me that all this stuff is related. I started to see some strategic advantage to an American ally making such war over there, and then I noticed that NATO was in control of the Afghanistan forces, mostly freeing US forces to continue operating in Iraq and/or start up a new front in, for example, Iran.

Anyways, what do you guys think? I'm not the only amateur strategist around here, did I miss some important detail? I'm ignoring the political side of it completely, I know, trying to just look at it like I was in charge of the US strategic forces and had a war that I actually intended to win going on.
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kyle
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Post by kyle »

Yeah, except for the fact that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq, even the Bush administration now admits this much.

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Post by Lucifer »

-ct-kyle wrote:Yeah, except for the fact that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq, even the Bush administration now admits this much.
No, Iraq was just a convenient place to open up a second front against Al-Qaeda. That's my thesis. :) I guess I didn't say it outright. The point is that creating a US-style democracy in Iraq is threatening to Al-Qaeda, and they couldn't ignore it. So they have to respond to it, and with more than just words, so they have to divide their resources and their forces between Afghanistan and Iraq. Watch when the UN finally decides to go to Iran (which will be helpful if it happens in the next 2-3 years, probably not helpful after that).
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