A Alzabo, I have never called for withdrawal, and I am not doing so now either. In fact, I have been in favor of doubling the troops in Iraq for a long time now.
But it is still worrisome when our own troops don't think we are going to win in Iraq, especially since the Pentagon won't bother to even try to win the war. It seems more likely that they are just trying to sow the seeds for an orderly "Cut, Run, and Blame the Iraqis" retreat.
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Well hopefully very soon you all will be able to get some first hand reports from Iraq. I am working very hard at getting orders to a joint service unit which will send me over there. My Commanding Officer is now onboard with my desire to go to Iraq and he is supporting me in any way he can by making phone calls to Millington (thats where all Navy personnel matters are handled) and working it from an officers angle rather than my lowly enlisted man side.
I'm hoping that I'll get orders to transfer to a joint service unit and then on to Iraq by the end of the upcoming summer. I'll keep you posted.
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You guys are also neglecting the full context of the poll. I tracked down the Zogby poll specifics, so you can just the results for yourselves -- instead of blindly just brushing it off as a biased poll (Zogby is a pretty respectable pollster if you haven't noticed).
quote:U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006
* Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed” * While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy * Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown * Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks * Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation * Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment
An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.
The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq “immediately,” while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”
Different branches had quite different sentiments on the question, the poll shows. While 89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so. Seven in ten of those in the regular Army thought the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next year. Moreover, about three-quarters of those in National Guard and Reserve units favor withdrawal within six months, just 15% of Marines felt that way. About half of those in the regular Army favored withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months.
The troops have drawn different conclusions about fellow citizens back home. Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic, while 20% believe people back home don’t believe a continued occupation will work. Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, while 15% said they do not believe those Americans understand the need for the U.S. troops in Iraq.
The wide-ranging poll also shows that 58% of those serving in country say the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds, while 42% said it is either somewhat or very unclear to them, that they have no understanding of it at all, or are unsure. While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”
“Ninety-three percent said that removing weapons of mass destruction is not a reason for U.S. troops being there,” said Pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. “Instead, that initial rationale went by the wayside and, in the minds of 68% of the troops, the real mission became to remove Saddam Hussein.” Just 24% said that “establishing a democracy that can be a model for the Arab World" was the main or a major reason for the war. Only small percentages see the mission there as securing oil supplies (11%) or to provide long-term bases for US troops in the region (6%).
The continuing insurgent attacks have not turned U.S. troops against the Iraqi population, the survey shows. More than 80% said they did not hold a negative view of Iraqis because of those attacks. About two in five see the insurgency as being comprised of discontented Sunnis with very few non-Iraqi helpers. “There appears to be confusion on this,” Zogby said. But, he noted, less than a third think that if non-Iraqi terrorists could be prevented from crossing the border into Iraq, the insurgency would end. A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.
The survey shows that most U.S. military personnel in-country have a clear sense of right and wrong when it comes to using banned weapons against the enemy, and in interrogation of prisoners. Four in five said they oppose the use of such internationally banned weapons as napalm and white phosphorous. And, even as more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq surface around the world, 55% said it is not appropriate or standard military conduct to use harsh and threatening methods against insurgent prisoners in order to gain information of military value.
Three quarters of the troops had served multiple tours and had a longer exposure to the conflict: 26% were on their first tour of duty, 45% were on their second tour, and 29% were in Iraq for a third time or more.
A majority of the troops serving in Iraq said they were satisfied with the war provisions from Washington. Just 30% of troops said they think the Department of Defense has failed to provide adequate troop protections, such as body armor, munitions, and armor plating for vehicles like HumVees. Only 35% said basic civil infrastructure in Iraq, including roads, electricity, water service, and health care, has not improved over the past year. Three of every four were male respondents, with 63% under the age of 30.
The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points.
quote: A Alzabo, I have never called for withdrawal, and I am not doing so now either. In fact, I have been in favor of doubling the troops in Iraq for a long time now.
At this point, I'm positive that would not work either, but I agree that we should have gone in with more to stave off chaos.
quote: But it is still worrisome when our own troops don't think we are going to win in Iraq, especially since the Pentagon won't bother to even try to win the war. It seems more likely that they are just trying to sow the seeds for an orderly "Cut, Run, and Blame the Iraqis" retreat
True -- the real "debate" hasn't been about "winning" or "holding firm" for some time now. It's really just about when to leave and who gets the blame. My bets are on "The Left".
edited to add:
We've been using our troops over there pretty hard. Long deployments and multiple tours. It doesn't seem that odd to me that you could get a "snapshot" in which combat/deployment fatigue manifested itself as demoralization.
[ February 28, 2006, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: A. Alzabo ]
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quote:Originally posted by David Ricardo: You guys are also neglecting the full context of the poll. I tracked down the Zogby poll specifics, so you can just the results for yourselves -- instead of blindly just brushing it off as a biased poll (Zogby is a pretty respectable pollster if you haven't noticed).
The poll may be accurate in the sense of being a true representation of troops currently in Iraq. Is anyone challenging that? I know I wasn't. The question is what conclusions should be drawn from their reponses.
How would British soldiers have responded during WW1, bogged down against the Germans? Did they have much hope of winning? Would they have wanted to go home within the next year?
The answers to those questions don't tell us whether the British should have abandoned WW1, or whether they ultimately have a good chance of winning the war. And I doubt there is any soldier in history who didn't want reinforcements.
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quote:"My marines are the best-trained, best-equipped, most homesick fighting force in the world," said Staff Sgt. Cornelius Woods. "Just give us the order, and we will commandeer every available vehicle to execute a flanking maneuver on the airstrips of Mosul. By this time tomorrow, we will have retaken our positions at our families' dinner tables in full force."
In a striking rebuke of the assertions of the Pentagon and the White House that a swift exit is neither practical nor possible, soldiers of varying rank have outlined a straightforward plan of immediate disengagement, dubbed "Operation Screw This."
"We kicked around several withdrawal scenarios in our barracks, but ultimately settled on the idea of getting out of here as soon as possible," said Maj. Brian Garcia, who is on his third tour of duty in Iraq.
We are in somebody else's house trying to mediate a domestic dispute. We are no better at social work abroad than we are at home. We're the rich daddy who thinks he can buy peace and quiet without abandoning the family altogether.
What we did in Iraq was analogous to fetching Nazi scientists after WWII -- but with no foreseeable benefits; we invited Saddam's patsies into the government, into the army, and into the police forces. And that's only the fatal mistake in a death of a thousand cuts.
Worse, we are militarily so splayed that we couldn't move into the Sudan if we had to (and we had to), we couldn't move into Venezuela if we had to (and we may well have to), and the world is throwing spitballs at us because our back is turned.
If the Democrats can't make hay with this scenario (Bush at 36%, Cheney at 18%), it's time to abandon both of these stinking political parties.
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quote:"Well hopefully very soon you all will be able to get some first hand reports from Iraq. I am working very hard at getting orders to a joint service unit which will send me over there. My Commanding Officer is now onboard with my desire to go to Iraq and he is supporting me in any way he can by making phone calls to Millington (thats where all Navy personnel matters are handled) and working it from an officers angle rather than my lowly enlisted man side.
I'm hoping that I'll get orders to transfer to a joint service unit and then on to Iraq by the end of the upcoming summer. I'll keep you posted."
Thousands of news stories have been slavishly devoted to a brewing civil war in Iraq.
Acording to USA Today:
…about 15 Americans and 73 Iraqis are killed or injured each day. A USA TODAY analysis of U.S. military data shows the number of U.S. forces killed during the war has declined steadily since November.
But while preliminary report cites statistics that show a decline in U.S. forces killed, other statistics show an exact opposite trend in another theater of operation far closer to home.
The January-June 2005 murder rate is up 9.3% in cities with a population of 100,000 to 249,999, and the region "spiraling out of control" isn’t the Middle East, but is the Midwest, with a murder rate jumping 4.9%.