Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

By Dominic J. Caraccilo | Go to book overview

Introduction

There are two things which will always be difficult for a democratic nation
to do: beginning and ending a war.

—Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

The summer of 2009 reeks of heat and stagnation in Baghdad, Iraq. Technically, things are good: attacks on Coalition Forces have nearly bottomed out; the Iraqi army and police conduct autonomous operations and display professionalism to an extent that seemed impossible only a few years ago. The Iraqis have signed a security agreement with the United States that puts them in the lead and moves the U.S. troops out of the cities. The commander of forces, General Raymond T. Odierno, has devised a plan, in concert with President Barack Obama’s order, to reduce combat forces to 50,000 by September 2010 and end “combat operations” and eventually withdraw all of the troops by the end of 2011.

However, like the scorching winds that sweep in from the desert and push across the fertile land between the rivers, success has brought more frustration than relief. The war machine keeps rolling, but with an enemy that has mostly dissipated and foreign internal defense taking many matters into Iraqi hands, ennui settles heavily on the hundreds of patrol bases crouching in the desert. Purpose evades the ever-moving soldiers the way the shadowy insurgent enemy once did. Victory seems, in so many ways, achieved, or at the very least, achievable, so what is left to do in a war whose main objectives have been accomplished? There is no doubt that with the reduction of combat forces to support the responsible drawdown of forces that there is much for the individual soldier to do. Regardless, for the U.S. soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), this place beyond victory shifts amoeba-like from hour to hour.1

This is how the war in Iraq felt in the summer of 2009 and at other salient moments since it began in 2003. The frustration of the soldiers, many of whom had multiple tours and saw the progression or lack thereof, was

-1-

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Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Fog of Postwar 21
  • Chapter 2 - War Termination Strategy Goes Webster 57
  • Chapter 3 - The Good 82
  • Chapter 4 - The Bad 106
  • Chapter 5 - The Missing Link- The Interagency Struggle 130
  • Chapter 6 - The Nesting of Goals and Objectives to Achieve an End 145
  • Chapter 7 - The Art of Ending War 150
  • Epilogue 161
  • Appendix - Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam 165
  • Notes 177
  • Bibliography 197
  • Index 211
  • About the Author 221
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