ISIS/Iraq

My opinion has changed   1 vote - 16 %
My option hasn't changed   4 votes - 66 %
---------   0 votes - 0 %
We should stay out of there entirely   1 vote - 16 %
We should offer limited support to the Kurds/Iraqis   1 vote - 16 %
We screwed up and should support Assad too.   1 vote - 16 %
We should help IS form their caliphate   0 votes - 0 %
We should send troops   0 votes - 0 %
We should nuke the area from orbit   1 vote - 16 %
WIPO   0 votes - 0 %
---------   0 votes - 0 %
The UK/US etc should not allow any of their citizens fighting for ISIS to return home without a side trip to Guantonamo   3 votes - 50 %
------   0 votes - 0 %
Attempts to restore order in Missouri are right   1 vote - 16 %
Attempts to restore order in Missouri are wrong and I am going to say why.   1 vote - 16 %
 
6 Total Votes
Both really by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:52:33 AM EST
Complex problems that I have no direct knowledge or experience of and I've decided that i'm going to outsource this to messrs Cameron and Obama and their advisors to sort out.

Intrervention by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:37:24 PM EST
 In theory yes. In practice not sure. Half a million troops and ten more years. A couple hundred billion dollars minimum.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
agree by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 02:20:28 AM EST
intervening now is more likely to be a military response to a political challenge. Without any functioning government to resume control if one solves the short term problems, what stops it from returning to chaos?

Not sure about troop numbers, but at least ten more years unless a local government with public backing or military regime can be sourced quickly. That of course implies a military regime that is acceptably brutal, so we don't have to intervene for a third time.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
The half million troops by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 07:08:56 PM EST
Half a million troops seems to be the standard response when military leaders talk about occupation and pacification. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
which makes sense by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:16:57 AM EST
as an army group is usually around half a million troops. Just one field army wouldn't cover in a theatre the size of Iraq so far away.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
10x that number of troops needed? by lm (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:45:34 AM EST
I think that would be about 5x as many boots on the ground as the coalition had at the height of the 2nd Iraq war.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The coalition yes, by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:19:23 AM EST
but technically the entire Iraq army was at their disposal... which added another half-a-million troops, of varying quality and reliability.

Ten years on, not much has happened in training and equipment there, so bringing in even more fresh troops would make sense if one were to invade and hold.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Sort of, but not really by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:04:49 PM EST
The coalition didn't the entire Iraqi army at their disposal until well into the occupation. The Iraqi army that surrendered to the coalition was summarily disbanded.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
and sort of by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #15 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:39:40 AM EST
only in the sense that the capability of what was left of both the army, paramilitaries and police did not really amount to much operational capacity even though it was a fair sized paper-force.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
That many by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 08:03:12 PM EST
 Since you are working at pacification and occupation you have limit the locals. Can't trust them. And you have to be pretty heavy handed.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
That and by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 08:03:52 PM EST
 We saw how well the first occupation went. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
you mean the Sykes-Picot Agreement? by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:43:14 AM EST
...modern-day Iraq is truly a product of western meddling. Usually much further back than most people imagined. We helped create this mess after WW1.

Contrafactually or not, one can sometimes wonder if it had all been easier if we had left them to themselves for the last 100 years...
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Here's the thing by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #17 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:51:00 AM EST
Iraq's composure isn't all that different from most modern nation states. Most have large minority groups and aren't beset by civil wars. 

But I was focusing purely on the concept of security. You can't trust the locals to not have other agendas. And the previous occupation would be 2003 to 2013. 





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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Most? by lm (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:54:41 AM EST
I'd not done any tallying but from the Balkan peninsula to the middle east to Africa, it seems to me that the new nation states created in the last 100 years don't have a great track record for avoiding civil war.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Most by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #19 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:21:43 AM EST
 There are over 130 nations on the planet. Most are not engaged in fighting a civil war.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
nations or states? by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #20 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:27:24 AM EST
There are certainly much more than 130 nations, and there are 193 sovereign states who has joined the United Nations.

If we narrow it to states which are small enough to have at least some contention over land, and has multiple nationalities in one sovereign state - I wouldn't be surprised if the proportion that has seen civil war over the last 100 or so years turns out to be at least close to a majority.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Nation = State in my terms by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #22 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:47:48 AM EST
 I use them interchangeably. And 193 is definitely more than 130. I shoes a low number on purpose. 

I'm also not talking civil war at anytime in their history or the last 100 years.  I don't consider the Spanish civil war to be particularly recent.  Going with the 193 number though how many are experiencing current civil wars or civil wars say in the last twenty years? And I'm not talking the generalissimo conducting a coup. I'm talking an actual civil war with the government actively fighting to put down an armed group of rebels having seized and controlling territory. Not a group of terrorists. Not the Bundy Ranch. Actual civil war.  If that number hits 51% of the 193 then I'm wrong with saying most.

and I'm using twenty years because for the most part that constitutes a generation. 





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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
I suppose we need to sort out the scope by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #23 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:07:36 AM EST
193 sovereign states includes nation-states (which I believed was the original question) and then there is the definition of civil war. If we also exclude "terrorists" (which pretty much is the established nomenclature for everybody we disagree with that isn't a sovereign state) I'm pretty sure we are way below 10%.

In a bad case of wikipedia-confirms-it: "In the 1990s, about twenty civil wars were occurring concurrently during an average year, a rate about ten times the historical average since the 19th century."

Which means that my guestimation of 10% wasn't all that far off for one average year.

-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Insolvable argument by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #24 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:16:43 PM EST
What even constitutes a "civil war"?  Was the largely bloodless breakup of the Soviet Union count?  Does Tiananmen Square count?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Soviet Union and Tiannamen by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #28 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:22:33 PM EST
 Neither constitutes a civil war. Tiannamen was a protest movement squashed by the authorities. The break up of the USSR was a disintegration of the central government.

A civil war would really be an attempt by a group controlling territory to forcibly replace the existing civil authority. I think the controlling territory would be the distinguished from terrorists.





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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
The break up of the Soviet Union was not a war by lm (2.00 / 0) #31 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:29:14 PM EST
But many of the states formed from the break up of the Soviet Union have had or still have civil wars: Russia (Chechnya), Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), Tajikistan, Ukraine, and (arguably) Uzbekistan.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Of those nation states ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #25 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 11:53:43 PM EST
... how many have come into being in the last 100 years?

Or if you want to go further than the 100 years, which is admittedly an arbitrary number, then we have to count civil wars that go back further than the past 100 years. The US, the UK, France, Italy and most other western powers have all had civil wars in their "modern" history.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Within a generation by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #29 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:31:25 PM EST
 A generation being about twenty years. At some point you have to choose a dicviding line. Sure a hundred years can be described as in living memory, but twenty years would be a generation being born and making maturity and child bearing age in peace with no memory of the violence of the past. Basically whatever civil authority they grew up in is the norm for the country. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
So that gives us by lm (2.00 / 0) #30 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:32:19 PM EST
Armenia (war with Azerbaijan)
Azerbaijan (war with Armenia)
Belarus (dictatorship)
Estonia (South Ossetia War)
Georgia  (South Ossetia War)
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan (riots and civil unrest among Uzbek minority and the Tulip Uprising)
Latvia
Lithuania
Moldova
Russia (Chechen War, invasion of Georgia, current Ukraine crisis, etc.)
Tajikistan (immediate civil war after independence from the Soviet Union)
Turkmenistan
Ukraine (current civil war)
Uzbekistan (dictatorship, Andijan massacre)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Balkan war)
Namibia
Yemen (civil war in the 90s, Shia insurgency in the 2000s)
Germany
The Marshall Islands
Micronesia
The Czech Republic
Slovakia
Eritrea (wars with Ethiopia, Yemen, and Somalia)
Palau
East Timor (widespread ethnic violence after independence from Indonesia)
Montenegro (Balkan war)
Serbia (Balkan war)
Kosovo (Balkan war, Kosovo war)
South Sudan (current civil war)

Personally, I think 40 years would be a better metric than 20 years. Half a human lifetime is well within 'living memory' if that's what you're concerned about.

Nevertheless, the easiest lists of new countries to find start in 1990 or 1991 which is not that far removed from 20 years.

Many of the incidents above are arguable as to whether they include the sorts of strife we're talking about but I suspect that the list of civil strife in new states is larger than you had expected no matter what your metric is.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Look at their neighbours... by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #21 Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:39:08 AM EST
...some of which are comparable, Wikipedia lists ~60 conflicts in the post-Ottoman period in the area.  Depending on the definition of nation (and whether or not Iraq is a nation-state), it looks like conflict has been endemic to the region since 1918.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
It's quite interesting by gmd (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:35:56 AM EST
 Islamic states can't seem to get on with their neighbours.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
and all of it started by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:06:46 AM EST
with British and French involvement in the post-ottoman agreement. Cause and effect?

Who knows.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
It goes back a lot further than that. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:52:51 AM EST
 But admittedly the British input to world affairs does seem to have been based on divide and rule.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
How much further? by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:41:54 AM EST
100 years, 300 years, 1000 years?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Well by gmd (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 03:17:58 AM EST
 Islam has been at war with its neighbours basically since it's inception. So approx 1435 years.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
And Jerusalem was uncontested by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #35 Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 04:44:46 AM EST
during the Ancient Roman times?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Well islam wasn't around then by gmd (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:10:11 PM EST
 So they probably had a different set of bigoted beliefs to fight over.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
ah by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:48:11 AM EST
so Islam isn't the problem?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Well it's certainly 'a' problem. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 05:03:11 PM EST
 Particularly for those countries unfortunate enough to share a border with it.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
I thought by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #42 Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 02:45:32 AM EST
you just said that it was the people regardless of religion?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
It seems to be predominantly by gmd (2.00 / 0) #43 Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 03:42:54 AM EST
 On the borders of islamic countries at the moment.

there is a correlation, that's what I'm saying.


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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
but by your own words by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #44 Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:28:42 PM EST
there can't be a causation (given that conflicts predate the religion).
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
There could be a third variable by gmd (2.00 / 0) #45 Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:17:46 AM EST
 But as it stands islam is the common denominator in current times.

who knows, a religion borne out of winning series of wars might just have violence built into it?


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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
I guess... by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:17:31 PM EST
...I believe in among competing hypotheses, select the one with the fewest assumptions.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Well... by gmd (2.00 / 0) #47 Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 08:23:08 PM EST
 The facts speak for themselves in a modern context.

quite why that should be the case is one for the sociologists and theocracists.

bottom line: Islam is not a force for "good" as a westerner would define it.


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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Love how you use by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #48 Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:03:45 AM EST
"facts speak for themselves" after you've presented facts that are quite contrary to your "bottom line".
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Trolling 101 n/t by gmd (2.00 / 0) #49 Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:29:19 AM EST
 

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
you've become soft. -nt by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #50 Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 12:27:52 PM EST

-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
It was a similar situation by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 07:06:58 AM EST
Jews regarded is as the capital of their nation, certain other nations thought otherwise.

Romans were fine with it as long as Jews were a client state; whenever they got uppity it was time for population control measures. 

Is an independent Israel the world's longest running political dispute (at 3,000 years or so)?

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
indeedy do. by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:52:37 AM EST
My point was really pursuing GMDs implications that Islam is at the root of all evil. I've now given my hand away, but I think I've taken that thread as far as it can, being our favourite troll and all.

Not so sure that the Roman empire situation is comparable with the current situation, but then again pretty much all of the context and technology has changed, too. So I guess it is partially correct.

Makes you wonder what's so special about this place, nowadays there are certainly more favourable climates to inhabit.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
american mesopotamia company anyone? by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:24:26 PM EST
i think we should just split off kurdistan, formally colonize the rest of iraq and leave the majority of its administration to a british east india company-style authority. perhaps a government along the lines of the united arab emirates could be established.

i'm frankly astonished at what a big deal this ISIS thing seems to be. if reports are to be believed, there at most 15,000 of them. they're not an army of a sovereign power, they're just international terrorists/criminals. the US would be within its rights to just wipe them all out.

It's almost as if the west WANTS them there... by gmd (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:10:30 AM EST
 I think they are so-called "controlled opposition". Look at how they get their arms, that's a good pointer to who is backing them.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Why stop at Iraq by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 04:07:34 AM EST
Why not just do the same to the entirety of North/Middle Africa, the Middle East to Afghanistan?  

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
dear god, man! by the mariner (4.00 / 3) #9 Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:52:03 AM EST
one step at a time!

[ Parent ]
I think by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 06:27:34 AM EST
.. I need to stock up on pink crayon so we can start colouring in the 2nd British Empire....   

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
not british! by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #51 Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:53:04 PM EST
perhaps our multicultural, cosmopolitan empire will be seen as more legitimate to the masses than your ethnocentric, provincial empire was.

[ Parent ]