– 2005-10-09 09:43:36
Iraq: Destroying the Country in Order to Save It?
Ksuwildkat / Daily Kos
BAGHDAD (October 6, 2005) — “US-led forces have bombed eight bridges on the Euphrates River in western Iraq to stop insurgents using them, US military spokesperson Major General Rick Lynch said Thursday.
“We have been taking out portions of bridges with precision strikes,” he told a news conference.
Of 12 bridges between the Syrian border and Ramadi, 110km west Baghdad, “four remain under control of the coalition forces and Iraqi forces after precision strikes on the others,” he said.
“One of the vulnerabilities of this insurgency is freedom of movement,” he added.
“We took out portions of these bridges to deny terrorists, foreign fighters and insurgents the capability to cross north to south or south to north across the Euphrates River.”
Why is this a big deal? Because we are actually destroying infrastructure in a country we occupy. We are saying that the military value of the bridges to the insurgency is greater than the value to us in either a military or economic/social way. This can be compared to the use of chemicals to destroy the jungle in Vietnam. Not because it caused cancer but because it was the long term destruction of some portion of the country.
As a solider, I have been involved in this war in one way or another since 1990. I was in Baghdad early on when we actually thought we could rebuild the country. It was a tough decision then to cut down the trees on the airport road then but, when you are getting shot at, you have to do something.
Now we are blowing up bridges. For the first time I believe we have lost.
For the first time as a military professional I think we have no way of winning this. We are willing to destroy the basic structures of the country to deny the enemy their use. This means we have no other way to deny them the use of these assets.
We can’t stop them, the Iraqi Army can’t stop them, the Iraqi police can’t stop them and we can’t collect enough intelligence to make the enemy pay for using what should be choke points.
There is no way to sugarcoat this. This is a MAJOR development. That we have made it public is also a big deal because every other military professional in the world knows we are done.
This war may go on for a long time but the conclusion is decided as far as I can see. I never imagined I would see this day.
The opinions are the authors’ own and doesn’t necessarily represent Uruknet’s opinion.