Give Them Guns

Farrell, S. (2007). Give us guns — and trops can go, says Iraqi leader. Times Online. January 18, 2007. Available online:,,7374-2553148.html.

My post on how Bush has won the Iraq War, in spite of himself has gotten noted by The Donovon, as well as attracting an interesting discussion.

Our Iraqi allies need three things to defeat terrorism, al-Baath, and al-Qaeda in their own country: money, guns, and air cover. We’re skimping, trying to win a war on the cheap:

America’s refusal to give Baghdad’s security forces sufficient guns and equipment has cost a great number of lives, the Iraqi Prime Minister said yesterday.

Tragically, skimping on money, guns, and air cover costs American lives. When we prevent our allies from winning, we have to fight our enemies ourselves. If we gave our allies more money, guns, and air cover (the focus being on guns, to counter the total national defense armories Saddam set up before his fall) we could leave.

Nouri al-Maliki said the insurgency had been bloodier and prolonged because Washington had refused to part with equipment. If it released the necessary arms, US forces could “dramatically” cut their numbers in three to six months, he told The Times.

The formula for victory in Iraq looks like this:

Victory = Money + Guns + Air Cover

The presense of American troops is not required for victory. If it helps America’s interests in some other way to stay — say, by having bases in the desert to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity against a foreign threat — fine. There is no moral objection to maintaining a presense in Iraq. But the self-flagulation involved in denying the Iraq’s weapons and sending our own troops over their to die because of that is idiotic.

Give them Guns. Lots of Guns.

8 thoughts on “Give Them Guns”

  1. Whee! Link-trading… Two things, though. It's spelled Donovan, and the actual blog name is Castle Argghhh!

    I think I surprised Ry (who posted your link at the Castle) when he found out I agreed with you on the issue of killing bad guys.

    Which mostly means Ry has forgotten what I was saying some time ago.

    One reason the occupations of Japan and Germany were so comparatively easier is that we had stomped them both flat and they were under no illusions they'd been beaten.

  2. “The Pentagon cannot account for 14,030 weapons _ almost 4 percent of the semiautomatic pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other weapons it began supplying to Iraq since the end of 2003, according to a report from the office of the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.” [1]

    Why would it be any different now? Weapons we give to the Iraqi army will disappear. We will find them by being on the wrong end of them sooner or later. Maliki just wants more weapons so he can build his personal power and not be reliant on Sadr. What happens if Maliki stops being our ally?


  3. “What happens if Maliki stops being our ally?”

    That likelyhood grows with every day that our forces preserve the enemy factions of the Iraqi majority.

  4. Sean,

    I know John Edwards has talked about cutting off funding, which is just irresponsible. Ultimately Bush is the commander-in-chief. Having a commander intent on a wrong-head course is bad. Having no commander-in-chief (the Edwards/withhold funding plan) is worse.


    I will remember “Castle Argghhh!” in the future 🙂

    We forced the Germans and the Japanese to embrace defeat. With the exception of the first few months in Iraq, we have tried to buy the self-esteem of the Iraqi Sunni Arabs (with catastrophic results).


    We can't be sure of Maliki's friends, only his enemies: al Baath and al Qaeda. Let him take care of those first. Then we can talk about American maximalist demands. Because then such demands make sense. Before then, let's focus on defeating our enemies.


    Did you mean “majority” or “minority”?

  5. lol

    Sorry, if I could restate.

    That likelyhood grows with every day that our forces preserve the minority (sunni/baathist) enemy factions of the Iraqi majority (shiite.)

    Hopefully that clarifies

  6. Subadei,

    It clarifies, and I agree.


    On the subject of Clinton, I enjoyed her smackdown of Edwards and Obama. The bikini-models of the Democratic field looked pretty for the cameras, and Clintoln replied by holding a press conference on her trip to Iraq, with maps, showing exactly where in the middle east she thinks troops are needed.

    I will probably vote for McCain or libertarian in '08, but the difference between Clinton and Edbama is the difference between Davin Lexen and Golda Meir.

  7. I had no idea who Davin Lexen was, so I used Google…I'm at work. oops.

    Edwards plan is beyond irresponsibility, but then again, I don't like a lot of what he proposed, for instance in trade.

  8. “Which mostly means Ry has forgotten what I was saying some time ago.”
    I'm getting kicked even when I'm off of Castle grounds? Everyone hatessssss usssss.

    I, still, don't quite see the parrallels between Dan's 'Vietnamization has been implemented. Our Enemy is suffereing from serious entropy. Now let's do what we should've done in Vietnam.' and Conan's answer to the 'What is best' question from Conan the Barbarian. Not the same thing.

    Or maybe you've given me one too many Big Boots to the head and I'm not seeing what should be an obvious connection?

  9. Basically what I'm seeing is this:
    JoA is saying that the only time something like this has worked was when we broke the country. Literally. Physical and psychologically broke the country. In Japan we took a nation that had a real reverence for the warrior class and made it pacifist, or nearly so. Sorta the same for Germany.

    You aren't saying this.
    What you are saying is that what's really needed isn't so much breaking the country but giving the Iraqi Fed Gov enough money, equipment, and backing(via the airpower) for them to beat down an insurgency. What would've been done in Vietnam had there not been Watergate.
    Get out of the way and let the beat down of the unruly begin. Not the same thing as 'we need to roll Heavy'—which John, being a Big War kinda guy, seems to think is the only way to have done this with any hope of success(but you better ask him on that, as I don't speaks for him.)—to break the national will.

    Where there is over lap seems to be both you and John saying that attriting the Sunni's is a good thing. But that's about all I can see as overlap.

  10. Ry, thanks!

    I have a new post up comparing big wars and small wars to gun fights and knife fights. [1] If your analysis of John is right, he would support blowing away Iraq like we blew away Germany and Japan. To “axis” Iraq may have been a worthy goal, but we did not put the manpower into it that such a victory would require,

    Failing that, if you don't bring out the big guns, you're left with knives. The man with the biggest gun doesn't need to get himself cut. He only needs to find someone good with knives to do the cutting for him.


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