Wars of choice are often bad choices.

I did not have a blog in 2003, so there is not internet history of my opinion on invading Iraq as we geared up towards the war in 2003. However I can state I was flatly against the invasion.

My arguments against the war were fairly simple.

1) Iraq was not a direct threat to the United States at that time.

2) Even if Iraq possessed Weapons Of Mass Destruction a paranoid dictator such as theirs would never let them go out of his control.

3) We would easily overthrow the government but become bogged down in  a war with a native insurgency.

4) A new war would distract the U.S. from is primary goal, chasing down and destroying Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

My friends who supported the war — or described themselves as war-agnostics – dismissed my concerns. I remember quite clear how the last point seemed ridiculous to them.

Well along with the others, point four seems to be gaining evidence lately. See the following quote from a story about a history of the Afgan war written by the Army itself.

First, President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had criticized using the military for peacekeeping and reconstruction in the Balkans during the 1990s. As a result, “nation building” carried a derogatory connotation for many senior military officials, even though American forces were being asked to fill gaping voids in the Afghan government after the Taliban’s fall.

Second, military planners were concerned about Afghanistan’s long history of resisting foreign invaders and wanted to avoid the appearance of being occupiers. But the historians argue that this concern was based partly on an “incomplete” understanding of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan.

Third, the invasion of Iraq was siphoning away resources. After the invasion started in March 2003, the history says, the United States clearly “had a very limited ability to increase its forces” in Afghanistan.


3 thoughts on “Wars of choice are often bad choices.”

  1. I remember at the time that I objected because I felt we were foolishly chosing to fight a war on two fronts when we could have finished one job (Afghanistan) first. I also felt we had insufficient justification to invade Iraq. I am glad to see the focus back where it should be – on Afghanistan.

  2. Your links require registration to read, do you have another source?

    As for this…

    “3) We would easily overthrow the government but become bogged down in a war with a native insurgency.”

    I don’t remember that.

    1. The fact that you do not remember this opinion of mine doesn’t change the fact it was an opinion and one I had voiced before the invasion. You did not dismiss it at the time because at that time you were a ‘war agnostic’ (your term) but other friends we know dismisses my concerns as they insisted we were be greeted as liberators and there would be no insurgency.

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