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Losing the troops...

 ...and it wouldn't matter who was sitting behind the Resolute Desk.

Deebow at Blackfive.

SSG Sitton at Diana West.

For the record - I never signed on to nation-building in the muslim world in the first place.  I was all for "smash their toys and leave a note about not making us come back" diplomacy.  Nation-building is a generations-long process that has to come from within.  You don't impose it from without, especially not coming from as distinctly different a set of cultures as we do.

And don't point to WWII - we essentially did a "smash their toys" there, and convinced them that they needed to make some changes on their own, which they agreed with - which is very different from was going on in Iraq and in Afghanistan.  You want to argue with me about a "generations long process?"

 Look at what happened when the Warsaw Pact collapsed.  And there had been close to two generations of work there.


Germany was a beneficiary of western civilization and there was already a German nation that existed prior to WW2. Japan had adopted aspects of Western Civ, but still had some pretty significant feudal inclusions, but they were already a nation as well. In neither case did we have to build a nation.

In the Muslim world the only true nation I can see are the Persians (the Indonesians are close, but there are serious divisions along religious lines). The rest is basically a bunch of tribes that marry inside their number and tend to see other tribes as enemies. The Ottomans were wise to keep Iraq divided into 3 provinces. The AFG is a shemozzle that can only be solved by creating a desert and calling it peace. If they don't have outsiders to fight, they will fight each other.
Amen!  I agree 100% with that and even though I went to Iraq still think it has all been a waste. The old "Nuc 'em till they glow!'  Would have been a better use of "diplomacy" then this ill-conceived nation building crap. 

QM, you could probably add the Kurds to your list, maybe the Turks.

Reading the Blackfive piece made me think of (2 time MOH winner) Smedley Butler, USMC, veteran of multiple small wars who eventually decided that it just didn't work.  (He actually went further than that and opposed big wars, too.)

As our Special Forces have demonstrated time and time again, it's the "raid" not occupation that's the joy of an infantryman's life.

"Mess everything and everyone up and then move out," my favorite Platoon Sergeant told me more than a couple of times.  He also mentioned something about, "As many as you can, as often as you can, anywhere, and any way you can.

Where's Ranald "Bad Hand" MacKenzie when we need him.

Heartless, I'd agree with the Turks. Not so sure about the Kurds. Unless I could see more about the Kurds I'd put them down with the Indonesians.
 In this mess, it was actually started a long time ago. Most of our people look at the list 20 years of war in that place and you haven't even begun that war yet. Americans don't get it, we think in terms of generations. They think in terms of millennia or thousands of years. Their view is this, you decide when you want to start this war and we'll decide when it's over. I have read where many guys have gone over with the thought, we'll fight this war rather than our children and grandchildren. It doesn't work that way. Your descendents will be fighting this war for thousands of years. Just think about it, is it really worth it? It does not matter who you vote for in this upcoming election, we will still be there.