April 20, 2008 – First released: March 4, 2006

Five reasons we can’t win the war in Iraq
by Leslie Davis and other sources

1.
Iraq is a guerrilla war, yet for political purposes we are discouraged from calling it a guerrilla war, so the guerrillas are called “terrorists, criminals insurgents, and dead-enders.” By the way, an insurgent is a synonym for a guerrilla. There are few effective tools to fight a guerrilla war. You can’t defeat a guerrilla army by trying to destroy every man since he hides by day amongst the populace. Rather, in a guerrilla war the objective should be to erode or destroy his base of support. As long as there is support in the populace for the guerrilla, two will rise up to replace every one you kill. When precision guided bombs, raids, and other destructive acts are used, it creates casualties among the innocent populace, increases support for the guerrillas and undermines support for us. A 500 pound bomb has a killing radius of 1,300 feet (1/4 mile). Think about what happens to your credibility when you drop huge bombs on populated areas. Everyone hates you.

2. We have no idea what motivates the average Iraqi. American leaders went to war in Iraq with a fantasy that the natives would line the streets and pelt us with rose petals, and be eternally grateful for our attack on their country. At one time there may have been support and respect from the locals, but months of occupation by our military have turned the formerly friendly into the recently hostile. Attempts to correct the thinking in this regard are futile; it is not politically correct to point out that the locals dislike us more and more, and they are growing increasingly upset and overtly hostile. Instead of addressing the real reasons why the locals are becoming angry and discontented, politicians feed us canned reasons that do not reflect reality. We are told that the locals are not upset that a hostile, aggressive American army is occupying their country. We are told that they are not upset at the police state we have created, or at the manner of our picking their government representatives for them. Rather we are told, they are upset because a handful of terrorists, criminals and dead enders in their midst made them upset.

3. The guerrillas fill their losses faster than we can create them. This is almost always the case in guerrilla warfare, especially when your tactics are aimed at killing guerrillas instead of eroding their support. For every guerrilla we kill with a “smart bomb” we kill and maim many more innocent civilians and create rage and anger in the community. This rage and anger translates into more recruits for the guerrillas and less support for us. We have fallen victim to the body count mentality. We have shown a willingness to inflict civilian casualties as a necessity of war without realizing that these casualties create waves of hatred against us. These angry Iraqi citizens translate into more recruits and more support for the guerrilla army.

4. The guerrilla lines of supply and communication are much shorter than ours and much less vulnerable. We import everything we need; this costs lots of money and is dangerous. Whether we fly the supplies in or bring them by truck, they are vulnerable to attack, most especially those brought by truck. This increases the likelihood of the supplies being interrupted. Every bullet and bandage becomes infinitely more expensive. Conversely, the guerrillas live on top of their supplies and are showing every indication of developing very sophisticated networks for obtaining them. Further, they have the additional advantage of close support from family, friends and traditional religious networks.

5. We have consistently underestimated our opponents (a.k.a. the enemy) and his capabilities. We did it in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, and we are doing it in Iraq, Colombia and elsewhere. Our military leaders are not prepared to fight the type of guerrilla war we are facing in Iraq, and they are squandering the lives of our noble, honorable and valuable soldiers. Our tactics have not adjusted to the battlefield and we are falling behind. Meanwhile the enemy has updated his tactics and has shown a remarkable resiliency and adaptability.

Respectfully submitted in honor of our military.

Leslie Davis
U.S. Army veteran, businessman, 
candidate for Governor of Minnesota and
president of the Earth Protectors.
Leslie@EarthProtector.org
www.EarthProtector.org
www.LeslieDavis.com