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We can never truly win a war in the Middle East though active military engagement.

The basis for this idea is the notion that we go to war against ideologies and political beliefs, not a figurehead or soldiers. Whenever we become actively involved in the Middle East, we divide a people creating new fractions of the religion/culture which in turn causes further suffering. We purposefully try to change or reshape the culture and beliefs of a people in the attempt to make them more similar to those of the western world. We kill thousands of innocent people, and we end up involving millions of other people from around the world, which causes the conflict to spread resulting in an end to the conflict becoming impossible. This is because the conflicts created by our engagement are everlasting.

  • Apr 2 2014: We will win it by ceasing to use petroleum.
  • Apr 8 2014: The only reason we would not win a war is that the politicians tie our army's hands behind their back.

    In fact we ARE winning:
    1. Violence is staying on their land, not ours
    2. Shiite and Sunni are killing each other much, much more than they kill us
    3. We are sucking all the oil out of their land. When it is gone so will their power
    4. Cultural Victory is continuing. Converting them to the Western way of life is the only way to win a complete victory
    5. Islam has been discredited as a governmental form. All an Islamic governement can offer is intolerance, ignorance and death. We fought wars to stop the spread of Communism; we now fight to stop the spread of Islam.

    I disagree with the argument that each terrorist we kill causes 2 more to pop up. If that was the case then no war would ever have ended. Unfortunately our PC culture prevents us from doing what needs to be done: Kill more. If anything, using kid gloves to handle Islam only create more death in the long run.

    We fight ideologies and beliefs because no country is foolish enough to declare that their country is the enemy of the West formally. The closest we've seen was Afghanistan, when they refused to give up Bin Laden. How did that work out for them?

    Re-reading your topic I agree: Yup, that's what we are doing. The alternative to slowly bleeding the mideast is nuclear cauterization. We do not yet have the political will to do that. So we use the blood of the military to keep the oil and islamic blood flowing.

    Why don't you flip your question? Ask what is necessary to prevent war? I submit that each side must have enough similarities to outweigh their differences for a permanent peace to occur. Thus, we pursue cultural assimilation. America learned again that you can't leave the world alone and expect to be spared, so isolationism is not an answer. Either Western culture or Islamic culture will have to be elimiated as they are incompatible. Pick your side.
  • Apr 6 2014: True
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    Apr 4 2014: I don't believe ideological wars can ever be "won", in the sense that one idea wins over the another. Phases of peace are possible, and these can be quite long lasting, especially in times of good harvests and economic growth. However, when the good times end, there will always be individuals who reignite the touch paper and start the hostilities again. Consider the situation in Northern Ireland with the sudden activity of the Real IRA, and also the rise of masked fascists marching through towns in Germany - openly giving the straight armed solute. The Middle East is the ultimate example, and I can't see things changing in the next few hundred years if humanity maintains the current trajectory.

    Gandhi had one solution. When a Hindu man confessed to him that he had just killed a Muslin man in revenge for the murder of his son, Gandhi told him to go and adopt the man's son, and bring him up as a good Muslim.
  • Apr 4 2014: Only if we become as vicious or even more vicious than anyone else.
  • Apr 1 2014: War is so obsolete. Wars cause wars. Military engagements cause more military engagements in the same way that two humans who engage create progeny.

    when will we ever learn that? Soon, I hope.
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    Mar 28 2014: Hello Mikel. I'm From middle east and, The war that we in it just killing men that's it, leaving behind a widow and orphans,
    - a widow need to life so she need food and shelter, when that's missing imagine what she will do for it.
    - orphans need to teaching and learning, imagine when that's missing what those orphans need to do to get it.

    the war creator by this war changing the entire earth to dangerous path unknown which is it.

    From my job in middle east iraq, as the head of relations in shams al rafidain charity organization.

    we are right new Entering a darkness path, the problem is middel east having a lot of energy sources so when it's people became a monsters imagine how they can ruling the world.
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    Mar 28 2014: Depends on what you view as a win. Traditionally a "win" is when you conquer a specific set of land and put it under your own jurisdiction. That has not been our intent as of late, so the new definition of "win", (the one told to us by our government here in the U.S), is elimination of extremist terrorists groups threatening our national security. If this is the case, then it may be possible that action in the middle east may lower the chances of being attacked over seas. However, ONLY if we do it right. What we have done, in my opinion, is done it wrongly.
    For example: When the U.N intervened in Kuwait, when Saddamn Hussein was exterminating the Kurds using chemical weapons (which the U.S sold him.) We established a foreword base in Saudi Arabia. Osama Bin Laden oversaw our base and the Saudi government laid down rules. "Do not bring women, and do not bring alcohol." We did both. Because we are americans, and we know whats right. As a result Osama Bin Laden was excommunicated from Saudi Arabia, and forced to live in Iraq, where he was not liked. Could that have inspired a little western hatred? I'm thinking yes.
    In order to protect ourselves from creating more enemies than allies, It is my view that we stay out of major conflicts. And instead focus our efforts in small humanitarian prevention strikes. Such as exterminating terrorist groups, such as the one in Nigeria called Boko Haram. An Islamic extremist group, under Bin Laden's tenants, view western education as evil. They feel that the best way to fight this evil is to burn children alive in schools and sell the survivors to the highest bidder. Exterminate these small groups who are keeping the Arab nations from organizing and governing effectively then you will see the Islamic view of the west increase in quality.
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    Mar 26 2014: As they say, "If you want peace, prepare for war".
  • Mar 26 2014: "..the conflicts created by our engagement are everlasting." Why?
    • Mar 26 2014: Because when we intervene, by the very definition of the word intervention, we create fractions of the people, fractions which then go to war with each other over the differences which were created as a result of our engagement. For example the Al Qaeda terrrorist group was formed as a result of western intervention in the soviet war against Afghanistan, which ended in 1989. As a result of this one fraction, the west has once again been involved militarily in the middle east since 2001.
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    Mar 26 2014: Mr. Cunnington, how do you define "winning a war"? When is it right to wage war against a group or country? Is there such a thing as "just war"?
    • Mar 26 2014: To me winning a war is not only when you have achieved the underpinning ambitions of the war effort, and when you reach a point where the war no longer negatively effects the daily lives of people in your country or the country in which you are involved. I do not believe we ever have a right to become militarily involved, because when we become involved in the middle east, the conditions we create are often far worse than the conditions which were their before our intervention.
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    Mar 25 2014: Correct.
    Now what. How would you react to covert attacks from this area?
    I see two actions. The west can revert to a defensive position and absorb any terrorist act as a price of not going to war.... or the west can revert to a defensive position and react to a terrorist act by turning the middle east into a millennium of a radioactive sea of glass. Or we can stumble along with the poor policies that we have in the past. I am glad it's not up to me.
    • Mar 28 2014: Honestly, after the towers fell, my opinion was that we should do nothing. Nothing at all.

      We do not negotiate with terrorists, because it just creates more terrorism.

      For the same reason, we should not have done exactly what Bin Laden wanted.

      In the USA, vehicle accidents kill 30,000-40,000 and cost about $160 billion a year. And still we drive.

      WTC attacks cost 3,000 lives and our reaction to the attack cost way, way, way more than the actual damage from the attack.