Quoting David Kilcullen’s calling the decision to invade Iraq “stupid”

David Kilcullen is a modern professional military strategist recognized by many.  A former Australian Army officer, he was later as a civilian one of the Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser’s of General Patraeus that resulted formed actual results in Iraq.  He has worked for the US State Department, is a major contributor to programs in counter-terrorism and is an advisor to a number of western governments and NATO.

What I like is he speaks his mind regardless of the politics and is in a position to do so.  He battles radicalism in the form of terrorism and stupid political input in the most serious of situations – war.  

My partial quote from Kilcullen early last year (6 March 2009) is about his view about deciding to invade Iraq.  He has all but admitted that in a private conversation (that had gone public) was that he called it “f*cking stupid”.   He chose, to clarify the reasons for his opinion in a better format.  I suggest this in the Small Wars Journal and I suggest for context purposes that you read the entire item by him called “Accidental Guerrilla: Read Before Burning”.  Full acknowledgement to the author and Small Wars Journal. 

Spencer Ackerman, in yesterday’s Washington Independent, claims I told him the Iraq war was “f*cking stupid”. He did not seek to clear that quote with me, and I would not have approved it if he had. If he HAD sought a formal comment, I would have told him what I have said publicly before: in my view, the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was an extremely serious strategic error. But the task of the moment is not to cry over spilt milk, rather to help clean it up: a task in which the surge, the comprehensive counterinsurgency approach, and our troops on the ground are admirably succeeding.

Anyone who knows me has been well aware of my position on Iraq for years. When I went to Iraq in 2007 (and on both previous occasions) it was to end the war, by suppressing the violence and defeating the insurgency. (Note: I said END the war, not abandon it half-way through, leaving the Iraqis to be slaughtered. When we invaded Iraq, we took on a moral and legal responsibility for its people’s wellbeing. Regardless of anyone’s position on the decision to invade, those obligations still stand and cannot be wished away merely because they have proven inconvenient)…The question of whether we were right to invade Iraq is a fascinating debate for historians and politicians, and a valid issue for the American people to consider in an election year. As it happens, I think it was a mistake. But that is not my key concern. The issue for practitioners in the field is not to second-guess a decision from six years ago, but to get on with the job at hand which, I believe, is what both Americans and Iraqis expect of us. In that respect, the new strategy and tactics implemented in 2007, and which relied for their effectiveness on the extra troop numbers of the Surge, ARE succeeding and need to be supported.



About donny2811
Trots Nederlands, goed gereist en een begerige politieke centrist met een speciale afkeer voor basissen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: