Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Success - the greatest American victory since WW2

The Nicaraguan War is an important conflict and the only major win for the USA since beating Japan.

The Nicaraguan war was a guerilla conflict. It was fought through massacres and bombings and land clearances and collective punishment. It was a war fought between the USSR and the USA by way of local proxys. Firstly the Somoza regime v. Sandinista rebels, then the Somoza regime was overthrown and the war became Sandinista regime vs Contra rebels. At the end of the war a democracy was established and pro-American government was installed. There was no good, ethical, morally virtuous side. This is a good summary of the conflict.

Why did the Americans win?

Because the war ended in 1990 as the Soviet Union collapsed. The Soviets stopped funding the Sandinistas. At the point where they lost the Sandinistas were in control of almost all of the territory and had a significant numerical superiority. However they were forced to gamble on an election victory because they needed a popular mandate, until 1989 they could rely on funding from USSR/Cuba and the support (or otherwise) of the Nicuraguan people was irrelevant. Unsurprisingly in the election the cash strapped communist regime that had ridden the country into the ground, failed to beat an opposition supported with some of the best electioneering talent money can buy.

The American victory was due to its willingness to spend for longer than the Soviet Union.

Iraq - America is again engaged in a guerilla war against an ideologically opposed force.

Good news - the government of Iraq is allied to America, holds almost all of the territory and has numerical superiority.

Bad news - the enemy will never agree to elections; the enemy has funding largely derived from oil revenue expected to cease in 2060 - 2070; the enemy does not confine the war to Iraq; America tries to confine the war to Iraq.

Summary - if America maintains the current strategy it can expect victory in 2060 or so.


At 9/8/05 2:07 PM , Blogger Wintermute said...

So, what's the proper strategy for Iraq? What's the proper strategy for the war on Terror in general?, preferably a strategy that seems likely to lead to victory before 2060, when no one's got any oil left. In respect to the larger war on terror, what counts as victory? How do we permanently eliminate Terror? I don't see this as a winnable war, that is if we try to fight it in anything close to the traditional way that we have historically fought wars.

At 9/8/05 4:41 PM , Blogger unaha-closp said...

Bringing some form of democracy to the entire middle east is a good plan IMHO.

At 16/8/05 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously the Americans aren't going to stay until 2060. Hopefully we can win before then.

At 16/8/05 11:29 AM , Blogger Wintermute said...

Why do we need to make them democratic in the way we understand it? Are they not entitled to a different form of government (i.e. monarchy) if it is the will of the people? Pushing our way of doing things on them is going to cause resentment andhostility. In the words of (ohmygod, I can't believe it) George W Bush, "I'm not so sure that it's the job of the United States to go around the world and say 'this is the way it's gotta be'."

At 17/8/05 5:21 PM , Blogger unaha-closp said...


Because democracy will lead to them having long arguements amoung themselves rather than following the lead of any particular tyrant. They will be less externally focussed with their anxieties and blame themselves and their culture more.


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