Iraq Report (NRR)

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  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Measuring The Surge[/b]

    Strategy versus Tactics[/b]

    The second issue to consider when evaluating the surge is to distinguish between tactics and strategy. Strategy refers to the overall goals that one is trying to achieve, while tactics are the means to achieving them. The surge is simply a military tactic to achieve a political goal. The strategic goals of the United States are to establish a stable Iraqi government, capable of defending itself from internal and external threats, using the tactics of classic counterinsurgency warfare in Baghdad and Anbar province. It is hoped that these tactics will give the Iraqi government breathing room to carry out a series of political accommodations to achieve the strategic goal of a secure society.

    Ignore The Fighting, Focus On The Politics[/b]

    As Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz pointed out, to gauge the Iraq war, one must understand the political realm rather than mistaking it for a purely military campaign.

    To emphasize this point here's what a senior military officer told the Christian Science Monitor:

    "Success does not hinge on the effectiveness or success soely of the security situation. It really depends on political governance."

    Recent signs of tactical success:

    U.S. casualties are down after some of the deadliest months of combat since the 2003 invasion.

    Recent signs of tactical failure:

    Shiite militias continue to ethnic cleanse Baghdad neighborhoods of Sunni residents. A Shiite politician told McClatchy Newspapers that the Sunnis deserved it for all the years of Saddam Hussein's rule.

    Recent signs of strategic failure:

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates after a trip to the Middle East, "I just think in some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys [Iraq's government] to come together on legislation."

    The largest Sunni block withdrew from Maliki's government because they feel like their community has been ignored by the Shiite led government

    Sources:[/b]

    Farrell, Stephen, "U.S. Death Toll in Iraq in July Expected to Be Lowest in '07," New York Times, 8/1/07

    Lubold, Gordon, "US troop fatalities in Iraq drop sharply," Christian Science Monitor, 8/1/07

    Seibel, Mark and Fadel, Leila, "U.S. officials: Militias main threat to Iraq," McClatchy Newspapers, 7/31/07

    Youssef, Nancy, "Defense chief: U.S. underestimated sectarian hatred in Iraq," McClatchy Newspapers, 8/2/07

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Iraq Snippets[/b]

    With Friends Like These ??? Saudi Fighters Joining the Iraqi Insurgency

    The Los Angeles Times reported that the largest number of foreign fighters to Iraq came from Saudi Arabia. According to a U.S. military source, 45% of all foreigners coming to fight in Iraq came from Arabia, compared to 15% from Syria and Lebanon and 10% from North Africa. These Saudis are believed to have carried out more suicide bombings than any other foreigners as well. The Saudi government has claimed ignorance about the ways Saudis make it to Iraq and claim they are doing all they can, but Iraqi officials do not believe them. The Iraqi government makes a number of claims against the Saudis. Some say that they are sending their young militants to Iraq to forestall the kingdoms own internal problems, that the Sunni Saudis see the Shiite government in Iraq as a tool of their arch rival Iran, or make the accusation that Saudi mosques are openly calling for jihad in Iraq and funding the insurgency. The truth is most likely somewhere in between. Saudi Arabia is very afraid of Iran???s growing influence in the region, and there are groups in the country that are funneling individuals and money to go to fight in Iraq, but the government is also trying to crack down on their travel and is attempting to build a wall along the border between the two countries to stem the chaos from spreading.

    The U.S. has all but said that the the Saudis are funding Sunni tribes involved in the insurgency recently. There are also reports that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also giving money to Sunni insurgents. The U.S. is attempting to buy them off and turn their anger against Iran by offering them a $20 billion military aid deal. The problem is, the Gulf states see the Shiite led government in Iraq as part of the Iran threat. After Sec. of State Rice and Sec. of Defense Gates recently went on a tour of the region however, the Saudis said they might open a larger diplomatic office in Baghdad.

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    WOuldn't our departure result in the total destruction of Al Qaeada/foreign fighters in Iraq? I'm guessing that the shi'a militias would turn the country upside down at that point and ALQ... would be fucked. More irony. We are giving cover to Al Q...

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    WOuldn't our departure result in the total destruction of Al Qaeada/foreign fighters in Iraq? I'm guessing that the shi'a militias would turn the country upside down at that point and ALQ... would be fucked. More irony. We are giving cover to Al Q...

    I always had the impression that were the U.S. to leave the Sunnis would end their relationship of convenience and turn on Al Qaeda. The U.S. has been able to do that now.

    I'm also not quite sure how much of a bloodbath there would actually be between Shiite and Sunnis after a U.S. withdrawal. Violence would obviously go up, but to what extent? Neither side really has any heavy weapons. About the biggest hardware they have are mortars and IED's. The largest offensive they can launch is a bunch of guys in trucks and cars with AK's and RPGs. I mean hell, even Iraqi army units can hardly get around because they can't get any gas from the government and their trucks breakdown all the time and can hardly fix them themselves! They're completely dependent upon the U.S. In mixed areas of central Iraq there would probably be waves of ethnic cleansing and then the two sides might not be able to really get at each other.


  • President Bush is playing up the role of Al Qaeda in Iraq more and more..."If we were to allow them to gain control of Iraq, they would have control of a nation with massive oil reserves ??? which they could use to fund new attacks and exhort economic blackmail on those who didn???t kowtow to their wishes.???

    Oh the irony.

    correct me if i'm wrong (with reputable news sources) but isn't an overwhelming majority of Al Queda in Iraq made up of newly recruited Iraqis? Bush continues to insinuate that the Al Queda in Iraq[/b] are responsible for the 9-11 bombings. Aside from the fact that the presence of Al Queda is relatively low in Iraq (not sure of the exact number, but i remember reading that it was only a few thousand, at most), but if its made up of Iraqis who joined up post US invasion...then Bush should really get clobbered by the press every time he refers to 9-11, Al Queda, and Iraq in the same sentence. Were it not for the invasion of Iraq, there would be almost no presence of Al Queda in Iraq, correct?

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts

    President Bush is playing up the role of Al Qaeda in Iraq more and more..."If we were to allow them to gain control of Iraq, they would have control of a nation with massive oil reserves ??? which they could use to fund new attacks and exhort economic blackmail on those who didn???t kowtow to their wishes.???

    Oh the irony.

    correct me if i'm wrong (with reputable news sources) but isn't an overwhelming majority of Al Queda in Iraq made up of newly recruited Iraqis? Bush continues to insinuate that the Al Queda in Iraq[/b] are responsible for the 9-11 bombings. Aside from the fact that the presence of Al Queda is relatively low in Iraq (not sure of the exact number, but i remember reading that it was only a few thousand, at most), but if its made up of Iraqis who joined up post US invasion...then Bush should really get clobbered by the press every time he refers to 9-11, Al Queda, and Iraq in the same sentence. Were it not for the invasion of Iraq, there would be almost no presence of Al Queda in Iraq, correct?

    The leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq is still pretty much foreign. The current leader is Egyptian. Most of the foreign fighters that travel to Iraq get recruited into the organization. The majority of the group are Iraqis. I don't have any recent numbers but from the get go they've done about 10-15% of the attacks attributed to the insurgency.

    As for Bush and his al Qaeda claims, I've written a piece about that recently if you want to read it. Everytime it gets reported in the press that Bush said that we're fighting Al Qaeda they mention that Al Qaeda in Iraq wasn't even formed at the time of 9/11. Not a slam, but a disclaimer.

    Before the war started a couple hundred al Qaeda fighters fled Afghanistan into Kurdish Iraq and joined Ansar Al-Islam, a local Islamist group fighting the Kurds. The administration tried to say the group was controlled by Baghdad and proved an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. Powell included it in his U.N. speech for example. That was proven false after the invasion.

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Michael O???Hanlon works for the Brookings Institution and runs their Iraq Index, which keeps track of Iraqi statistics. Kenneth Pollack of the Saban Center for Middle East Studies at the Brookings Institution, is a former CIA and National Security Council staffer who was one of the earliest advocates for overthrowing Saddam because of his quest for nuclear weapons. Since then he has been critical of U.S. intelligence and the failed military policies of the Bush administration. Anthony Cordesman is from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has been one of the most prolific writers about Iraq penning 2-3 reports a month, from any of America???s think tanks. It???s been said that he reflects the discontent the U.S. military has had with the Bush administration. All three went on an 8-day trip to Iraq recently and wrote about it. O???Hanlon and Pollack wrote an op ed piece for the New York Times entitled ???A War We Just Might Win,??? which is reproduced below. Their main point was that the U.S. was making tactical military progress and some on the economic front as well, which might mean the Iraqi government can come to some political reconciliation leading to strategic success for the surge plan. Anthony Cordesman just released his interpretation of his visit, which is much more in depth running at 25 pages called ???The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq.??? When the surge began he gave it a 1 in 4 chance to succeed. Now he thinks its 50-50. He too sees tactical successes that can hopefully lead to more important strategic goals, but points out that 1) the list of things that needs to go right is so long that it???s fraught with risks, 2) It will take probably a decade to accomplish these goals, a timeline the U.S. public and Congress may not have patience for, 3) to gain this patience, the U.S. needs to make political progress in the next 6 months or lose control of Iraq, the Congress and American public.

    Below is the entire O???Hanlon/Pollack piece because it???s relatively short, followed by a summary of Cordesman???s findings.

    July 30, 2007
    Op-Ed Contributor
    A War We Just Might Win
    By MICHAEL E. O???HANLON and KENNETH M. POLLACK

    New York Times

    Washington

    VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration???s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

    Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration???s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ???victory??? but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

    After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated ??? many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

    Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

    Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services ??? electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation ??? to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began ??? though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

    In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks ??? all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups ??? who were now competing to secure his friendship.

    In Baghdad???s Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers. The Sunni residents were unhappy with the nearby police checkpoint, where Shiite officers reportedly abused them, but they seemed genuinely happy with the American soldiers and a mostly Kurdish Iraqi Army company patrolling the street. The local Sunni militia even had agreed to confine itself to its compound once the Americans and Iraqi units arrived.

    We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside. A local mayor told us his greatest fear was an overly rapid American departure from Iraq. All across the country, the dependability of Iraqi security forces over the long term remains a major question mark.

    But for now, things look much better than before. American advisers told us that many of the corrupt and sectarian Iraqi commanders who once infested the force have been removed. The American high command assesses that more than three-quarters of the Iraqi Army battalion commanders in Baghdad are now reliable partners (at least for as long as American forces remain in Iraq).

    In addition, far more Iraqi units are well integrated in terms of ethnicity and religion. The Iraqi Army???s highly effective Third Infantry Division started out as overwhelmingly Kurdish in 2005. Today, it is 45 percent Shiite, 28 percent Kurdish, and 27 percent Sunni Arab.

    In the past, few Iraqi units could do more than provide a few ???jundis??? (soldiers) to put a thin Iraqi face on largely American operations. Today, in only a few sectors did we find American commanders complaining that their Iraqi formations were useless ??? something that was the rule, not the exception, on a previous trip to Iraq in late 2005.

    The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus???s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.

    In war, sometimes it???s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so. A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr???s Mahdi Army.

    These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas). Today the Sunni sheiks there are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies. Just a few months ago, American marines were fighting for every yard of Ramadi; last week we strolled down its streets without body armor.

    Another surprise was how well the coalition???s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants.

    In some places where we have failed to provide the civilian manpower to fill out the reconstruction teams, the surge has still allowed the military to fashion its own advisory groups from battalion, brigade and division staffs. We talked to dozens of military officers who before the war had known little about governance or business but were now ably immersing themselves in projects to provide the average Iraqi with a decent life.

    Outside Baghdad, one of the biggest factors in the progress so far has been the efforts to decentralize power to the provinces and local governments. But more must be done. For example, the Iraqi National Police, which are controlled by the Interior Ministry, remain mostly a disaster. In response, many towns and neighborhoods are standing up local police forces, which generally prove more effective, less corrupt and less sectarian. The coalition has to force the warlords in Baghdad to allow the creation of neutral security forces beyond their control.

    In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation ??? or at least accommodation ??? are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines.

    How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

    Michael E. O???Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kenneth M. Pollack is the director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.

    Summary and quotes from:

    ???The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq ??? A Trip Report???

    Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 6, 2007

    Introduction:[/b]

    ???The US does not have good options in Iraq and cannot dictate its future, only influence it. It is Iraqis that will shape Iraq???s ability or inability to rise above its current sectarian and ethnic conflicts. ??? The US can influence this process, and can still do a great deal of good. It may be able to push the Iraqis in the right direction and at a pace where the odds of success are significantly higher than they would be without a sustained US presence and intervention. The US cannot, however, prevent the pace of Iraqi progress from having major delays and reversals. US troop levels almost certainly can be reduced sharply over time on an Iraqi capabilities-based level, but many aspects will play out over a period that may well take a decade.???

    ???Even if the US does withdraw from Iraq, it cannot disengage from it. The US will have to be deeply involved in trying to influence events in Iraq indefinitely into the future, regardless of whether it does so from the inside or the outside. It will face major risks and military problems regardless of the approach it takes, and it will face continuing strategic, political, and moral challenges.???

    Challenges:[/b]

    The U.S. is widely seen within Iraq and outside as having invaded for the wrong reasons, and screwed up the peace afterwards. That doesn???t matter now. The U.S. will be remembered by what it leaves behind in Iraq, not how it started.

    The U.S. invasion is responsible for displacing 4 million out of 27 million Iraqis. 50% are unemployed/underemployed. At last 100,000 civilians have died. Services, government and security still do not exist in many parts of the country and there is still ethnic cleansing and sectarian violence. An estimated 8 million Iraqis have suffered because of this. The insurgency and sectarianism has affected almost every single Iraqi.

    These challenges mean Iraqi and U.S. leaders need what U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Crocker and Iraqi President Talibani called ???strategic patience,??? meaning people have to understand these immense problems and the years it will take to solve them.

    Even if the U.S. wanted to withdraw most of its forces, it would probably take 2 years and the U.S. would still have some forces in the country.

    The idea that the U.S. could draw down troops while focusing on fighting Al Qaeda or Shiite militias, Cordesman calls ???absurd.??? This is a jab at some of the policies put forward by Congressional Democrats and presidential candidates.

    Likewise, Cordesman says that this doesn???t mean that the U.S. should ???stay the course??? for the Bush administration???s failed policies.

    Iraq is a gamble where the U.S. could still lose. ???It is a grim reality that the mistakes and blunders that have dominated US policy in Iraq throughout the US intervention have interacted with Iraqi failures to make any continued US effort one filled with serious risks.???

    US and Iraqi officials he talked to realized these risks but still argued for giving Iraq the chance. US officials in Iraq are making plans into 2009 and hope that will make Congress think long term instead of short. These plans will probably mean some kind of drawdown of U.S. troops. He doesn???t believe this discussion will come from the White House because they don???t have a realistic view of Iraq and Cordesman calls them a ???failed Bush administration.??? He hopes Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker can nudge the U.S. into a real discussion about Iraq.

    ???This would allow the Congress to look beyond the present partisan divide, and provide the basis for a Congressional and national debate on ???strategic patience??? and how best to deal with future US policy and actions. ??? For all of these reasons described above, the US has a vital national interest in changing the nature of the debate in the US from the current options of either staying the course or rushing out with little regard for the consequences. The domestic US security structure has so far failed to present meaningful options, and seems incapable of doing so. The US team in Iraq, however, is much more experienced, and there is a new degree of realism and competence that clearly can never come from with a failed Bush administration.???

    Success With Sunni Tribes[/b]

    The success in Anbar province with the Sunni tribes turning on Al Qaeda was not expected but U.S. commanders have taken advantage of it. He warns that Al Qaeda has not been defeated however and is still active in many areas. Al Qaeda is only about 15% of the insurgency anyways, and there are plenty of other Sunni groups still fighting that have not really been affected by the surge.

    The success with the Sunnis in Anbar has had no effect on Baghdad security where the violence has gone up and down. The number of dead bodies found in the capital during the summer has gone up since the surge began in January for example. Mass bombing deaths also continue. Overall deaths are down but about 50% however, and violence in Anbar has taken a dramatic drop because of the tribes.
    The success in Anbar is tenuous however because they are looking for recognition and support from the central Shiite dominated government, which has given them nothing so far. The Sunni tribes are given money and sometimes weapons by the U.S. and sworn into auxiliaries or local police units that are not recognized by the Maliki government. Cordesman believes that Baghdad only has a few months to reach out to the Sunni tribes before the process collapses. Sunni tribes in central Iraq are seeing how things work in Anbar before the jump on the ship and join in fighting Al Qaeda.

    Failure On Other Fronts[/b]

    Shiite militias, particular Sadr???s Mahdi Army, are continuing ethnic cleansing in northwest Baghdad. Iraqi army and police units are helping them, with support of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and by Prime Minister Maliki himself. Militias are also getting weapons and support from Iran, but they???re pretty much self-sustaining groups. The run rackets, smuggle oil, sell houses that they???ve forced Sunnis out of, and run many local police units and some elements of the army. This has made the Shiite militias, more than the Sunni insurgency a greater threat to the future of Iraq.

    ???A visit to Iraq reveals far less confidence in Maliki at every level than is apparent from the outside. No one seems to trust Maliki outside his immediate coterie, and many Iraqis and US officers and officials in the field feel he has tacitly or actively supported sectarian cleansing in Baghdad and the south.???

    The distrust of Maliki has led to the recent withdrawal of the largest Sunni bloc from the government, and Kurds, and the other Shiite parties are making plans to either replace or fight the Prime Minister.

    This has meant there has been no strategic progress towards political reconciliation as Maliki is widely distrusted, even by U.S. officials in Iraq.

    The U.S. reconstruction effort is also faltering. Most reconstruction teams lack Arab speakers, security and the means to make a dent, and most reconstruction is only happening on the local level funded by individual U.S. military commanders.

    Still Hope?[/b]

    Despite all this, Iraqi politicians, Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker argue that slowly but surely Iraqis are coming together in a form that may lead to compromise. It will take a long time, and will not follow the plan laid out by the U.S. It will mean decentralizing powers to the provinces and large cities, it will mean high levels of corruption and incompetence, probably some repression, and it will mean sectarian and local police and army units, but most importantly, it will be decisions made by Iraqis, and not imposed by America.

    Risks the U.S. Faces to Achieve an Iraq Compromise[/b]

    1) Maliki???s government doesn???t work and he???s seen as part of the sectarian problem

    2) Kurds haven???t figured out how to deal with Kirkuk within Iraq, nor with its neighbors in Turkey, Iran and Syria

    3) The Sunnis are fractured so there???s no one to really negotiate with. The Sunni political parties really have no influence with their supposed constituency

    4) The Shiites are also breaking up and turning on each other, especially in southern Iraq where the British are drawing down forces, and there are open battles for control of Basra, the main point in Iraq and oil center

    5) Sunnis that have turned against Al Qaeda and are now cooperating with the U.S. are only willing to wait a few months for the Iraqi government to recognize them. If not, they could go back to fighting the government and U.S.

    6) The Iraqi government overall is inefficient, incompetent, corrupt and full of sectarianism

    7) Iraqi forces can???t support or operate on their own. Some Iraqi Army units are finally competent, but need supplies from the U.S. The police are a complete wreck, being corrupt and full of Shiite militia members. The U.S. has no real plan on how to reform the police, and no real plans on how to make the Iraqi Army independent.

    8) There is no court or criminal justice system working in the country

    9) The U.S. is being swamped by a new wave of prisoners because of the surge. The Iraqi government routinely releases Shiites, but keeps Sunnis imprisoned. Many prisons are also recruiting and indoctrination centers for the insurgency

    10) U.S. Reconstruction plan is a joke. The Inspector General reports that most of the major projects begun after the U.S. invasion have no future funding, most of the ones that have been turned over to the Iraqis aren???t being used or are falling apart because the government doesn???t have the money, expertise or will to maintain them, and the U.S. leadership on the matter is incompetent, relying on good news reports rather than actually reporting what???s happening in Iraq. The new reconstruction program promised by Pres. Bush as part of the surge has not materialized either.

    11) Iraq is broke. Oil accounts for 90% of the country???s wealth, but the U.S. can???t even account for most of its production. In 1980 the U.S. Department of Energy reported that Iraq was making $55.3 billion in constant 2006 dollars. In 2006 they only made $24.5 billion. In 2007 they???re estimated to make even less at $22.9 billion. Iraq???s oil production, despite $2.7 billion in U.S. reconstruction aid, is worse now than before the invasion. The government can???t spend what it earns anyways.

    Conclusion[/b]

    ???It is just possible that ???strategic patience??? can work over time. What are the odds of such success? No one can honestly say, but they may well become higher than the 50-50 level if Iraq???s political leaders do move forward by early 2008, if the Sunnis are co-opted by the government and brought into the Iraqi Security Forces, and if the US does not rush out for domestic political purposes.???

    ???The US national security team in Washington is clearly ineffective and lacking in core competence. Real leadership has to come from the field and the country team, and has to be exercised in a context where the issue is the ability to present workable plans for sustained action ??? not purely military situation reports or efforts to rush various benchmarks.???

    ???The country team does, however, have to present better near and mid-term plans for improving US aid in economics and governance, not just better plans for future US force levels.???

    ???The bad news ??? and the key factor that makes the case for strategic patience so tenuous ??? is that the above list of problems is now so long and so critical that some key steps are already badly overdue. Any major Iraqi failure to move forward over the next six months, to come to grips with the realities described above, and to solidly co-opt the Sunni tribes, and put a real end to JAM [the Mahdi Army] and other Shi???ite sectarian cleansing will make strategic patience of limited value or pointless.???

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Who Is Fueling The Iraqi Violence? Could it be the U.S. and Maliki Governments?[/b]

    At the beginning of August, 2007, the U.S. military made another accusation against Iran for providing special road side bombs to Shiite militias that are taking a heavy toll on U.S. troops. In the last year or two, the U.S. has increasingly blamed Iran for stoking violence in Iraq. What is being overlooked is the role of the U.S. and the Maliki government in supplying weapons to the Iraqi conflict.

    After the March 2003 invasion, Iraq was awash in weapons. Like many Middle Eastern countries, it was common for families to have at least one gun in the home. Add to this the fact that the U.S. military did not secure any of the major weapons stockpiles after the war, and you had a situation where Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias had the pick of the litter in small arms.

    The U.S. has also continuously blamed Syria and Iran for stoking violence in Iraq, but recent reports show that the U.S. and Iraqi government are also contributing. A July 2007 report by the Government Accountability Office found that the U.S. could not account for 190,000 weapons it gave to Iraqi security forces from 2004 to 2005. It blames the Defense Department for not following accounting rules. More importantly, it notes that there are still no rules to keep track of the weapons being given to the Iraqi government. Many of these weapons probably ended up on the black market and in the hands of insurgents and militias.

    In February 2007, the Italian government also busted an illegal deal between Italian arms suppliers and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. The Ministry contacted the arms merchants and cut a deal for 115, 000 rifles and machine guns for $39.7 million saying they were for security forces and that the U.S. had been informed. The U.S. actually knew nothing about it, and the Italian businessmen were arrested. The weapons were suspected to be heading to Shiite militias, which control the Interior Ministry.

    To add to the problem, the U.S. is planning on switching the Iraqi security forces from older AK-47s to U.S. made M-16s. The surplus guns will most likely end up on the black market and into forces fighting the U.S. and perpetrating sectarian violence.

    It???s ironic that the current surge policy is aimed at securing the Iraqi population, and the U.S. and Maliki governments are directly adding to the violence.

    SOURCES:[/b]

    Gordon, Michael, ???U.S. Says Iran-Supplied Bomb Is Killing More Troops in Iraq,??? New York Times, 8/8/07

    Hanley, Charles, and David, Ariel, ???Italy Probe Unearths Huge Iraq Arms Deal,??? Associated Press, 8/12/07

    Katzman, Kenneth, ???Iran???s Influence in Iraq,??? Congressional Research Service, 8/9/07

    Kessler, Glen, ???Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing,??? Washington Post, 8/6/07

    United States Government Accountability Office, ???DOD Cannot Ensure That U.S.-Funded Equipment Has Reached Iraqi Security Forces,??? July 2007

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts

    It???s ironic that the current surge policy is working[/b], and nutjobs like you are about to get thrown under the bus by the Democratic party.


    Sources:

    Sabadabada, The Reality Times, August 17, 2007

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Recent Iraqi Developments[/b]

    What Kind Of Report In September?

    When the surge was originally announced in January 2007, the military and outside observers said that the U.S. would be able to determine whether it was working or not by the middle of the summer. The administration pushed for more time, so Congress passed legislation requiring the White House to make two reports, one in July and the other in September. The July report showed tactical military progress, but little to no movement towards the strategic goals of political reconciliation. After that Bush has increasingly come to rely on General Petraeus and September as the ???real??? report on the surge???s progress. As that date comes closer, the White House is trying to control the information flow while simultaneously providing a number of reports to lesson the criticism that they know will come their way over a policy that is not making much headway.

    First, administration and military officials are generally resigned to the fact that the September report will be much like the July one. There has been some tactical military successes, especially in Anbar province with Sunni tribes turning against Al Qaeda. There has been no movement on the political front, which is the more important strategic goal of the surge.

    In response, the administration is attempting to muddy the waters with a surge of reports of its own, while also attempting to control the public debate. September will see not only a report on the surge by the White House, but also a report by the GAO on political reconciliation and reconstruction, a report by retired General James Jones and the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Iraq???s security forces, and an assessment by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is the same strategy Bush took when the Iraq Study Group was released. The White House didn???t want their advice so it released a slew of reports of its own at the same time to lesson the group???s impact, while also flooding the media, Congress and public with information.

    Not only that, but the White House is also trying to control the debate on Iraq at the same time. The White House has suggested to Congress that General Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Crocker only provide private meetings with key members of Congress, while Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Defense Gates will make the major public statements. In a sign of continued dysfunction within the administration, the White House didn???t tell Petraeus or Crocker about these plans. If Petraeus doesn???t deliver the actual report, it would contradict Bush???s repeated claims to the public and Congress had to wait for the general in September.

    There is also a drive going on in both Washington and Baghdad to make the report as positive as possible. Gen. Petraeus is said to be determined to show progress and might recommend troop withdrawals from areas such as Anbar province where security has improved. These areas will be placed under Iraqi control even though they have never proven capable of the task before. In Washington, there are elements of the administration that want to claim political progress even though there has been little, just to give a positive spin to the report.

    Mixed Tactical Record For The Surge

    Since the beginning of the surge in January 2007, the U.S. has had one major tactical success, the turning of Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda in Iraq. On other fronts, the record has been much less encouraging.

    The U.S. military claims Baghdad is the main battlefield in Iraq. Following that rationale, the main focus of the surge has been the capitol. Today, the U.S. controls half of the city, up from 8% in February. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn???t have the troops or reliable Iraqi partners to control more of the city. The results are therefore very mixed in the city, and worse outside of it.

    The U.S. claims that attacks and casualties are down 50% in Baghdad, but some newspapers dispute this. McClatchy news for example, found that car bombings are actually up 5% from December to July and civilian deaths from these attacks are just about the same dropping from 361 in December to 354 in July. McClatchy did find a drop in the number of bodies dumped on the streets, but some say this reduction was more a reflection of the ethnic cleansing in the city, rather than a successful surge. For example, one U.S. officer told McClatchy that Baghdad use to be 65% Sunni, now it is 75-80% Shiite. Violence overall has gone up and down since the beginning of the surge. The U.S. military refuses to give any details to support its claim of progress.

    In August, Baghdad also witnessed another brazen event right under the noses of Iraqi security forces. A group of 100 men dressed in Iraqi army uniforms walked into the oil ministry and kidnapped the deputy oil minister and 3 department heads. There was an Iraqi army checkpoint with tanks right next door that did nothing during the raid. The cause of the kidnapping is unknown as the victims were both Sunni and Shiite.

    There was also a deadly string of suicide bombings in northern Iraq against the Yazidi religious group. As of this writing, the body count from the attacks are still rising into the hundreds, and might go down as one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history.

    The surge has also had little effect on the Shiites. Shiite militias are continuing with ethnic cleansing in sections of the capitol and the Maliki government might be complicit. Sadr???s Mahdi Army has mostly been blamed for these actions, and have been able to carry out their sectarian actions using Iraqi army and police units they control. Sadr???s men have also recently taken over the police in Diyala province right after the U.S. conducted major operations there. The governor of Qadisiyah province was also killed in a bombing, which many suspect the Mahdi Army of carrying out. Sadr has grown so powerful he was able to create his own army unit under the control of one of his political operatives in parliament. Mahdi Army officials have also wide influence within the Defense Ministry and security forces, intimidating officers that stand in their way, and have used Sadrist loyalists in the army to attack U.S. forces. In Basra and the surrounding areas in the South, Shiite factions are moving towards more open competition and violence to control the second most important city after Baghdad, which controls the major port and 2/3 of the country???s oil.

    Even in Anbar where the U.S. has made real progress that might be fleeting unless the Shiite led government steps to the plate like they???re suppose to under the surge. Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that unless the Maliki government officially accepts the Sunni units being organized by the U.S. into the security forces they might go back to being insurgents. So far, the U.S. has only been able to gain entry for some of the Sunnis while Baghdad still refuses to provide government services to their areas, and keeps Sunni prisoners indefinitely while giving early releases to Shiites.

    All of these events raise major questions about the tactical efficacy of the surge. First, when the new policy was announced many Shiites hoped that it would focus upon their Sunni enemies and solidify their control of the country. This might be what is happening as Bush and other U.S. officials have continuously mentioned Al Qaeda in Iraq as being the major enemy of the U.S., while ignoring Shiite militias. The continued bombings and attacks outside of Baghdad also brings up the question of whether the surge has simply moved the violence to other areas where the U.S. has little control. Finally, the continued ethnic cleansing and sectarianism in Baghdad itself in the middle of the surge which is suppose to secure the city again brings up the limits of U.S. power and the lack of troops.

    Still No Strategic Succ ess

    The strategic goal of the surge is to bring about political reconciliation between the major factions in Iraq. So far Iraqis have made no progress on that front. Rather than bringing people together, the government of Prime Minister Maliki has been breaking apart, with more and more predicting that it might fall. In March 2007, the Shiite Fadhila party based in Basra withdrew from the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance in parliament. In April Sadr???s 5 cabinet ministers withdrew from Maliki???s government and have not been replaced. That was followed by a Sadr boycott of parliament from June to mid-July. At the beginning of August, the main Sunni block, the Consensus Front pulled its 6 cabinet ministers out citing lack of political progress by Maliki. The Sunnis hadn???t been going to cabinet meetings for a while beforehand as well. A few days later former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi withdrew 4 of his 5 cabinet ministers to try to pressure Maliki. This has paralyzed an already fragile coalition with almost half of the cabinet positions empty. Maliki held a meeting in mid-August to try to resolve the dispute, claiming a new moderate alliance was formed between Shiites and Kurds, but it was all show and no substance as the Sunnis did not attend and the two sides were already working together. To add to the problems, Iraq???s parliament went on vacation in July and won???t return until September 4. U.S. officials seemed resigned to the fact that the surge will fail to achieve any of its strategic goals by the September report.

    Many think tanks from the Council on Foreign Relations to the Rand Corporation have pointed out that Iraqi leaders have irreconcilable differences. For example, in testimony to Congress in July 2007 Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations Steven Simon outlined the conflicting views each faction had. The Shiites want justice for years of abuse under Saddam. That means they want to rule Iraq to make up for past wrongsSunnis, on the other hand, want to gain back their lost power, something that will never happen given the demographics and history of the country. Kurds want autonomy and to add to their region by acquiring Kirkuk. He argues that the surge will have no affect upon these battling images of Iraq. He predicts that the country will be wracked by civil war for the next 7-10 years as most civil wars have lasted since 1945.

    The Failed Reconstruction Program

    After the invasion, President Bush promised that Iraq would have the beset infrastructure in the Middle East when the U.S. was done. Instead the reconstruction program has been plagued by one major problem after another that has left many parts of Iraq???s economy worse off then under before. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has continuously reported on the corruption, bad planning, and failed projects. The latest report released at the end of July 2007 said that the Iraqi government is refusing to accept many of the reconstruction projects completed by the U.S. In fact, the Maliki government has not taken up a single project since July 2006. That has forced many local Iraqi governments or the U.S. itself to maintain many of these public works. Even when Iraqis have taken over projects, they have usually proven incapable of maintaining them out of a lack of experience, expertise and/or money. This puts in jeopardy the entire reconstruction program as even those projects that were finished may have no one to operate them.

    SOURCES:[/b]

    Government Reports[/b]

    Katzman, Kenneth, ???Iraq: Government Formation and Benchmarks,??? Congressional Research Service, 8/10/07

    Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, ???Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Government,??? 7/30/07

    Think Tank Reports[/b]

    Cordesman, Anthony, ???The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq,??? Center for Strategic and International Studies, 8/6/07

    Institute For War & Peace Reporting, ???Battling for Power in Basra,??? 8/7/07

    Oliker, Olga, Crane, Keith, Grant, Audra, Kelly, Terrence, Rathmell, Andrew, Brannan, David, ???U.S. Policy Options for Iraq,??? RAND Project Air Force, 8/8/07

    Simon, Steven, ???Prepared testimony Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,??? Council on Foreign Relations, 7/17/07

    Articles[/b]

    Attweill, Fred and agencies, ???Iraq bombs death toll rises to 400,??? Guardian Unlimited, 8/16/07

    Barnes, Julian and Spiegel, Peter, ???Top general may propose pullbacks,??? Los Angeles Times, 8/15/07

    Cave, Damien, ???4 Truck Bombs Kill 190 in Kurdish Area of Iraq,??? New York Times, 8/15/07

    Dagher, Sam, ???Crisis summit aims to save Iraq???s Maliki,??? Christian Science Monitor, 8/16/07
    - ???Trouble grows in Iraq???s Shiite south,??? Christian Science Monitor, 8/13/07

    DeYoung, Karen and Ricks, Thomas, ???As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates,??? Washington Post, 8/7/07

    Fadel, Leila, ???Despite violence drop, officers see bleak future for Iraq,??? McClatchy Newspapers, 8/15/07

    Greenwall, Megan, ???Blast Injures U.S.-Allied Sunni Cleric,??? Washington Post, 8/12/07

    Michaels, Jim, ???Major attacks decline in Iraq,??? USA Today, 8/13/07

    Mohsen, Amer, ???Iraqi Papers Sat: Who Will Replace Maliki???? IraqSlogger.com, 8/3/07

    Parker, Ned, ???Shiite militia infiltrates Iraqi forces,??? Los Angles Times, 8/16/07

    Partlow, Joshua, ???Iraqi Shiites, Kurds Announce New Political Alliance,??? Washington Post, 8/17/07

    Sanger, David and Shanker, Thom, ???Alternative reports may dilute general???s appraisal of war,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/07

    Tyson, Ann Scott, ???Sunni Fighters Find Strategic Benefits in Tentative Alliance With U.S.,??? Washington Post, 8/9/07

    Weisman, Jonathan and DeYoung, Karen, ???An Early Clash Over Iraq Report,??? Washington Post, 8/16/07

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    I have two new pieces I wrote over the weekend, but an op. ed. by eight non-commission officers currently serving in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne in the Sunday New York Times overshadowed them. They level a damning criticism of the situation in Iraq based upon first hand experience that is hard to argue with. Here are the highlights of the piece.

    Jayamaha, Buddhika, Smith, Wesley, Roebuck, Jeremy, Mora, Omar, Sandmeier, Edward, Gray, Yance, and Murphy, Jeremy, ???The War as We Saw It,??? New York Times, 8/19/07[/b]

    ???To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched.???

    ???As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day.???

    ???The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but out successes are offset by failures elsewhere.???

    ???This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers??? expense.???

    ???A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between any Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggerman and helped plant the bomb.???

    ???Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias.???

    ???Sunnis recognize that the best guarantee they may have against Shiite militias and the Shiite-dominated government is to form their own armed bands. We arm them to aid in our fight against Al Qaeda.???

    ???Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. ??? What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side.???

    ???The morass in the government has fueled impatience and confusion while providing no semblance of security to average Iraqis. Leaders are far from arriving at a lasting political settlement.???

    ???Shiites have achieved what they believe is rightfully theirs. Their next task is to figure out how best to consolidate the gains, because reconciliation without consolidation risks losing it all. Washington???s insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made ??? de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government ??? places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.???

    ???Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere.???

    ???The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict ??? as we do now ??? will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run.???

    ???At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably.???

    ???In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary occupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages.???

    ???In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are ??? an army of occupation ??? and force our withdrawal.???

    ???Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit.???

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace???s and Center for American Progress??? Terrorism Index???s Iraq results[/b]

    The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace publishes Foreign Policy magazine. For the last three years the Carnegie Endowment and the Center for American Progress think tank have been publishing a ???Terrorism Index??? in which they interview leading liberal and conservative foreign policy experts and poll them on their opinions about terrorism and U.S. foreign policy. The latest installment was just published and included a large array of responses about Iraq since President Bush has labeled it ???the central front on the war on terror.??? The experts, no matter what their political leanings, have an overwhelming negative view of the Bush administration???s handling of the war, and the surge policy, with 83% saying it???s not working. Here???s a breakdown of the Index as regards to Iraq.

    First the index is a survey of 100 top foreign policy experts in the U.S. They include former government, military and intelligence officials, as well as professors. 80% have served in the U.S. government at one time, with half in the White House, 32% in the military and 21% in intelligence.

    On Iraq this group of experts had the following opinions:

    1. 53% said the surge is bad for U.S. national security policy, that???s up from 22% February 2007.

    2. 83% said the surge is having a bad effect or none at all, including 64% of conservative experts

    3. They gave the Bush administration a 2.9 out of 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best on managing the war. That was second lowest score out of all the other categories asked about.

    4. 58% said problems between Sunnis and Shiites will be worse because of the war in 10 years

    5. 35% said Arab dictators will not carry out any reforms because of the war

    6. Only 5% said the war is having a negative affect on Al Qaeda

    7. Only 3% think that Iraq can be an example of democracy to the Arab world

    8. 22% said that Iraq was likely to end up a base for Al Qaeda, the second highest score only behind Pakistan

    9. Only 12% believe that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will lead to terrorist attacks on the U.S. 58% of conservative experts don???t believe this will happen.

    10. 68% were for withdrawing U.S. troops over the next year and a half. Most did not want this to be rushed however. 1 in 5 however were for an immediate withdrawal, including 25% of conservatives

    11. The experts tend to believe that Iraq???s violence will spread to other countries, and they singled out Jordan (47%) as the prime recipient

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Hints At September Report and Post-Surge Strategy By The Bush Administration[/b]

    Introduction[/b]

    President Bush???s last weekly radio address from 8/18/07 focused on Iraq. It gave possible hints about what the September report to Congress on Iraq might contain and also what Post-Surge policy the administration might follow. Below is a brief analysis of those two issues, followed by an in-depth analysis of what Bush covered in his speech.

    Keeping Things Positive[/b]

    It???s becoming widely accepted that by September the U.S. will not be able to show any progress on the major strategic goal of political reconciliation in Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki???s ???national unity??? government is coming apart at the seams with almost half the cabinet boycotting, and Iraq???s parliament went on summer recess in July, and won???t return until right before the September report is due. The government has proven again and again incapable of meeting any benchmarks, even those set by themselves. For example, a national oil law is held up as one of the strongest ways to equally distribute the country???s wealth and hold it together, yet the Iraqi parliament has promised and failed to deliver deadlines it set for itself on September 2006, December 2006, February 2007 and June 2007.

    So where does that leave the administration? If President Bush???s weekly radio address is any hint, the White House will claim tactical gains against Al Qaeda in Anbar province and some local political movement, say the surge is a success, and then come March, begin withdrawing U.S. troops when their rotations are up, all packaged as a new strategy for Iraq. It???s a sad fact that the surge followed the exact types of counterinsurgency policies the U.S. needed to follow in Iraq, but they came four years too late. The mistakes that the U.S. made in the meantime seem irreversible and the Iraqi sides will not reconcile any time soon as they still believe they can gain more through violence and patronage. What you see now in the summer of 2007 with the full compliment of U.S. troops is probably the best that can be expected.

    Analysis of Bush???s Weekly Radio Address[/b]

    In Bush???s last weekly radio address he stressed the positives in Iraq as has been his style. The sections in italics are the full transcript of his speech interspersed with analysis.

    In recent months, American and Iraqi forces have struck powerful blows against al Qaeda terrorists and violent extremists in Anbar and other provinces.

    The biggest success story of the surge has been the dramatic turn around of Sunni tribes in Anbar province that once supported Al Qaeda. That could be fleeting however if the tribes do not gain recognition from the Shiite led government, which has been reluctant to embrace the policy.

    In recent days, our troops and Iraqi allies launched a new offensive called Phantom Strike. In this offensive, we are carrying out targeted operations against terrorists and extremists fleeing Baghdad and other key cities -- to prevent them from returning or setting up new bases of operation.

    Like previous large scale conventional sweeps this one likely will have little actual effect on the insurgency other than to scatter them to other areas beyond U.S. control. In the previous summer???s operation in Diyala province it was reported that almost all of the Al Qaeda and insurgent fighters fled the area before U.S. troops even arrived.

    The terrorists remain dangerous and brutal, as we saw this week when they massacred more than 200 innocent Yezidis, a small religious minority in northwestern Iraq. Our hearts go out to the families of those killed, and our troops are going to go after the murderers behind this horrific attack.

    President Bush provides an example of that scattering with the bombing of the Yezidis. Insurgent groups have simply moved to new areas where there are fewer U.S. troops to carry out their deadly attacks, which highlights their resiliency.

    As we surge combat operations to capture and kill the enemy, we are also surging Provincial Reconstruction Teams to promote political and economic progress. Since January, we have doubled the number of these teams, known as PRTs. They bring together military, civilian, and diplomatic personnel to help Iraqi communities rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage reconciliation from the ground up. These teams are now deployed throughout the country, and they are helping Iraqis make political gains, especially at the local level.

    When Bush announced the surge in January 2007, he promised to double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) to 20. The new teams were finally put in the field in April 2007, but they are running into the same problems the original 10 had, namely, they can???t find adequate staff or expertise. The teams only have half their allocated personnel, and despite Bush???s claim, they do not operate throughout the entire country because of security concerns. 6 out of Iraq???s 18 provinces, for example, have no PRT reconstruction contracts yet although they have $84.7 million to spend on them. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction also notes that the teams don???t have any standardized goals and don???t really report on what they do. The emphasis on the local level will also be the theme of the September report on the surge and probably the basis for Bush proclaiming it a success even though it failed to gain any of its real goals.

    In Anbar province, at this time last year, the terrorists were in control of many areas and brutalizing the local population. Then local sheikhs joined with American forces to drive the terrorists out of Ramadi and other cities. Residents began to provide critical intelligence, and tribesmen joined the Iraqi police and security forces. Today, the provincial council in Ramadi is back, and last month provincial officials re-opened parts of the war-damaged government center with the help of one of our PRTs. Thirty-five local council members were present as the chairman called the body to order for its inaugural session.

    As stated above, Anbar has been the shinning success story of the surge. Ramadi, which at one time last year, was declared the capital of the Islamist insurgent movement, has seen a dramatic turn around. Monthly attacks for example, dropped from 200 in the quarter before the surge to less than 50 in June 2007. More importantly, the insurgency is down, but not out in the province. For example, it was recently reported that a U.S. night patrol ran into an Islamist training camp where fighters were preparing to assassinate city officials and attempt to retake the city. An American captain told the Washington Post that U.S. forces had a, ???False sense of security that we???d won the battle in Ramadi,??? and warned, ???The enemy is patient. This is his land. He???s got all the time in the world. ??? They???re going to continue to fight in Anbar.???

    Similar scenes are taking place in other parts of Anbar. Virtually every city and town in the province now has a mayor and a functioning municipal council. The rule of law is being restored. And last month, some 40 judges held a conference in Anbar to restart major criminal trials. In the far west town of al Qaim, tribal leaders turned against the terrorists. Today, those tribal leaders head the regional mayor's office and the local police force. Our PRT leader on the ground reports that al Qaim is seeing new construction, growing commercial activity, and an increasing number of young men volunteering for the Iraqi army and police.

    As part of its new Sunni tribal policy the U.S. is hoping that their new recruits can formally become part of the Iraqi security forces. However, the Shiite-led government is very skeptical of the plan and has only accepted a few of the new Sunni units. Not to mention the government still refuses to pay and supply them, leaving the U.S. to handle those jobs.

    In other provinces, there are also signs of progress from the bottom up. In Muthanna, an overwhelmingly Shia province, the local council held a public meeting to hear from citizens on how to spend their budget and rebuild their neighborhoods. In Diyala province, the city of Baqubah re-opened six of its banks, providing residents with much-needed capital for the local economy. And in Ninewa province, local officials have established a commission to investigate corruption, with a local judge empowered to pursue charges of fraud and racketeering.

    Again and again, Bush emphasizes the ???bottom up??? progress as a build up to the September report. U.S. officers have also warned that when the troops are drawn down all of their gains could disappear because the people that chose to cooperate won???t be protected anymore and the Iraqi security forces are either not ready to take over or work for Shiite militias.

    Unfortunately, political progress at the national level has not matched the pace of progress at the local level. The Iraqi government in Baghdad has many important measures left to address, such as reforming the de-Baathification laws, organizing provincial elections, and passing a law to formalize the sharing of oil revenues. Yet, the Iraqi parliament has passed about 60 pieces of legislation.

    Here Bush basically admits that the surge hasn???t achieved any of its real goals.

    And despite the lack of oil revenue law on the books, oil revenue sharing is taking place. The Iraqi parliament has allocated more than $2 billion in oil revenue for the provinces. And the Shia-led government in Baghdad is sharing a significant portion of these oil revenues with Sunni provincial leaders in places like Anbar.

    This is a bit of a disingenuous statement because Iraq depends upon oil for more than 90% of its revenue. Oil money is the ONLY money the Iraqi government has to share. Also, while the Iraqi government has slotted $2.4 billion to be spent on its provinces, the fact is, it doesn???t actually spend much of it, especially in Sunni areas such as Anbar. This is basically due to unqualified staff, incompetence, and corruption. In 2006, nationally the Iraqi government only spent 22% of its budget, while the provinces averaged half. Last year for example, Anbar spent half of its budget, in 2007 the province has spent $0 because it has no cash.

    America will continue to urge Iraq's leaders to meet the benchmarks they have set. Yet Americans can be encouraged by the progress and reconciliation that are taking place at the local level. An American politician once observed that "all politics is local." In a democracy, over time national politics reflects local realities. And as reconciliation occurs in local communities across Iraq, it will help create the conditions for reconciliation in Baghdad as well.

    Thank you for listening.


    The Iraqi government has failed to meet its own benchmarks over and over. The surge will not change that dynamic. The American public and Congress will also not be content with sending its troops to Iraq to bleed and die for local tactical successes that cannot and will not end the war. Fortunately for Bush, the Congress is so divided that it won???t be able to pass any meaningful legislation about Iraq so the president will be able to continue on with his policies until the end of his presidency.

    Sources[/b]

    Government Reports[/b]

    Bush, President George W., ???President???s Radio Address,??? Office of the Press Secretary, White House, 8/18/07

    Katzman, Kenneth, ???Iraq: Government Formation and Benchmarks,??? Congressional Research Service, 8/10/07

    Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, ???Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Government,??? 7/30/07

    Think Tank Reports[/b]

    Cordesman, Anthony, ???The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq,??? Center for Strategic and International Studies, 8/6/07

    Articles[/b]

    Burns, John, ???Militants Said to Flee Before U.S. Offensive,??? New York Times, 6/23/07

    Cave, Damien, ???4 Truck Bombs Kill 190 in Kurdish Area of Iraq,??? New York Times, 8/15/07

    Fadel, Leila, ???Despite violence drop, officers see bleak future for Iraq,??? McClatchy Newspapers, 8/15/07

    Glanz, James, and Farrell, Stephen, ???A U.S.-Backed Plan for Sunni Neighborhood Guards Is Tested,??? New York Times, 8/19/07

    Myers, Steven Lee and Shanker, Thom, ???White House to Offer Iraq Plan of Gradual Cutes,??? New York Times, 8/18/07

    Oppel, Richard, ???Quieter Fallujah fears U.S. exit,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 8/19/07

    Tyson, Ann Scott, ???A Deadly Clash at Donkey Island,??? Washington Post, 8/19/07

    Youssef, Nancy, ???U.S. general: Iraq ???surge??? likely to end in spring,??? McClatchy Newspapers, 8/17/07

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    The Withdrawal Debate[/b]

    Whether or not to withdraw is one of the hottest debates going on about Iraq right now. The discussion is fueled by three inter related issues: a Democratically controlled Congress, the continued chaos in Iraq that led to their election, and the mixed results of the surge troop increase, which is considered the last major Iraq policy of the Bush administration. There are three major camps on withdrawal. One is President Bush???s position of staying the course. The opposite is a complete withdrawal, and in the middle is a partial pullout with a change in strategy to containment. These positions are shaped by another set of factors. Those are, moral responsibility, regional security, America???s image abroad, Iraqi independence, and U.S. public opinion. Bush will probably maintain the surge until the end of his presidency, but the next holder of that office, will most likely support some kind of withdrawal.

    Arguments About Withdrawing[/b]

    President Bush???s argument is that the terrorists will win and Iraq will collapse if the U.S. pulls out. This mixes the moral, regional stability, and America???s image factors. The first argument says that the U.S. caused the civil war in Iraq and needs to leave the country in better shape than when it arrived. If the U.S. withdrew there would be a bloodbath between Sunnis and Shiites and the U.S. would be morally responsible for the consequences. The ensuing chaos will be a disaster, not only for Iraqis, but America???s interest in the region. Already, Iraq???s neighbors Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are interfering in the country. To maintain regional stability and deter these outside forces, the U.S. needs to stay in Iraq rather than pull out. The third point is that if the U.S. withdrew it would be seen as a major victory for the violent Islamist movement, and a setback in the war on terror.

    The opposite position is that Iraq is lost and the U.S. needs to withdraw completely rather than support a failed policy and state. Some argue that the Iraqi government needs to be independent and fix its own problems rather than rely on the U.S. for everything. The only way to make Iraqis face up to and deal with their problems, this camp believes, is for the U.S. to get out forcing the Iraqis??? hand. Others argue that Iraq is in a state of a civil war that the U.S. cannot stop, so the U.S. has no choice but to let them fight it out rather than try to impose itself in the middle in a losing cause. Finally, U.S. public opinion also plays a role in the withdrawal argument. 70% or more of the U.S. public is against the war. One of the main reasons the Democrats took control of Congress was opposition to Bush???s Iraq policies. Politicians up for election cannot maintain a war that unpopular unless without fear of being kicked out of office. Another factor is that if history is any indicator, most Americans don???t care what happens to Iraqis. Their main priority is U.S. casualties and the length of the war. Withdrawing troops and getting them out of harms way is then a major priority.

    The middle position is to withdraw most combat troops and change the military???s mission to containment of Iraq rather than propping it up. U.S. troops would move to training Iraqi forces, fighting Al Qaeda, and perhaps setting up bases in Kurdistan or expanding ones in Kuwait so that they might intervene in the case of a major crisis. Numbers for such a policy vary widely from 30,000 to up 100,000. This view mixes elements of all 5 of the major factors that shape the debate. The U.S. needs to maintain a long term presence in Iraq because America has moral responsibility for the problems Iraq is facing. The U.S. also needs to protect its interests in the Middle East, which like it or not, are now mostly wrapped up in Iraq. To varying degrees, advocates of this plan also think America???s image has already been tarnished, so a partial withdrawal and change in strategy is recognition that things have gone wrong, and the beginning of a new policy to help with its renewal. Finally, pulling out some of the troops will help pacify public opinion, and hopefully reduce casualties.

    Criticisms Of Each Stance On Withdrawal[/b]

    All of these positions are fraught with problems, which highlight the difficulties facing U.S. in Iraq. Staying the course in Iraq has meant backing a series of failed military policies, and the surge may turn out to be one more with a case of too little, too late, that has caused chaos in Iraq. A U.S. presence can only put a cap on violence in some areas of Iraq. It can never stop it because the U.S. doesn???t have the troops necessary to accomplish that. Likewise, Iraq???s neighbors are already backing various factions and threatening intervention when the U.S. is still there. As the U.S. experience shows, the Iraqis, not outsiders have the final say on their future. Finally, Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups think they have already won in Iraq. One of bin Laden???s hopes was to draw the U.S. into a long and bloody war. Originally that was to be in Afghanistan, but Iraq has sufficed. The invasion revitalized the jihadi movement, created a new generation of Islamists, and given rise to Al Qaeda inspired terrorist attacks such as those in London and Madrid. It also gives the image that the U.S. is at war with Islam and wants to control their lands.

    Withdrawing U.S. troops also has its drawbacks. Most importantly is the fact that the U.S. invasion unleashed such deep-seated schisms in Iraqi society that they are about to tear the country apart. A U.S. withdrawal would not make Iraqis face up to these differences, but would most likely have the opposite result, unleashing a wave of sectarian violence. A lack of heavy weapons and transportation however, means that Iraq would probably devolve into three regions, a Kurdish north, a Sunni west, and a Shiite south and central area over the course of a 7-10 year long civil war, which would only end when the sides burned each other out such as in Lebanon. Iraq will also have a negative impact upon U.S. public perceptions just as Vietnam did previously. After that war, scholars came up with the term the Vietnam Syndrome where the American public was against foreign interventions for almost a decade. The next time there is a crisis such as in Rwanda or in the on-going events in Dafour, don???t expect any kind of wide support for U.S. involvement beyond giving money because of a new Iraq Syndrome.

    Finally, the partial withdrawal plan may not work either. Training Iraqis has not worked over the last four years and will not work in the future. The Shiite led government lacks the political will to create a national defense force because they want troops loyal to their political parties to carry out their will and protect their positions. The security forces, like all the other departments in the government, are also a means of patronage for Iraq???s ruling parties. The Interior and Defense Ministries are a means of dolling out jobs, contracts, kickbacks and a source of corruption for loyal followers. A limited U.S. role will still mean that the U.S. will be taking casualties for years to come. Military experts have also debunked the idea that the U.S. can just concentrate on fighting terrorism and containing the conflict with a quick reaction force.

    What Will Future Iraq Policy Look Like?[/b]

    Ironically, whether a Democrat or Republican wins the White House they will probably follow a similar policy towards Iraq. First, Bush will maintain some form of the surge until he leaves office, with a limited troop reduction in the spring of 2008 when many units??? tours will end. The next president might then follow the partial withdrawal policy, maintaining a smaller, but still significant troop presence in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The results will be an escalating civil war in Iraq and continued U.S. casualties. Remember that in Vietnam, it took years after the establishment had decide d that the war was lost with the Tet Offensive to actually get out of the country, and then a few years more for the North to beat the South in the civil war. Iraq could follow a similar path.

    A Withdrawal Case Study[/b]

    The U.S. military has increasingly been conducting war games to try to outline the future of Iraq policy. One such scenario was recently completed of what would happen if the U.S. conducted a rapid and complete withdrawal from Iraq. Here are the results:

    1. Ethnic cleansing by Shiites would push Sunnis out of central Iraq into Anbar province

    2. There would be a power struggle between Sunni tribes in Anbar, probably exasperated by foreign powers

    3. Violent rivalries would splinter the Shiites and Iran might pick sides

    4. Turkey could consider intervention in Kurdistan

    5. The Maliki government would collapse unless itw as supported by Iran

    6. Actual withdrawal of U.S. forces would be quick and easy

    SOURCES:[/b]

    Books[/b]

    Benjamin, Daniel and Simon, Steven, The Next Attack, Times Books, New York, 2005

    Government Reports:[/b]

    Boot, Max, ???Statement of Max Boot, Senior Fellow In National Security Studies, The Council on Foreign Relations, Before the House Armed Services Subcommittee On Oversight and Investigations,??? House Armed Services Subcommittee On Oversight and Investigations, 7/12/07

    Bush, George W., ???Press Conference by the President,??? Office of the Press Secretary, White House, 7/12/07
    - ???President Bush Celebrates Independent Day With West Virginia Air National Guard,??? Office of the Press Secretary, White House, 7/4/07

    National Intelligence Council, ???Prospects for Iraq???s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead,??? January, 2007

    Wallker, David, ???Stabilizing And Rebuilding Iraq,??? United States Government Accountability Office, 4/23/07

    Think Tank Reports[/b]

    Beehner, Lionel, ???What Model Should Iraq Follow after U.S. Forces Withdraw???? Council on Foreign Relations, 6/25/07

    Cordesman, Anthony, ???Iraq???s Evolving Insurgency and the Risk of Civil War,??? Center for Strategic and International Studies, 9/27/06
    - ???Iraq???s Sectarian and Ethnic Violence and Its Evolving Insurgency,??? Center for Strategic and International Studies, 4/2/07

    Gwertzman, Bernard, ???Diminishing Returns in Iraq,??? Council on Foreign Relations, 2/7/07

    Haas, Richard, ???The Withdrawal Syndrome ??? Part I,??? Council on Foreign Relations, 10/31/06

    Katulis, Brian, Korb, Lawrence, and Juul, Peter, ???Strategic Reset,??? Center for American Progress, June, 2007

    Oliker, Olga, Crane, Keith, Grant, Audra, Kelly, Terrence, Rathmell, Andrew, Brannan, David, ???U.S. Policy Options for Iraq,??? RAND Project Air Force, 8/8/07

    Pascual, Carlos and Pollack, Kenneth,??? Waning Chances for Stability,??? Brookings Institution, 2/28/07

    Phillips, James, and Carafano, James Jay, ???The Iraq Study Group Report: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,??? Heritage Foundation, 12/6/06

    Simon, Steven, ???After the Surge,??? Council on Foreign Relations, February, 2007
    - ???Prepared testimony Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,??? Council on Foreign Relations, 7/17/07

    Articles[/b]

    Badkhen, Anna, ???Experts see no clear options for exiting Iraq,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 10/9/06

    Baker, Peter, and DeYoung, Karen, ???Bush Plans To Stress Next Phase In Iraq War,??? Washington Post, 7/10/07

    Bergen, Peter, ???The Real bin Laden, an Oral History,??? Vanity Fair, 2006

    Berry, Nicholas, ???Iraq Is Not A Military Problem,??? Foreign Policy Forum, 8/1/07

    Biddle, Stephen, ???Iraq: Go Deep or Get Out,??? Washington Post, 7/11/07

    Burns, John and Rubin, Alissa, ???U.S. Envoy Offers Grim Prediction on Iraq Pullout,??? New York Times, 7/10/07

    Burns, John and Schmitt, Eric, ???Exit from Iraq could take ???many years,?????? San Francisco Chronicle, 5/19/05

    Cole, Juan, ???Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2006,??? InformedComment.com, 12/26/06
    - ???What???s Next in Iraq? Juan Cole Interviews Ali A. Allawi,??? Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/25/07

    Davidson, Christian, ???Is President Bush Discussing Withdrawal???? IraqSlogger.com, 7/9/07

    Der Spiegel, ???Iraq Set to Disintegrate, New Study Warns,??? 8/15/07

    DeYoung, Karen and Ricks, Thomas, ???Exit Strategies,??? Washington Post, 7/17/07

    Epstein, Edward, ???Heard on the horizon: calls to get all U.S. troops out of Iraq,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23/04

    Espo, David, ???Bush says no Iraq shift; criticism rises,??? Associated Press, 7/10/07

    Gordon, Michael, ???Get Out of Iraq Now? Not So Fast, Experts Say,??? New York Times, 11/15/06

    LaFrenchi, Howard, ???Bush fights to control Iraq strategy,??? Christian Science Monitor, 7/12/07
    - ???Quietly, US strategy in Iraq shifting,??? Christian Science Monitor, 7/9/07

    Lugar, Senator Richard, ???Lugar Slams Bush Policy, Iraqi Progress,??? IraqSlogger.com, 6/26/07

    Marsh, Bill, ???Iraq Withdrawal: Five Difficult Questions,??? New York Times, 7/29/07

    Michaels, Jim, ???Spy chief uses ???civil war??? to describe Iraq,??? USA Today, 2/28/07

    Mueller, John, ???The Iraq Syndrome,??? Foreign Affairs, November/September 2005

    Murray, Shailagh, and Wesiman, Jonathan, ???Democrats Seek GOP Support in Votes on Iraq War,??? Washington Post, 7/10/07

    Mygatt, Matt and Flaherty, Anne, ???Bush loses another GOP senator,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6/07

    Raghavan, Sudarsan, ???Iraqi Politicians Warn Against Pullout,??? Washington Post, 7/10/07

    Roberts, Krstin, ???Pentagon says making contingency Iraq pullout plans,??? Reuters, 7/26/07

    Rosen, Nir, ???If America Left Iraq,??? Atlantic Monthly, December, 2005

    Rutenberg, Jim and Mazzetti, Mark, ???President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11,??? New York Times, 7/25/07

    Sanger, David, ???In White House, Debate Is Rising on Iraq Pullback,??? New York Times, 7/9/07

    Sanger, David and Cloud, David, ???Iraq panel to advise gradual pullback,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 11/30/06

    Stannard, Matthew, ???Miliary???s dilemma ??? stay or leave,??? San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3/06

    Strobel, Warren, ???U.S. options in Iraq could soon narrow, ranging from unpleasant to unthinkable,??? McClatchy Newspapers, 5/13/07

    Weisman, Jonathan and Murray, Shailagh, ???In GOP, Growing Friction On Iraq,??? Washington Post, 7/11/07

    Whitelaw, Kevin and Mulrine, Anna, ???What Is Place C???? U.S. News & World Report, 2/29/07

    Youssef, Nancy, ???Iraq pullout could create chaos,??? McClatchy Newspapers, 8/12/07

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    Hillary was quoted this week as saying that "The surge is working".

    Do you have any data that would support her claim??

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Hillary was quoted this week as saying that "The surge is working".

    Do you have any data that would support her claim??

    "First, appearing before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City yesterday, Senator Hillary Clinton said, "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working." She added, however, that it was too late to truly turn things around." - Boston Globe, 8/21/07

    Read above Rock, I got a TON of stuff on the surge.

    Overall, the surge is having some tactical success especially in Anbar province where many Sunni tribes have joined with the U.S. to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Iraqi government is reluctant to embrace the new policy although some arm-wringing has gotten them to accept some of these Sunni units into the security forces. Baghdad is mixed. The U.S. only controls about half the city. It has made a dent in sectarian killings. Some people claim the number of dead is down by a half, but then other numbers I've seen say the deaths have gone up during the summer. It's really hard to keep track of it these days because the Iraqi government stopped publishing them because they realized it was getting out of control and the U.S. military doesn't give any details either.

    More importantly the ultimate goal of the surge is to allow the government to forge some reconciliation between the Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis. On this front NOTHING has happened. None of the major benchmarks have been met, the government is falling apart with more and more parties withdrawing their ministers. U.S. military and visiting congressmen are all saying Prime Minister Maliki needs to go but there's no one to replace him, etc. etc. Bush'll claim local success in September. The surge will draw down in Spring 2008 because troop rotations will be up, and things will go back to what they were before.

    P.S. - Hillary is for the partial withdrawal plan outlined above.

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Rock,

    All of these previous posts are about the surge:

    "Early Results of the Surge" - pg. 5

    "Wanning Support for the Surge" - pg. 7

    "Measuring the Surge" - pg. 8

    addition to that on pg. 9

    No title but there's a copy of a pro-surge editorial by two guys from the Brookings Institute, and a summary of another think tank report that's pessimistic but still sees some hope for the surge on p.9

    "Recent Iraq Developments" - pg. 9

    If you read anything, read the op. ed. by the non-commissioned officers from the 82nd Airborne that are now in Iraq that say the place is screwed - pg. 9

    "Hints At September Report and Post-Surge Strategy By The Bush Administration" - pg. 9

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    U.S. intelligence just released their newest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. It's an update of a report released in January 2007. Major findings: It's all bad in Iraq. Here's some of the main findings:

    "Iraqi society???s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides??? ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006."

    "Nevertheless, even if violence is diminished, given the current winner-take-all attitude and sectarian animosities infecting the political scene, Iraqi leaders will be hard pressed to achieve sustained political reconciliation in the time frame of this Estimate."

    "Decades of subordination to Sunni political, social, and economic domination have made the Shia deeply insecure about their hold on power. This insecurity leads the Shia to mistrust US efforts to reconcile Iraqi sects and reinforces their unwillingness to engage with the Sunnis on a variety of issues, including adjusting the structure of Iraq???s federal system, reining in Shia militias, and easing de-Bathification."

    "Many Sunni Arabs remain unwilling to accept their minority status, believe the central government is illegitimate and incompetent, and are convinced that Shia dominance will increase Iranian influence over Iraq, in ways that erode the state???s Arab character and increase Sunni repression."

    "The absence of unifying leaders among the Arab Sunni or Shia with the capacity to speak for or exert control over their confessional groups limits prospects for reconciliation. The Kurds remain willing to participate in Iraqi state building but reluctant to surrender any of the gains in autonomy they have achieved."

    "Despite real improvements, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)???particularly the Iraqi police???will be hard pressed in the next 12-18 months to execute significantly increased security responsibilities, and particularly to operate independently against Shia militias with success. Sectarian divisions erode the dependability of many units, many are hampered by personnel and equipment shortfalls, and a number of Iraqi units have refused to serve outside of the areas where they were recruited."

    "Significant population displacement, both within Iraq and the movement of Iraqis into neighboring countries, indicates the hardening of ethno-sectarian divisions, diminishes Iraq???s professional and entrepreneurial classes, and strains the capacities of the countries to which they have relocated. The UN estimates over a million Iraqis are now in Syria and Jordan."

    "Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi Government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation."

    "If such a rapid withdrawal were to take place, we judge that the ISF would be unlikely to survive as a non-sectarian national institution; neighboring countries???invited by Iraqi factions or unilaterally???might intervene openly in the conflict; massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement would be probable; AQI would attempt to use parts of the country???particularly al-Anbar province???to plan increased attacks in and outside of Iraq; and spiraling violence and political disarray in Iraq, along with Kurdish moves to control Kirkuk and strengthen autonomy, could prompt Turkey to launch a military incursion."

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Oops, I messed up. The quotes above are from the old January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate from Iraq. I thought that was the updated one, but that hasn't been posted yet.

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    Okay, here's some of the main findings from the new August 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq:

    "There have been measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq???s security situation
    since our last National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in January 2007. The steep
    escalation of rates of violence has been checked for now, and overall attack levels across Iraq have fallen during seven of the last nine weeks. "

    "However, the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among
    civilians, remains high; Iraq???s sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively. There have been modest improvements in economic output, budget execution, and government finances but fundamental structural problems continue to prevent sustained progress in economic growth and living conditions."

    "We assess, to the extent that Coalition forces continue to conduct robust
    counterinsurgency operations and mentor and support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF),
    that Iraq???s security will continue to improve modestly during the next six to 12 months but that levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high and the Iraqi Government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance. "

    "Political and security trajectories in Iraq continue to be driven primarily by Shia
    insecurity about retaining political dominance, widespread Sunni unwillingness to
    accept a diminished political status, factional rivalries within the sectarian communities resulting in armed conflict, and the actions of extremists such as AQI and elements of the Sadrist Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) militia that try to fuel sectarian violence. "

    "Sunni Arab resistance to AQI has expanded in the last six to nine months but has not yet translated into broad Sunni Arab support for the Iraqi Government or widespread willingness to work with the Shia. The Iraqi Government???s Shia leaders fear these groups will ultimately side with armed opponents of the government, but the Iraqi Government has supported some initiatives to incorporate those rejecting AQI into Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry elements. "

    "Intra-Shia conflict involving factions competing for power and resources probably will intensify as Iraqis assume control of provincial security. "

    "The Sunni Arab community remains politically fragmented, and we see no prospective leaders that might engage in meaningful dialogue and deliver on national agreements."

    "The IC assesses that the emergence of ???bottom-up??? security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the next six to 12 months, but we judge these initiatives will only translate into widespread political accommodation and enduring stability if the Iraqi Government accepts and supports them."

    "We also assess that under some conditions ???bottom-up initiatives??? could pose risks to the Iraqi Government. "

    "Iraqi Security Forces involved in combined operations with Coalition forces have
    performed adequately, and some units have demonstrated increasing professional
    competence. However, we judge that the ISF have not improved enough to conduct
    major operations independent of the Coalition on a sustained basis in multiple locations and that the ISF remain reliant on the Coalition for important aspects of logistics and combat support."

    "The IC assesses that the Iraqi Government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition (the Unified Iraqi Alliance, UIA), Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish parties."

    "Population displacement resulting from sectarian violence continues, imposing burdens on provincial governments and some neighboring states and increasing the danger of destabilizing influences spreading across Iraq???s borders over the next six to 12 months."

    "We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily
    counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqi forces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safehaven would erode security gains achieved thus far."

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    You were so excited by the prospect that everything was bad, that you posted the wrong report. You really are an idiot.

  • kalakala 3,347 Posts
    You were so excited by the prospect that everything was bad, that you posted the wrong report. You really are an idiot.


    Amazing how motown puts in all of this work and all you do is add your pathetic uninformed, unquantified bursts of empty stupidity.
    4 million people dis placed as refugees-can you comprehend that asshole?

    200,000 plus dead civillians-that is the equivalent to yankee stadium filled twice to the top with dead bodies
    can you picture that fucktard?
    hello?
    any one home?

    nearly 4000 dead us soldiers and 60,000 plus wounded and ruined for life
    and we are footing the bill for their piss poor treatment at the VA hospitals

    100 people a day dead in iraq on average 4 years after the invasion

    murder,torture,trial-less imprisonment,car bombs,chaos,death everywhere
    is this your idea of a successfull campaign/"DEMOCRACY"?

    any fool knows the iraq war was an oil grab that has so far failed
    this is the 8th war waged by anglo saxons against Iraq since 1900
    did you know that shit head?

    do you read anything else besides the the new york post or the young republicans guide to buying defense/pharma/petrol stock?

    its very scary that the majority of Americans are as stupid and uninformed as you
    and you are supposedly 'educated'
    fall in lock step with.....
    those who ignore global warming
    those who ignore the fact that exxon is richer than all of the countries/governments in the world except for 6
    you are a walking joke
    and after all of this horror and mayhem the "cheap" oil has yet to flow
    still paying 3.00+ plus a gallon fool?
    it is higher than it has ever been





    iraq possesses the world???s second largest proven oil reserves, currently estimated at 112.5 billion barrels, about 11% of the world total and its gas fields are immense as well. Many experts believe that Iraq has additional undiscovered oil reserves, which might raise the total well beyond 250 billion barrels when serious prospecting resumes, putting Iraq closer to Saudi Arabia and far above all other oil producing countries. Iraq???s oil is of high quality and it is very inexpensive to produce, making it one of the world???s most profitable oil sources. Oil companies hope to gain production rights over these rich fields of Iraqi oil, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. In the view of an industry source it is ???a boom waiting to happen.???(1) As rising world demand depletes reserves in most world regions over the next 10-15 years, Iraq???s oil will gain increasing importance in global energy supplies. According to the industry expert: ???There is not an oil company in the world that doesn???t have its eye on Iraq.???(2) Geopolitical rivalry among major nations throughout the past century has often turned on control of such key oil resources.(3)

    Five companies dominate the world oil industry, two US-based, two primarily UK-based, and one primarily based in France.(4) US-based Exxon Mobil looms largest among the world???s oil companies and by some yardsticks measures as the world???s biggest company.(5) The United States consequently ranks first in the corporate oil sector, with the UK second and France trailing as a distant third. Considering that the US and the UK act almost alone as sanctions enforcers (and as advocates of war against Iraq), and that they are the headquarters of the world???s four largest oil companies, we cannot ignore the possible relationship of their policy with this powerful corporate interest.

    US and UK companies long held a three-quarter share in Iraq???s oil production, but they lost their position with the 1972 nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company.(6) The nationalization, following ten years of increasingly rancorous relations between the companies and the government, rocked the international oil industry, as Iraq sought to gain greater control of its oil resources. After the nationalization, Iraq turned to French companies and the Russian (Soviet) government for funds and partnerships.(7) Today, the US and UK companies are very keen to regain their former position, which they see as critical to their future leading role in the world oil industry. The US and the UK governments also see control over Iraqi and Gulf oil as essential to their broader military, geo-strategic and economic interests. At the same time, though, other states and oil companies hope to gain a large or even dominant position in Iraq. As de-nationalization sweeps through the oil sector, international companies see Iraq as an extremely attractive potential field of expansion. France and Russia, the longstanding insiders, pose the biggest challenge to future Anglo-American domination, but serious competitors from China, Germany and Japan also play in the Iraq sweepstakes.(8)

    During the 1990s, Russia???s Lukoil, China National Petroleum Corporation and France???s TotalFinaElf held contract talks with the government of Iraq over plans to develop Iraqi fields as soon as sanctions are lifted. Lukoil reached an agreement in 1997 to develop Iraq???s West Qurna field, while China National signed an agreement for the North Rumailah field in the same year (China???s oil import needs from the Persian Gulf will grow from 0.5 million barrels per day in 1997 to 5.5 million barrels per day in 2020, making China one of the region???s most important customers).(9) France???s Total at the same time held talks for future development of the fabulous Majnun field.

    US and UK companies have been very concerned that their rivals might gain a major long-term advantage in the global oil business. ???Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas ??? reserves I???d love Chevron to have access to,??? enthused Chevron CEO Kenneth T. Derr in a 1998 speech at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, in which he pronounced his strong support for sanctions.(10) Sanctions have kept the rivals at bay, a clear advantage. US-UK companies hope that the regime will eventually collapse, giving them a strong edge over their competitors with a post-Saddam government. As the embargo weakened and Saddam held onto power, however, stakes in the rivalry rose, for US-UK companies worried that they might eventually be shouldered aside. Direct military intervention by the US-UK, then, offers a tempting but dangerous gamble that might put Exxon, Shell, BP and Chevron in immediate control of the Iraqi oil boom, but at the risk of backlash from a regional political explosion.

    In testimony to Congress in 1999, General Anthony C.Zinni, commander in chief of the US Central Command, testified that the Gulf Region, with its huge oil reserves, is a ???vital interest??? of ???long standing??? for the United States and that the US ???must have free access to the region???s resources.???(11) ???Free access,??? it seems, means both military and economic control of these resources. This has been a major goal of US strategic doctrine ever since the end of World War II. Prior to 1971, Britain (the former colonial power) policed the region and its oil riches. Since then, the United States has deployed ever-larger military forces to assure ???free access??? through overwhelming armed might.(12)

    A looming US war against Iraq is only comprehensible in this light. For all the talk about terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations by Saddam Hussein, these are not the core issues driving US policy. Rather, it is ???free access??? to Iraqi oil and the ultimate control over that oil by US and UK companies that raises the stakes high enough to set US forces on the move and risk the stakes of global empire.
    Executive Summary



    While the Iraqi people struggle to define their future amid political chaos and violence, the fate of their most valuable economic asset, oil, is being decided behind closed doors.

    This report reveals how an oil policy with origins in the US State Depar tment is on course to be adopted in Iraq, soon after the December elections, with no public debate and at enormous potential cost. The policy allocates the majority (1) of Iraq???s oilfields ??? accounting for at least 64% of the country???s oil reserves ??? for development by multinational oil companies.

    Iraqi public opinion is strongly opposed to handing control over oil development to foreign companies. But with the active involvement of the US and British governments a group of powerful Iraqi politicians and technocrats is pushing for a system of long term contracts with foreign oil companies which will be beyond the reach of Iraqi courts, public scrutiny or democratic control.

    COSTING IRAQ BILLIONS

    Economic projections published here for the first time show that the model of oil development that is being proposed will cost Iraq hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, while providing foreign companies with enormous profits.

    Our key findings are:

    # At an oil price of $40 per barrel, Iraq stands to lose between $74 billion and $194 billion over the lifetime of the proposed contracts (2), from only the first 12 oilfields to be developed. These estimates, based on conservative assumptions, represent between two and seven times the current Iraqi government budget.

    # Under the likely terms of the contracts, oil company rates of return from investing in Iraq would range from 42% to 162%, far in excess of usual industry minimum target of around 12% return on investment.

    A CONTRACTUAL RIP-OFF

    The debate over oil ???privatisation??? in Iraq has often been misleading due to the technical nature of the term, which refers to legal ownership of oil reserves. This has allowed governments and companies to deny that ???privatisation??? is taking place. Meanwhile, important practical questions, of public versus private control over oil development and revenues, have not been addressed.

    The development model being promoted in Iraq, and supported by key figures in the Oil Ministry, is based on contracts known as production sharing agreements (PSAs), which have existed in the oil industry since the late 1960s. Oil experts agree that their purpose is largely political: technically they keep legal ownership of oil reserves in state hands (3), while practically delivering oil companies the same results as the concession agreements they replaced.

    Running to hundreds of pages of complex legal and financial language and generally subject to commercial confidentiality provisions, PSAs are effectively immune from public scrutiny and lock governments into economic terms that cannot be altered for decades.

    In Iraq???s case, these contracts could be signed while the government is new and weak, the security situation dire, and the country still under military occupation. As such the terms are likely to be highly unfavourable, but could persist for up to 40 years.

    Furthermore, PSAs generally exempt foreign oil companies from any new laws that might affect their profits. And the contracts often stipulate that disputes are heard not in the country???s own courts but in international investment tribunals, which make their decisions on commercial grounds and do not consider the national interest or other national laws. Iraq could be surrendering its democracy as soon as it achieves it.

    POLICY DELIVERED FROM AMERICA TO IRAQ

    Production sharing agreements have been heavily promoted by oil companies and by the US Administration.

    The use of PSAs in Iraq was proposed by the Future of Iraq project, the US State Department???s planning mechanism, prior to the 2003 invasion. These proposals were subsequently developed by the Coalition Provisional Authority, by the Iraq Interim Government and by the current Transitional Government. The Iraqi Constitution also opens the door to foreign companies, albeit in legally vague terms.

    Of course, what ultimately happens will depend on the outcome of the elections, on the broader political and security situation and on negotiations with oil companies. However, the pressure for Iraq to adopt PSAs is substantial. The current government is fast-tracking the process and is already negotiating contracts with oil companies in parallel with the constitutional process, elections and passage of a Petroleum Law.

    The Constitution also suggests a decentralisation of authority over oil contracts, from the national level to Iraq???s regions. If implemented, the regions would have weaker bargaining power than a national government, leading to poorer terms for Iraq in any deal with oil companies.

    A RADICAL DEPARTURE

    In order to make their case, oil companies and their supporters argue that PSAs are standard practice in the oil industry and that Iraq has no other option to finance oil development. Neither of these assertions is true.

    According to International Energy Agency figures, PSAs are only used in respect of about 12% of world oil reserves, in countries where oilfields are small (and often offshore), production costs are high, and exploration prospects are uncertain. None of these conditions applies to Iraq.

    None of the top oil producers in the Middle East uses PSAs. Some governments that have signed them regret doing so. In Russia, where political upheaval was followed by rapid opening up to the private sector in the 1990s, PSAs have cost the state billions of dollars, making it unlikely that any more will be signed. The parallel with Iraq's current transition is obvious.

    The advocates of PSAs also claim that obtaining investment from foreign companies through these types of contracts would save the government up to $2.5 billion a year, freeing up funds for other public spending. Although this is true, the investment by oil companies now would be massively offset by the loss of state revenues later.

    Our calculations show that were the Iraqi government to use PSAs, its cost of capital would be between 75% and 119%. At this cost, the advantages referred to are simply not worth it.

    Iraq has a range of less damaging and expensive options for generating investment in its oil sector. These include: financing oil development through government budgetary expenditure (as is currently the case), using future oil flows as collateral to borrow money, or using international oil companies through shorter-term, less restrictive and less lucrative contracts than PSAs (4).

    IN WHOSE INTERESTS?

    PSAs represent a radical redesign of Iraq's oil industry, wrenching it from public into private hands. The strategic drivers for this are the US/UK push for ???energy security??? in a constrained market and the multinational oil companies??? need to ???book??? new reserves to secure future growth.

    Despite their disadvantages to the Iraqi economy and democracy, they are being introduced in Iraq without public debate.

    It is up to the Iraqi people to decide the terms for the development of their oil resources. We hope that this report will help explain the likely consequences of decisions being made in secret on their behalf.








    where are your essays in favor of the war,supporting your hyperbole?

    where is your research proving this farce has been successful?

    You are a knee jerk fool who would have supported Nixon and Vietnam as well
    in spite of the fact that in hindsight macnamra admitted the war was a mistake

    Ever read the pentagon papers asswipe?

    do you know who DANIEL ELLSBERG IS MORON?

    The amount of LAZY UNINFORMED STUPIDITY THAT SPOUTS FROM YOUR ASS IS ONLY APEXED BY YOUR FAILING ADMINISTRATION

    here is a real AMERICAN patriot

    http://www.ellsberg.net/

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    please, motown puts about as much work into it as you just did. cunt pasting a bunch of articles and cherry-picked quotations is NOT work.

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    Is this supposed to be a free-verse poem, or was your foaming mouth making it difficult to complete a sentence?




    its very scary that the majority of Americans are as stupid and uninformed as you
    and you are supposedly 'educated'
    fall in lock step with.....
    those who ignore global warming
    those who ignore the fact that exxon is richer than all of the countries/governments in the world except for 6
    you are a walking joke
    and after all of this horror and mayhem the "cheap" oil has yet to flow
    still paying 3.00+ plus a gallon fool?
    it is higher than it has ever been

  • kalakala 3,347 Posts
    please, motown puts about as much work into it as you just did. cunt pasting a bunch of articles and cherry-picked quotations is NOT work.


    truth is you can't refute anything i just posted so you resort to pathetic personal attacks with no validity or basis in reality

    once again I ask you to show me the success of the greedy neo-con morons that you blindly support
    show me something credible Mr cuntlick


    the following"Cherry Picked" news items are IN FACT what you are supporting fuckface -all from this week/today
    [yeah the surge is really working .....dick[yes you and chaney]






    20/08/2007

    Four suicide bombers attacked Kurdish speaking sect called Yazdis as
    cleansing ethnic minority, the death toll may rise to 500 as per the
    Locals officials and at least 350 reported injured.Nineveh province is
    far off from the Iraq conflict which is not in complete control of
    allied force. Yazdi sect is mixed blend of pagan, Sabean, Shamanistic,
    Manichean, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions and do
    not believe in sin or hell.Total Yazdi are half millions mostly inhabit
    in Norther Iraq and Syria, Russia, Turkey


    23/08/2007 07:07 BAQUBA, Iraq, Aug 23 (AFP)
    12 killed in Al-Qaeda raid on Iraqi town

    Twelve civilians were killed and 12 kidnapped when suspected Al-Qaeda in Iraq militants raided the town of Kanan northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, blowing up a mosque and two houses, police said.

    "The first attack was against a mosque," Baquba police chief Brigadier General Ali Dilayan told AFP. "They blew up the mosque, then they bombed two houses crowded with family members."

    "Initial reports say there are 12 corpses in hospital. The toll may rise because we are still searching through the rubble."




    august 24, 2007

    CAMP PENDLETON ??? A military legal officer has recommended dismissal of all charges against a Marine accused in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, Iraq, nearly two years ago.
    Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, 26, is charged with two counts of unpremeditated murder and four counts of negligent homicide on allegations that he unlawfully killed three adults and three children. He also is accused of assaulting two other children.

    The victims died when a Marine squad launched a house-to-house assault Nov. 19, 2005, after a roadside bomb blast that killed a Marine driver.





    23/08/2007
    Sharp Rise Seen In U.S. Army Suicides

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Ninety-nine U.S. soldiers killed themselves last year, the highest rate of suicide in the Army in 26 years, a new report says.

    More than one out of four soldiers who committed suicide did so while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a new report. Iraq was the most common deployment location for U.S. soldiers who either attempted suicide or committed suicide.
    The report, which the Associated Press obtained ahead of its public release, said the 99 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers compared to 88 in 2005 and was the highest raw number since the 102 suicides reported in 1991, the year of the Gulf War, when there were more soldiers on active duty.
    Investigations are still pending on two other deaths and if they are confirmed as suicides, the number for last year would be 101 instead of 99.



    23/08/2007
    At least 13 people were killed in pre-dawn clashes between Shiite militiamen and US soldiers in Baghdad on Friday, a medic and security officials said.

    Doctor Mohammed Abbas from the Al-Noor hospital in the northwestern neighbourhood of Shuala where the clashes took place said he and his colleagues had received 13 corpses of people killed in the firefight.

    "Those dead were killed by shrapnel and two of them are women," he said, suggesting that some of the dead could be civilians. "We have also admitted 15 wounded people."




    23/08/2007
    US Senator John Warner, an influential Republican on military affairs, urged President George W. Bush on Thursday to start a limited withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by Christmas.

    The move would send a signal to the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and regional nations that the US commitment to Iraq is not open ended, said Warner, who returned recently from Iraq.




    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Army captain was charged on Thursday with accepting a $50,000 bribe to steer military contracts in Iraq, prosecutors said.

    Austin Key, 27, of Watertown, N.Y., was stationed in Baghdad as a field ordering officer and oversaw the administration of service and supply contracts awarded by the U.S. Army worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.



    23/08/2007
    New US doubts on Iraq government
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki
    The US intelligence report says Mr Maliki may not be able unify Iraq
    A new study by US intelligence agencies has cast fresh doubt about the ability of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to bring about political unity in Iraq.

    The National Intelligence Estimate says the Iraqi government will become more fragile in the next six to 12 months.

    The gloomy assessment comes as calls grow in the US for Mr Maliki to step down, though President George W Bush on Wednesday expressed support for him.




    Levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high and the Iraqi government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance
    National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq

    The newly declassified document, the collective assessment of 16 US intelligence agencies, states bluntly that "Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively".

    The 10-page document goes on to warn that the situation is likely to worsen further.

    "The IC (intelligence community) assesses that the Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition




    At Least 25 Killed in Attacks Near Baquba
    by Diane Smith 19:53, August 23rd 2007
    At Least 25 Killed in Attacks Near Baquba
    A series of mortar attacks and clashes left behind at least 25 dead people and dozens injured near the capital of Diyala province Baquba, local security sources informed on Thursday.

    According to police chief Ali Dliyan, two villages near Baquba took heavy mortar fire during the early hours. Shortly after the siege ended, dozens of alleged al-Qaeda fighters attacked the settlements and destroyed several buildings and a Sunni mosque.

    The same official said five women were abducted after the militants killed an imam and three other persons. A fierce gunfight erupted between police officers and the extremists, 10 militants being killed and 22 detained.

    The volatile Diyala province has been the scene of bloody clashes and bomb attacks in the past period despite a surge of coalition and Iraqi troops. Another incident occurred late Wednesday when a suicide bomber detonated his lethal charge in a crowded area in Muqdadiyah, a major city of the province.

    Sixteen persons were killed on the spot and at least 30 wounded by the powerful explosion, Iraqi media said.

    In other developments, four Iraqi servicemen died and eleven US soldiers were injured when a bomb went off in the vicinity of an army outpost in the northern part of Iraq. The US military said eight suspects were detained after the attack occurred on Wednesday.




    ST. LOUIS Aug 24

    Nathan Hubbard came from a family of soldiers that had already lost one son to the war. Ricky Bell was due to fly home in less than a month. Michael Hook couldn't wait to get back t o the states his fiancee is pregnant.

    They were among 14 U.S. soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed Wednesday in northern Iraq. The military said it appeared the aircraft was lost due to mechanical problems. There were no survivors.


    So SABBADOODOO Is the body count high enough for you this week Mr Herpes Pustule?
    Did enough innocent people die for your CARLYLE stock to rise Mr RARE brazillian record collector with massive hemmoraging Syphlitic Piles?
    Are you happy NOW Mr Ghonnerea Drips?

    to conclude this venereal catastrophic mess I contest that
    You are a very Dumb Blind foul fool not worthy of the title "Human being",and Karma WILL bite you in the ass one day ...hopefully very soon
    Looks Like we are "winning" the hearts and minds of the iraqi people
    Big-time



  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    You might just possibly be a bigger idiot than Motown.

    Yeah, that's what I want to do, is spend the rest of my day tracking down unsupported assertions made with no citations so that I can try to convince some unhinged fuckwit who cant even spell or put a full sentence together, that he's really an ass.

    P.S. don't be jealous of people with real record collections. One day, maybe when you come into your fathers inheritance, you will be able to afford one too.

  • the report gives ammunition to bush supporters and democrats for different reasons.

    on one hand, the report says that the "surge" has helped alleviate violence in certain areas and that withdrawing troops would only lead to more deaths and less stability.

    on the other, it states that the political structure of iraq has not improved and the prospect of iraq governing itself is bleak. maliki has made the govt completely shiite run, despite the fact that shiites are a minority, not only in iraq, but in the arab world.

    the "pluses" for the bush supporters, however, aren't really that positive. assuming that iraq becomes less stable after we leave....okay, well an immediate withdraw of troops is still gonna save US lives. nothing in the report alludes to the war being winnable...and if thats the case, aren't we just buying time? if the report had said that the US can end the violence between shiites, sunnis and kurds, that would be a different story. if the civil war that exists in iraq can be stopped, i don't see how the US is gonna play any role in mediating things. .

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    No Keith. It is ALL bad. Can't you read? Are you syphilitic or something?

  • kalakala 3,347 Posts
    You might just possibly be a bigger idiot than Motown.

    Yeah, that's what I want to do, is spend the rest of my day tracking down unsupported assertions made with no citations so that I can try to convince some unhinged fuckwit who cant even spell or put a full sentence together, that he's really an ass.

    P.S. don't be jealous of people with real record collections. One day, maybe when you come into your fathers inheritance, you will be able to afford one too.


    DICKLICK/HERPE PUSTULE MAXIMUS: you have yet to logically refute ANY of the facts I have posted,even recent news articles from this week.
    FACE IT YOU ARE ARE CORNERED ..Mr WAR-PIG ....IN A STY with a bead drawn on your head from my shotgun and now all you can do is try to cry mercy,writhe around in your own shit of which you will soon eat.
    KARMA is a Bitch Dicklick,as you will soon experience first hand.


    ps
    I have about 5000 lps and 2000 rare ass 45s and more knowledge/production/engineering /music skills than you will never be able to buy.
    I create MUSIC and ART I don't just consume it and hoard it like you ...you filthy PIG.
    PUNK ASS CUNT

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts

    KALA is a Bitch Dicklick,as you will soon experience first hand.
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