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Old 09-08-2004, 05:22 AM   #1
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Iraq out of control?

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/08/po...rint&position=

Quote:
U.S. Conceding Rebels Control Regions of Iraq
By ERIC SCHMITT and STEVEN R. WEISMAN

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference that the American strategy in retaking rebel-held strongholds hinged on training and equipping Iraqi forces to take the lead.

...

But General Myers said the Iraqi forces would probably not be ready to confront insurgents in those areas until the end of this year.

Their comments, which came after a two-day spike in violence in Iraq led to a surge in American military deaths, represented an acknowledgment that the Americans had failed to end an increasingly sophisticated insurgency in important Sunni-dominated areas and in certain Shiite enclaves. Fighting raged on Tuesday in Sadr City, in Baghdad, as Shiite militiamen loyal to Moktada al-Sadr ended a self-declared cease-fire. [Page A14.]

The officials' assessment also underscored the difficulty of pacifying Iraq in time for elections scheduled for January. The cities of greatest rebel control are Ramadi, Falluja, Baquba and Samarra, in the so-called Sunni triangle, west and north of Baghdad, where Saddam Hussein remains popular and many forces loyal to him have gathered strength.

There is increasing concern in the administration over plans for the election, with some officials saying that if significant parts of the Sunni areas cannot be secured by January, it may be impossible to hold a nationwide balloting that would be seen as legitimate. Putting off the elections, though, would infuriate Iraq's Shiite majority. The elections are for an assembly that is to write a new constitution next year. Mr. Rumsfeld warned that the violence would intensify as elections approached.

...
"Samarra is a city where Iraqis are taking charge to throw out anti-Iraqi forces," he said in an e-mail message on Tuesday. "No one has ceded the city to insurgents and there is no cordon. What we have in Samarra is the good people of Iraq, led by far-sighted provincial and city leadership, senior sheiks, and clerics, standing up to the enemy."

Residents, however, say insurgents effectively control Samarra.

...

A two-month hiatus before major force is applied to rebel areas would also mean a delay until after the American presidential election, but senior officials insist there is no domestic political calculus in the decision to wait - only a conviction that time is needed for negotiation and for Iraqi forces to gain strength.

But other American officials are more pessimistic about the prospects for regaining control of those areas. One noted, for example, that attacks on American forces rose to 2,700 in August, from 700 in March.

General Myers conceded that American forces faced a tough, adaptive foe. "The enemy is becoming more sophisticated in his efforts to destabilize the country," he said.

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Old 09-08-2004, 05:33 AM   #2
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Iraq has apparently only gotten worse and worse ever since the fall of the regime - incidently isn't it bad news that sells papers.
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:55 AM   #3
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This is alarmest BS. The Fact is, the most attacks ever launched by insurgents was in April, and attacks since April are DOWN! That is why they use the month of MARCH to indicate that attacks are up. But the real spike in violence came in April. It was also at the end of April that the President made the decision not to retake Falluga. This was in part because there was heavy resistence on the Iraqi council to do that. It was probably a mistake to not have retaken these area's in the Sunni Triangle back in April. But because members of the Iraqi Council were going to resign if the fighting continued, the President decided back in APRIL that it would be better to wait for the Iraqi military to grow in size and strength and have them handle the situation.

While it is better to have the Iraqi military do that, the Iraqi military is probably as much as 2 years away from having the capability needed to crush insurgence independently all over Iraq. The current posture of US forces is more of a defensive one, hold, wait and respond to attacks. What US forces need is large and swift strike on these Sunni area's. A large US force is needed in order to immediately overwhelm the insurgence as quickly as possible.

Such action would be very bloody and politically risky, but if done rapidly would save thousands of lives in the long run, and greatly improve the security situation. In order to mass the troops necessary for such a rapid and complete take over of these area's, the US military will have to send in more troops temporarily, perhaps as many as three divisions. The cities must be pacified in under a week in order to avoid political unrest elsewhere.

Unfortunately though, I do not think they are considering this option at this time, and they are waiting to have 3 divisions of Iraqi troops that would be able to accomplish the task. The strategy right now continues to be one of containment of these area's while they wait for the Iraqi military to grow in size and strength to a level where they will be capable of dealing with it. It is true that it is far better politically to have Iraqi forces doing this work. But until that time comes or the US changes its plans and goes in itself, the initiative will belong to these Sunni insurgents.

This has been the situation though since the end of April and is not anything new. Once again, the media are inaccurately reporting events and conditions.
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:05 AM   #4
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And we must also acknowledge that in a direct firefight coalition trumps the millitias, the real casualties inflicted on our guys are roadside bombs and the like, when you have Iraqi's patrolling the streets the casualties will plummet as you have less targets on the streets.
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:40 AM   #5
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All it takes is a spike in fatalities and a round number (like, 1000) to give pundits a chance to "re-evaluate" the situation.

Funny, there is never analysis on the futility of negotiating with "leaders" like Sadr.
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Old 09-08-2004, 03:38 PM   #6
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Yes, there was commentary that the government had screwed up big time by negotiating with al-Sadr. Hitting the thousandth casualty number was sure to be noticed by the press, in their incessant quest for stories that sell newspapers.
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Old 09-08-2004, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
This is alarmest BS.
Oh, alarmist bullshit seems to be theme of the day in this election. Same ol', same ol'.
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:24 AM   #8
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How anyone can somehow say Iraq isn't a mess or out of control is beyond me.
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Old 09-12-2004, 02:06 AM   #9
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Well one starts by looking at the fundamentals, how reconstruction is going, where the political power is shifting, what the population thinks and how the millitary situation is. Then taking these things comparing it to other large scale operations involving nation building. When you put it into perspective Iraq is moving forward, I think the media has done a poor job in conveying it to the public - its almost the opposite of Vietnam, today people assume the country is going to hell without looking at the evidence to the contrary.

Another source I must say can be found here, http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/, I would say that this opinion that Iraq is moving forward is closer to the mark than anything I can give you.
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Old 09-14-2004, 10:18 AM   #10
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http://wvgazette.com/section/News/200409062

W.Va. Reserve leader denounces Iraq war




West Virginia’s top Army Reserve spokesman says the Iraq war was a mistake, and President Bush should be voted out of office.

In a long interview with Gazette columnist Sandy Wells, Col. Lew G. Tyree of Charleston publicly revealed his feelings about the Iraq invasion, saying:

“I feel we were not told the truth. I do not think we should be there. America is in more danger now because we are using up a tremendous amount of human resources, the soldiers. We tend to ignore that there are well over 1,000 dead and well over 7,000 injured. We use many of the soldiers time and time again. Where are the replacements going to come from? We’re getting re-enlistments, but not recruits. Where is the strength for defending this country in another arena?”


...
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Old 09-16-2004, 04:48 AM   #11
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http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artma...cle_5258.shtml
Intel Pros Admit Iraq 'Out of Control' as Country Faces Civil War
By Staff and Wire Reports
Sep 16, 2004, 06:16

American intelligence professionals now admit the situation in Iraq is out of control and the country faces a nation-destroying civil war. Even worse, any chance for stability fades with each day of increasing violence and tension in the war-torn country.

The National Intelligence Council presented President Bush this summer with several pessimistic scenarios regarding the security situation in Iraq, including the possibility of a civil war there before the end of 2005.
In a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate, the council looked at the political, economic and security situation in the war-torn country and determined that - at best - stability in Iraq would be tenuous, a U.S. official said late Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
...
Disclosure of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq came the same day that Senate Republicans and Democrats denounced the Bush administration's slow progress in rebuilding Iraq, saying the risks of failure are great if it doesn't act with greater urgency.

"It's beyond pitiful, it's beyond embarrassing, it's now in the zone of dangerous," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., referring to figures showing only about 6 percent of the reconstruction money approved by Congress last year has been spent.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee members vented their frustrations at a hearing during which State Department officials explained the administration's request to divert $3.46 billion in reconstruction funds to security and economic development. The money was part of the $18.4 billion approved by Congress last year, mostly for public works projects.

The request comes as heavy fighting continues between U.S.-led forces and Iraqi insurgents, endangering prospects for elections scheduled for January.

"We know that the provision of adequate security up front is requisite to rapid progress on all other fronts," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ron Schlicher said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said circumstances in Iraq have changed since last year. "It's important that you have some flexibility."

Hagel, Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and other committee members have long argued - even before the war - that administration plans for rebuilding Iraq were inadequate and based on overly optimistic assumptions that Americans would be greeted as liberators.

But the criticism from the panel's top Republicans had an extra sting coming less than seven weeks before the U.S. presidential election in which Bush's handling of the war is a top issue.

"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration - what I call the 'dancing in the street crowd' - that we just simply will be greeted with open arms," Lugar said. "The nonsense of all of that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent."

...
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:22 AM   #12
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Hmmm, I wonder what the "backup" plan is if a civil war did eventuate. This would coincide with Iranian nuclear weapons and could make it a very, very, very, very, I cannot stress how much very dangerous situation.
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Hmmm, I wonder what the "backup" plan is if a civil war did eventuate. This would coincide with Iranian nuclear weapons and could make it a very, very, very, very, I cannot stress how much very dangerous situation.
I think that Iraq, at best, will be in the headlines for years and years and years to come in a similar way to Israel. Any government there will be seen as a US puppet and will be a regular target. Even if the whole country becomes calm and democratic etc, I bet there'll be bombings, isolated violence etc regularly for a long, long time.

At worst, civil war.

At the very, very worst, a civil war with one side heavily backed by Iran.
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:52 AM   #14
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This is getting scarier day by day.
Far graver than Vietnam

Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

Sidney Blumenthal

09/16/04 "The Guardian" -- 'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday. But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."
...
General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the no-go areas "could become so controversial that members of the Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs are all there."
...

That last part is disgusting. How many of our men would we lose?
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine


That last part is disgusting. How many of our men would we lose?
Can't stress that enough. A guy I went to high school (McLean HS in Virginia) with was just killed in action. A lower class kid with no money for an education, he was working at mcdonalds full time. So he joined the army to help pay for college, my deepest sympathies to his family.
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