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Old 02-02-2007, 06:29 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Irvine511
[q]Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns
By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 2, 2007; A01

A long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to President Bush by the intelligence community yesterday, outlines an increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration, according to sources familiar with the document.

In a discussion of whether Iraq has reached a state of civil war, the 90-page classified NIE comes to no conclusion and holds out prospects of improvement. But it couches glimmers of optimism in deep uncertainty about whether the Iraqi leaders will be able to transcend sectarian interests and fight against extremists, establish effective national institutions and end rampant corruption.

The document emphasizes that although al-Qaeda activities in Iraq remain a problem, they have been surpassed by Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence as the primary source of conflict and the most immediate threat to U.S. goals. Iran, which the administration has charged with supplying and directing Iraqi extremists, is mentioned but is not a focus.

Completion of the estimate, which projects events in Iraq over the next 18 months, comes amid intensifying debate and skepticism on Capitol Hill about the administration's war policy. In a series of contentious hearings over the past two weeks, legislators have sharply questioned Bush's new plan for the deployment of 21,500 additional U.S. troops and the administration's dependence on the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

In acid remarks yesterday to Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the departing U.S. commander in Iraq, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) noted that "things have gotten markedly and progressively worse" during Casey's 2 1/2 -year tenure, "and the situation in Iraq can now best be described as dire and deteriorating. I regret that our window of opportunity to reverse momentum may be closing." Casey was appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be Army chief of staff.

Although McCain supports the additional troop deployments, he has proposed a Senate resolution including stringent benchmarks to gauge the progress of the Iraqi government and military. McCain's resolution and other nonbinding, bipartisan proposals that would express varying degrees of disapproval of Bush's plan will be debated on the Senate floor next week.

Legislators have been equally critical of the intelligence community, repeatedly recalling that most of the key judgments in the October 2002 NIE on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were wrong. That assessment concluded that Saddam Hussein had amassed chemical and biological weapons and was "reconstituting" his nuclear weapons program. It became the foundation of the Bush administration's case -- and congressional authorization -- for invading Iraq.

"One of the sort of deeply held rumors around here is that the intelligence community gives an administration or a president what he wants by way of intelligence," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told Navy Vice Adm. John M. McConnell, Bush's nominee to be director of national intelligence, during McConnell's confirmation hearing yesterday.

Without directly accepting Feinstein's premise, McConnell replied that the intelligence community had learned "meaningful" lessons over the past several years and that "there's very intense focus on independence." McConnell and others made clear that the new NIE on Iraq had been subjected to extensive competitive analysis to test its conclusions.

One senior congressional aide said the NIE had been described to him as "unpleasant but very detailed." A source familiar with its language said it contained several dissents that are prominently displayed so that policymakers understand any disagreements within the intelligence community -- a significant change from the 2002 document, which listed most key dissents in small-type footnotes.[/q]

Of course, the above article skips around the most important issue currently being debated on whether or not to withdraw US troops. The new NIE had this to say about the withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq in the next 12-18 months, the most popular time frame given by the majority of Democrats:

"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."

Clearly, the NIE does not advocate the premature withdrawal plans of nearly all Democrats including those running for President.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:58 PM   #32
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you're right. it's not a civil war. it's simply a war between political factions or regions within the same country.

my bad.
90% of the sectarian violence, the primary source for those claiming Iraq is in the middle of a "civil war", takes place in one city, Baghdad. Half the country, from north to south, is ethnically mixed to the point that no single ethnic group forms a majority in those areas, yet the fighting seen in Baghdad does not occur there. The US military does not regard the conflict in Iraq as a "civil war" at this time. With the definitions used by many to define Iraq as a "civil war" could also be used to define Afghanistan as a "civil war" as well.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:37 PM   #33
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The bottom line is: by removing Saddam, we have opened up the mother of all powder kegs, (ha, I wonder if history will remember it was the dictator himself who coined that phrase?) which Bush Sr. deliberately withdrew American troops from in 1991 b/c he LISTENED to wiser and more experienced heads LIKE JAMES BAKER who said that this current scenario was precisely what would happen. We upped and left, even though the whole country rose up and were ready to fall at our feet, at our service. We did it.

Of course, people will say it was easy for us to leave back then, as we had accomplished our goal. But say what you will aobut Bush Sr, he didn't lie. He told us what our real goal was and he didn't do it alone. And that's that elusive question that everyone in high places refuses to discuss, that one day they'll have to: just why are we REALLY over there anyway? What is "victory"? What is our GOAL?

The bottom line is: very few people in Iraq these days, on the street or in places of power, even at the local level, thinks of Iraq as a nation the way we think of America. Those who do have mostly fled the country and the few who remain live in a state of hiding and constant terror. And therefore we cannot help but be forced to take one side or the other in this fight. There is no middle. And one day we will have to leave. Nobody caught in the middle of a civil war will be able to stay forever, it's a given. Even if they ARE outsiders who sit on the sidelines. Which we of course are not.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:04 AM   #34
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Originally posted by STING2


90% of the sectarian violence, the primary source for those claiming Iraq is in the middle of a "civil war", takes place in one city, Baghdad. Half the country, from north to south, is ethnically mixed to the point that no single ethnic group forms a majority in those areas, yet the fighting seen in Baghdad does not occur there. The US military does not regard the conflict in Iraq as a "civil war" at this time. With the definitions used by many to define Iraq as a "civil war" could also be used to define Afghanistan as a "civil war" as well.

The NEI (National Intelligence Estimate)

agrees with you

not a "Civil War".

it is much worse

Is that the point you have been trying to make?

Quote:
-- The term, civil war, does not "adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq,'' though it certainly applies to key conflicts taking place there, including the "hardening'' of ethno-centric identities and a "sea change in the character of the violence.''
Iraq: Worse than civil war
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:27 AM   #35
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Originally posted by deep



The NEI (National Intelligence Estimate)

agrees with you

not a "Civil War".

it is much worse

Is that the point you have been trying to make?



Iraq: Worse than civil war
The report does not mention that it is worse than a "Civil War". Bosnia was a Civil War. 10% of the population was slaughtered in 4 years. There was no Bosnian government or military during that time either. It was an intense conflict between three different ethnic groups that involved the entire country. That is not anywhere near the situation in Iraq. In addition, the fundamental problems found in Iraq exist in Afghanistan as well, yet, there are NO calls for withdrawal and NO attempt to label the Afghan conflict there as a "Civil War".

Oh, on the whole issue of withdrawal, keep in mind what the NIE said about that:

"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."
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:16 AM   #36
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Originally posted by STING2


The report does not mention that it is worse than a "Civil War". Bosnia was a Civil War. 10% of the population was slaughtered in 4 years. There was no Bosnian government or military during that time either. It was an intense conflict between three different ethnic groups that involved the entire country. That is not anywhere near the situation in Iraq. In addition, the fundamental problems found in Iraq exist in Afghanistan as well, yet, there are NO calls for withdrawal and NO attempt to label the Afghan conflict there as a "Civil War".


[q]US intelligence admits Iraq could be 'civil war'
Email Print Normal font Large font Washington
February 4, 2007

US INTELLIGENCE has concluded that key elements of Iraq's violence have risen to the level of "civil war", in a report that the White House says justifies a troop increase and Democrats say is proof of a failed strategy.

Escalating violence between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites met the definition for a civil war but the politically charged term did not describe all the chaos in Iraq, the report said.

Reflecting the consensus views of Washington's intelligence community, the report also suggested that the President's strategy for controlling Iraqi violence must show progress within 12 to 18 months or risk further deterioration.

George Bush plans to send another 21,500 US troops to quell the violence, especially in Baghdad, as part of a joint operation with Iraqi forces. But the National Intelligence Estimate said Iraqi security forces would be hard-pressed to undertake security responsibilities or operate independently against Shiite militias.

Even if violence was reduced, the estimate warned, Iraqi leaders would still have difficulty achieving sustained political reconciliation by mid-2008.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat and 2008 presidential contender, called the report "a devastating repudiation of the President's new tactics in Iraq" and said it showed the "dire need for a political settlement".

But National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called the estimate "a fair statement of the challenge we face in Iraq" and said the intelligence was driving policy, not vice versa.

[/q]
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:24 AM   #37
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Originally posted by STING2


Clearly, the NIE does not advocate the premature withdrawal plans of nearly all Democrats including those running for President.



firstly, most of the Republican Party disagrees with your non-strategy strategy (keep on doing the same thing), and not even George Bush agrees with your assessment of things on the ground (going well, so much accomplished, just 10 more years). in fact, the ONLY national figure who's in step with you is Cheney, and that's quite some company to keep.

but here's my real issue: you're painting the issue as Stay vs. Go. it is not so simple. advocating a change in strategy, troop redeployment, partrition, moving American troops to Kurdistan ... all of these things are most assuredly NOT a total abandonment of Iraq. they are different strategies. please, debate the pros and cons of the various options set out on the table, but don't paint them, firstly inaccurately, and secondly as all tantamount to the same thing.
after all, it was precisely this kind of poorly reasoned, rigid, ossified, incurious thinking that got us into this mess in the first place.

i'm also amazed at your dogged droning. you've been presented with ample evidence that has systematically destroyed your analysis of the situaiton -- from how Resolution 1441 functions to how the UN Security Council enforces its resolutions to the dead obvious fact that Iraq is in a Civil War -- yet you continue to repeat your positions despite overwhelming evidence and analysis and popular opinions to the contrary.

it'd be admirable, if it weren't precisely the kind of thinking that gets people killed. for no reason.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #38
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Given that you are in the same boat of Buchanan and Kissinger the issue of company may not be the best topic

If the situation is or is not civil war by an arbitrary definition doesn't change any of the facts - of course politics has nothing to do with facts so if it is officially a civil war then the topic can turn to the reasons that it is no longer Americas responsibility and let them die or to installing a regime that rules with an Iron fist.

The inexorable push towards sectarian strife was not a given; it was done by design with groups such as Al Qaeda in Iraq using the Sunni dissatisfaction to get a base for terrorist attacks until the Shiites would turn to the militias. It would not be completely wrong to say that the Shiite reaction of ethnic clensing is self-defence; albeit in a situation where they have the numbers.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:39 PM   #39
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Originally posted by Irvine511





firstly, most of the Republican Party disagrees with your non-strategy strategy (keep on doing the same thing), and not even George Bush agrees with your assessment of things on the ground (going well, so much accomplished, just 10 more years). in fact, the ONLY national figure who's in step with you is Cheney, and that's quite some company to keep.

but here's my real issue: you're painting the issue as Stay vs. Go. it is not so simple. advocating a change in strategy, troop redeployment, partrition, moving American troops to Kurdistan ... all of these things are most assuredly NOT a total abandonment of Iraq. they are different strategies. please, debate the pros and cons of the various options set out on the table, but don't paint them, firstly inaccurately, and secondly as all tantamount to the same thing.
after all, it was precisely this kind of poorly reasoned, rigid, ossified, incurious thinking that got us into this mess in the first place.

i'm also amazed at your dogged droning. you've been presented with ample evidence that has systematically destroyed your analysis of the situaiton -- from how Resolution 1441 functions to how the UN Security Council enforces its resolutions to the dead obvious fact that Iraq is in a Civil War -- yet you continue to repeat your positions despite overwhelming evidence and analysis and popular opinions to the contrary.

it'd be admirable, if it weren't precisely the kind of thinking that gets people killed. for no reason.
What got 60 million people killed in a war in the early 1940s was a failure to intervene to stop a growing threat in the mid-1930s. People ignored or refused to do anything about the violations of the treaties that ended World War I. To many people believe that only intervention has risks, but history shows that not acting or intervening can result in far worse consequences for the planet.

The United States and the rest of the world have vital needs and interest in the security of the Persian Gulf. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 resulted in the largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world since World War II. Living with Saddam after his defeat in the Gulf War required that he change his behavior through the verifiable disarmament of all WMD, compliance with 17 UN security Council resolutions, and that the coalition succeed in keeping a full containment regime of sanctions and weapons embargo. Anything short of that would mean that his regime would have to be removed as the world could not risk another potential disaster like the one that nearly occured in August of 1990. Saddam never complied with any of the Security Council resolutions vital to the security of the region, and the containtment regime that was built crumbled and was nearly non-existent in some places by the time of the invasion in March 2003. Today, the risk and cost of not intervening at that point still far outweigh the cost and projected cost of the current conflict.

Resolution 1441 is no different in the language it uses to authorize military force than resolution 678 was which authorized the use of military force to remove Saddam's military from Kuwait as well as the use of military force to enforce all subsequent UN security council resolutions on the particular issue. The same arguements used to dispute resolution 1441 as being a resolution that authorized the coalition to use military force to enforce the resolutions could be used against resolution 678 and the removal of Saddam's military from Kuwait through military action. Whats more, the United States originally wrote resolution 678 with the words "military force" in the resolution, but took them out when the Soviet Union protested. If anything, resolution 1441 is a far more obvious authorization of military force than resolution 678 in 1990 was.

Kenneth Pollack(one of Clintons top experts on Iraq) and Michael E. O'Hanlon, two security experts who are Democrats do not find the invasion to be "illegal" as you claim it to be. There is no UN resolution or attempt at one condemning the coalition invasion, or calling for the coalition to withdraw. The "evidence" and opinions claiming that the administration illegaly invaded Iraq are rather underwhelming.

The United States military, who you continue to ignore at all cost, as well as not acknowledge their experience and accomplishments on a daily basis, have reported that based on their anylysis, Iraq is currently not in a Civil War. 90% of the sectarian violence, takes place in one city of the country, which is ethnically mixed from north to south. It should not be too difficult for those looking at the situation objectively as well as from a historical point of view, to see that Iraq at this particular time is not in a Civil War. But for politically motivated reasons, calling Iraq a Civil War has become the anthem of the Democratic Party in the hopes that if you say it enough, everyone will believe it, and then withdraw US troops under the theory that if its a Civil War, its none of the United States business, and it will be easier to rally support for a premature withdrawal. The irony is that the same people making that claim, were so ademently insistent that the United States get involved in an actual Civil War in Bosnia in the mid 1990s.


On what the United States should do next in Iraq, I support 77 of the 79 recomendations of the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group. Many of their recomendations are already being implemented by the administration before the report was even released. Continuing to support the overall nationbuilding and counterinsurgency effort in Iraq does not mean one supports the tactical mistakes that have been made. Most Republicans do not support a pre-mature withdrawal. Provided that the overall nationbuilding and counterinsurgency efforts are given the proper resources and time, Iraq will eventually have a government and military that can work through its own problems without the help of coalition ground troops.


Partition of Iraq is a strategy for Civil War and ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. Withdrawing US troops, redeploying them to the tiny northern corner in Kurdistan is virtually a NON-STRATEGY. It does nothing except to remove what the NIE says is:

"an essential stabilizing element in Iraq"

The results of which would likely be the following:


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."



The Democrats have a domestic political strategy that might work given the current political climate, for 2008, but will do NOTHING for the stability of Iraq or the security of the Persian Gulf region. It is NOT a strategy for Iraq, it is a strategy to achieve their domestic political objectives.

The Pre-mature withdrawal of coalition forces will cause the collapse of the government and military which the coalition has been working to help build for several years now. It will create an environment where Al Quada can recruit and conduct operations with little if any interference, the Civil War that everyone claims has already started.

One could support the Democrats withdrawal plans if you 1.) believe the Iraqi military is now ready to replace the vital security tasks being performed by coalition troops or 2.) Believe that Iraq's stability is of no consequence to the United States any more than say Somalia.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:37 AM   #40
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


There is sectarian violence in Iraq, but the US military has found that 90% of it occurs in only one area, Baghdad, despite the fact that the country is ethnically mixed from north to south.
People are dying all over Iraq

and there are less deaths in the unpopulated areas







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Old 02-04-2007, 04:41 AM   #41
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by deep


People are dying all over Iraq

and there are less deaths in the unpopulated areas

Yeah, you could say that about any country on the planet. Fact remains, in terms of deaths do to sectarian violence, 90% of those deaths occur in Baghdad. The death rate in Iraq is less than it was under Saddam, when occasionally Saddam would choose to slaughter say 300,000 people like he did in March 1991.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:14 PM   #42
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Originally posted by STING2
The United States military, who you continue to ignore at all cost, as well as not acknowledge their experience and accomplishments on a daily basis, have reported that based on their anylysis, Iraq is currently not in a Civil War. 90% of the sectarian violence, takes place in one city of the country, which is ethnically mixed from north to south. It should not be too difficult for those looking at the situation objectively as well as from a historical point of view, to see that Iraq at this particular time is not in a Civil War. But for politically motivated reasons, calling Iraq a Civil War has become the anthem of the Democratic Party in the hopes that if you say it enough, everyone will believe it, and then withdraw US troops under the theory that if its a Civil War, its none of the United States business, and it will be easier to rally support for a premature withdrawal. The irony is that the same people making that claim, were so ademently insistent that the United States get involved in an actual Civil War in Bosnia in the mid 1990s.







[q]US intelligence admits Iraq could be 'civil war'

February 4, 2007

INTELLIGENCE has concluded that key elements of Iraq's violence have risen to the level of "civil war", in a report that the White House says justifies a troop increase and Democrats say is proof of a failed strategy.

Escalating violence between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites met the definition for a civil war but the politically charged term did not describe all the chaos in Iraq, the report said.

Reflecting the consensus views of Washington's intelligence community, the report also suggested that the President's strategy for controlling Iraqi violence must show progress within 12 to 18 months or risk further deterioration.

George Bush plans to send another 21,500 US troops to quell the violence, especially in Baghdad, as part of a joint operation with Iraqi forces. But the National Intelligence Estimate said Iraqi security forces would be hard-pressed to undertake security responsibilities or operate independently against Shiite militias.

Even if violence was reduced, the estimate warned, Iraqi leaders would still have difficulty achieving sustained political reconciliation by mid-2008.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat and 2008 presidential contender, called the report "a devastating repudiation of the President's new tactics in Iraq" and said it showed the "dire need for a political settlement".

But National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called the estimate "a fair statement of the challenge we face in Iraq" and said the intelligence was driving policy, not vice versa.

REUTERS
[/q]
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:16 PM   #43
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by STING2


Yeah, you could say that about any country on the planet. Fact remains, in terms of deaths do to sectarian violence, 90% of those deaths occur in Baghdad.


if you keep repeating a fact, it becomes truthier.

the fact remains that deep has just showed you how menaingless a statistic your little 90% number is.

but keep repeating it. people who don't know anything and aren't inclined to, say, read anything might believe you.
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:56 PM   #44
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




if you keep repeating a fact, it becomes truthier.

the fact remains that deep has just showed you how menaingless a statistic your little 90% number is.

but keep repeating it. people who don't know anything and aren't inclined to, say, read anything might believe you.

It may be meaningless to you, but its not meaningless to people on the ground in Iraq trying to rebuild the country. In their view, Iraq is not a civil war at this time, and the facts support that conclusion. The NIE does not consider Iraq to be a Civil War. Afghanistan is fundamentally no different than Iraq in regards to this issue, yet, you won't call it a Civil War.

Over the past four years, the military has consistently reported that 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces are relatively peaceful. Opinion polls have shown that the chief concern in these 13 provinces is the lack of services, NOT, the lack of security. Without even getting in to whether the chart posted by deep is even accurate, it does not really dispute those facts.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:08 PM   #45
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Originally posted by Irvine511








[q]US intelligence admits Iraq could be 'civil war'

February 4, 2007

INTELLIGENCE has concluded that key elements of Iraq's violence have risen to the level of "civil war", in a report that the White House says justifies a troop increase and Democrats say is proof of a failed strategy.

Escalating violence between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites met the definition for a civil war but the politically charged term did not describe all the chaos in Iraq, the report said.

Reflecting the consensus views of Washington's intelligence community, the report also suggested that the President's strategy for controlling Iraqi violence must show progress within 12 to 18 months or risk further deterioration.

George Bush plans to send another 21,500 US troops to quell the violence, especially in Baghdad, as part of a joint operation with Iraqi forces. But the National Intelligence Estimate said Iraqi security forces would be hard-pressed to undertake security responsibilities or operate independently against Shiite militias.

Even if violence was reduced, the estimate warned, Iraqi leaders would still have difficulty achieving sustained political reconciliation by mid-2008.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat and 2008 presidential contender, called the report "a devastating repudiation of the President's new tactics in Iraq" and said it showed the "dire need for a political settlement".

But National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called the estimate "a fair statement of the challenge we face in Iraq" and said the intelligence was driving policy, not vice versa.

REUTERS
[/q]
You know, instead of reading what other people say about the released document, why don't you read the document yourself:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/images/02/02/nie.3.pdf


The most important thing one should be taking note of from this report is what it says about the pre-mature withdrawal the democrats so strongly support:


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.
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