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Old 12-14-2006, 02:04 PM   #346
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Originally posted by STING2
as well the officers, non-commission officers, with multiple tours in Iraq and knowledge of how to wage a counter insurgency effort.


go on and continue to fight the insurgency.

the rest of us will worry about the sectarian strife within the larger context of a Civil War.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:39 AM   #347
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this is really indicative of the arguments put forward.

please go through this thread and point out where anyone has said that the people in Iraq are worse off in Afghanistan. we have different measures to guage this. we can talk about the level of violence, which is certainly worse in Iraq, but as for standard of living, Iraq is better than Afghanistan.

in fact, pretty much any country on the face of the earth is going to look better than Afghanistan when you consider the fact that the country has lived with war since 1979 and was considered a failed state and where the Taliban, arguably the worst government on earth, took over in the 1990s. the bar couldn't be any lower than Afghanistan, and if you need to use freaking Afghanistan to make Iraq look better by comparison, then you're really in trouble.

Iraq was selected for Bush's little democracy-oil-fantasy precisely because Iraq, pre-occupation, was a generally successful society especially for the Middle East. Iraq had roads, schools, a functioning (albeit tyrannical) government, oil, an army, universities, water, electricty -- Afghanistan isn't even comparable to Iraq when it comes to the conventional measures of standard of living.

so the comparison is complete and total crap, and indicative of the lengths we have to stretch to put lipstick on this pig of an invasion.
You have mentioned briefly in other threads that Iraq is the worst place on the planet, but its not regardless of what gauge you use.


While in general its true that Iraq has always had a higher standard of living than Afghanistan, we need to keep in mind the following:


Iraq has had a very difficult time since 1979 as well. 8 years of war with Iran resulted in millions of casualties combined for both countries. The invasion of Kuwait, Gulf War I, sanctions, bombing, and Saddam's brutal policies killed hundreds of thousands of other Iraqi's and ruined much of the country.

What type of society is successful when its "leader" murders 300,000 people in one month? Afghanistan also had roads, schools, water, electricity, Universities, etc. There are parts of Iraq where people live essentially the same way they did 2,000 years ago. There has never been electricity, water, paved roads in these area's and people live in one room structures with their animals.


The better comparison would be how provinces like Dahuk, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, Al Qadisiyah, Maysan, An Najaf are doing now relative to the situation when Saddam was in power. Shia area's no longer feel the crushing grip of Saddam's power or the burden of doing without any humanitarian supplies that Saddam would rarely distribute to them during the sanctions of the 1990s. Resources that were once hoarded by the Sunni population are now more evenly distributed through out the country contributing to a rise in the standard of living in non-Sunni majority area's of the country. But all anyone will hear on the news is the situation in Baghdad and Al Anbar which gets extrapolated to being the situation in Iraq. It gives a very distorted view of the situation for most Iraqi's who do not live in Baghdad or Al Anbar province. The Kurdish provinces are also part of Iraq and wheat yields there have increased more than 40% since last year. A great improvement for a country that has been very dependent in the past on imports to feed the country. GDP is increasing, and people have money to spend as consumer imports of cell phones, computers and other house hold appliances have skyrocketed since the removal of Saddam.

If you want to accurately assess the situation in Iraq, you must consider the conditions in all the provinces, not just two of them. The insurgency and sectarian violence both overlap. They are not two seperate independent things.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #348
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Well heres a solution
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As a culture, however, the West is paralyzed by the specter of civilian casualties, massive or not, that accompanies modern (not high-tech) warfare, and fights accordingly. It may well have been massive civilian casualties in Germany (40,000 dead in Hamburg after one cataclysmic night of “fire-bombing” in 1943, for example) and Japan that helped end World War II in an Allied victory. But this is a price I doubt any Western power would pay for victory today.

So, the military solution — which isn’t the same as boosting ROE-cuffed troop levels in Baghdad — is out, unless or until our desperation level rises to some unsupportably manic level. The great paradox of the “war on terror,” of course, is that as our capacity and desire to protect civilians in warfare grows, our enemy’s capacity and desire to kill civilians as a means of warfare grows also. Our fathers saved us from having to say, “Sieg Heil,” but what’s next — “Allahu akbar”?

Not necessarily. There’s another Middle Eastern strategy to deter expansionist Islam: Get out of the way. Get out of the way of Sunnis and Shi’ites killing each other. As a sectarian conflict more than 1,000 years old, this is not only one fight we didn’t start, but it’s one we can’t end. And why should we? If Iran, the jihad-supporting leader of the Shi’ite world, is being “strangled” by Saudi Arabia, the jihad-supporting leader of the Sunni world, isn’t that good for the Sunni-and-Shiite-terrorized West?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/dwest.htm

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Old 12-16-2006, 04:36 PM   #349
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Originally posted by STING2
[B]

You have mentioned briefly in other threads that Iraq is the worst place on the planet, but its not regardless of what gauge you use.

the violence in baghdad makes it the most dangerous city on earth. please show me another country where 100 civilians are dying a day, and that's on a good month.

and then there's this:

[q]Women Lose Ground in the New Iraq
Once They Were Encouraged to Study and Work; Now Life Is 'Just Like Being in Jail'

By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 16, 2006; A12


BAGHDAD -- Browsing the shelves of a cosmetics store in the Karrada shopping district, Zahra Khalid felt giddy at the sight of Alberto shampoo and Miss Rose eye shadow, blusher and powder.

Before leaving her house, she had covered her body in a billowing black abaya and wrapped a black head scarf around her thick brown hair. She had asked her brother to drive. She had done all the things that a woman living in Baghdad is supposed to do these days to avoid drawing attention to herself.

It was the first time she had left home in two months.

"For a woman, it's just like being in jail," she said. "I can't go anywhere."

Life has become more difficult for most Iraqis since the February bombing of a Shiite Muslim mosque in Samarra sparked a rise in sectarian killings and overall lawlessness. For many women, though, it has become unbearable.

As Islamic fundamentalism seeps into society and sectarian warfare escalates, more and more women live in fear of being kidnapped or raped. They receive death threats because of their religious sects and careers. They are harassed for not abiding by the strict dress code of long skirts and head scarves or for driving cars.

For much of the 20th century, and under various leaders, Iraq was one of the most progressive Middle Eastern countries in its treatment of women, who were encouraged to go to school and enter the workforce. Saddam Hussein's Baath Party espoused a secular Arab nationalism that advocated women's full participation in society. But years of war changed that.

In the days after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, many women were hopeful that they would enjoy greater parity with men. President Bush said that increasing women's rights was essential to creating a new, democratic Iraq.

But interviews with 16 Iraqi women, ranging in age from 21 to 52, show that much of that postwar hope is gone. The younger women say they fear being snatched on their way to school and wonder whether their college degrees will mean anything in the new Iraq. The older women, proud of their education and careers, are watching their independence slip away.

"At the beginning, we were very happy with those achievements and gains, and we were looking for more," said Ina'am al-Sultani, 36, a leader of the Progressive Women's Movement, a nongovernmental organization. "Women are now restrained."

Khalid, 30, whose only visible features as she shopped on a recent day were her round face and long eyelashes, was an accountant at the Planning Ministry until she received a death threat four months ago. She quit, moved to a new home and changed her phone number.

"We're suffering right now," Khalid said, her two sons tugging at her abaya. "The war took all our rights. We're not free because of terrorism."

[/q]
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:28 PM   #350
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Originally posted by STING2

What type of society is successful when its "leader" murders 300,000 people in one month? Afghanistan also had roads, schools, water, electricity, Universities, etc. There are parts of Iraq where people live essentially the same way they did 2,000 years ago. There has never been electricity, water, paved roads in these area's and people live in one room structures with their animals.

And we did not get our panties in a bunch when we courted him as our friend. Let's not equate the feelings that we are not doing enough, nor have we gone about it correctly with support of Saddam.

It was the Republican Party who was in control of the executive branch during the 80's while all of this shite was happening and they did SQUAT until he mistakenly invaded another country after our ambassador fucked up a meeting and had a communication problem.

I am so tired of this line of thinking.

Nobody, not ONE PERSON IN THIS FORUM has ever come out in favor of what Saddam did.

It has been three years there, and from the START it has not gone well, other than the first 48 hours.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:13 AM   #351
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BAGHDAD — In a cavernous room that once displayed gifts given to Saddam Hussein, eight men in yellow prison garb sat on the floor facing the wall, guarded by two American soldiers.

Among them was Abdulla Sultan Khalaf, a Ministry of Industry employee seized by American troops who said they found 10 blasting caps and 100 sticks of TNT. When his name was called, he stood, walked into a cagelike defendant’s box and peered over the wooden slats at a panel of three Iraqi judges of the central court.

The judges reviewed evidence prepared by an American military lawyer — testimony from two soldiers, photographs and a sketch of the scene.

The evidence went largely unchallenged, because Mr. Khalaf had no lawyer. The judges appointed one, but Mr. Khalaf had no chance to speak with him. Mr. Khalaf told the judges that the soldiers were probably chasing a rogue nephew and denied that the explosives were his or ever in his house. “Let me examine the pictures,” he insisted. The judges ignored him. His lawyer said nothing, beyond declaring Mr. Khalaf’s innocence. The trial lasted 15 minutes.

The judges conducted six trials of similar length and depth before lunch, then deliberated for four minutes. Five defendants were found guilty; one was acquitted. “The evidence is enough,” Judge Saeb Khorsheed Ahmed said in convicting Mr. Khalaf. “Thirty years.”
The more I read, the more disgusted, saddened, ashamed, embarassed I become.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:16 PM   #352
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Originally posted by Varitek
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The more I read, the more disgusted, saddened, ashamed, embarassed I become.
You and me both.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:24 PM   #353
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


And we did not get our panties in a bunch when we courted him as our friend. Let's not equate the feelings that we are not doing enough, nor have we gone about it correctly with support of Saddam.

It was the Republican Party who was in control of the executive branch during the 80's while all of this shite was happening and they did SQUAT until he mistakenly invaded another country after our ambassador fucked up a meeting and had a communication problem.

I am so tired of this line of thinking.

Nobody, not ONE PERSON IN THIS FORUM has ever come out in favor of what Saddam did.

It has been three years there, and from the START it has not gone well, other than the first 48 hours.
The points I was making had NOTHING to do with "equating feelings that we are not doing enough, nor have we gone about it correctly with support of Saddam". It was to point out that Iraq, like Afghanistan had a very difficult time prior to 2001 which makes rebuilding the country difficult. The specific event I refered to above did not happen in the 1980s, but in March 1991.


Saddam was never a friend. His invasion of Iran in the early years nearly led to his defeat which would have endangered Kuwait, Arabia and other Gulf States to the south. 5 Billion dollars, a fraction of the 100 Billion dollars given to Saddam in the 80s to fight the war, plus trucks, grain, transport helicopters, intelligence, and supplies. The Reagan administration did not build up Saddam, the Soviets did. Iraq was a Soviet client state, and received over 65% of its weapon systems from the Soviet Union, 20% from China, and the rest from other countries, the United States not being one of them.

Saddam was invading Kuwait regardless of what the US Ambassodor said or did not say. Saddam fully anticipated a conflict with the United States over Kuwait in which he thought he could defeat the United States by inflicting significant casualties. Overruning Kuwait did not require the massive numbers of tanks and troops that were initially sent which further shows his intentions of engaging in a much larger conflict.


Its been nearly 4 years now, and yes there have been many mistakes in Iraq, but also many accomplishments. Relative to other conflicts in history, especially those involving a nation building and counter insurgency task, the Iraq conflict is on the right track. In terms of cost, on the money front, the country is spending a smaller percentage of its GDP on defense/Iraq/Afganistan, than it spent on defense in the peacetime of the 1980s. In terms of cost, 4 years after the introdution of ground combat units into Vietnam the United States had suffered 30,000 Killed in action, while in Iraq, US Killed in action has been roughly 10% of that figure. The re-taking of falluja was so successful that it has re-written the rules on urban warfare. There are many things that have gone very well in Iraq relative to past conflicts the United States has been involved in.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:55 PM   #354
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Its been nearly 4 years now, and yes there have been many mistakes in Iraq,
Just wanted to keep this on record...
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:35 PM   #355
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It's hard for me to believe that people are still claiming that we're winning in Iraq. The place is a messed up cesspool, terrorists all over the place.............and we're still winnning? Yeah, sure...............
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:41 AM   #356
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Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it's doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006. The World Bank has it lower: at 4 percent this year. But, given all the attention paid to deteriorating security, the startling fact is that Iraq is growing at all.

How? Iraq is a crippled nation growing on the financial equivalent of steroids, with money pouring in from abroad. National oil revenues and foreign grants look set to total $41 billion this year, according to the IMF. With security improving in one key spot—the southern oilfields—that figure could go up.

Not too shabby, all things considered. Yes, Iraq's problems are daunting, to say the least. Unemployment runs between 30 and 50 percent. Many former state industries have all but ceased to function. As for all that money flowing in, much of it has gone to things that do little to advance the country's future. Security, for instance, gobbles up as much as a third of most companies' operating budgets, whereas what Iraq really needs are hospitals, highways and power-generating plants.

Even so, there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq. Partly it's the trickle-down effect. However it's spent, whether on security or something else, money circulates. Nor are ordinary Iraqis themselves short on cash. After so many years of living under sanctions, with little to consume, many built up considerable nest eggs—which they are now spending. That's boosted economic activity, particularly in retail. Imported goods have grown increasingly affordable, thanks to the elimination of tariffs and trade barriers. Salaries have gone up more than 100 percent since the fall of Saddam, and income-tax cuts (from 45 percent to just 15 percent) have put more cash in Iraqi pockets. "The U.S. wanted to create the conditions in which small-scale private enterprise could blossom," says Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk at Global Insight. "In a sense, they've succeeded."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16241340/site/newsweek/
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:12 PM   #357
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Originally posted by verte76
It's hard for me to believe that people are still claiming that we're winning in Iraq. The place is a messed up cesspool, terrorists all over the place.............and we're still winnning? Yeah, sure...............
Yea same here.

Either these people have too much of an ego to admit they were wrong, or they are just plain stupid.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:28 AM   #358
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More crimes against human rights, the constitution, and individual American citizens:

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One night in mid-April, the steel door clanked shut on detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military’s maximum-security detention site in Baghdad.

American guards arrived at the man’s cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.

....

The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.

....

On April 15, feeling threatened, Mr. Vance phoned the United States Embassy in Baghdad. A military rescue team rushed to the security company. Again, Mr. Vance described its operations, according to military records.

“Internee Vance indicated a large weapons cache was in the compound in the house next door,” Capt. Plymouth D. Nelson, a military detention official, wrote in a memorandum dated April 22, after the men were detained. “A search of the house and grounds revealed two large weapons caches.”

On the evening of April 15, they met with American officials at the embassy and stayed overnight. But just before dawn, they were awakened, handcuffed with zip ties and made to wear goggles with lenses covered by duct tape. Put into a Humvee, Mr. Vance said he asked for a vest and helmet, and was refused.

....

Their legal rights, laid out in a letter from Lt. Col. Bradley J. Huestis of the Army, the president of the status board, allowed them to attend the hearing and testify. However, under Rule 3, the letter said, “You do not have the right to legal counsel, but you may have a personal representative assist you at the hearing if the personal representative is reasonably available.”

Mr. Vance and Mr. Ertel were permitted at their hearings only because they were Americans, Lieutenant Fracasso said. The cases of all other detainees are reviewed without the detainees present, she said. In both types of cases, defense lawyers are not allowed to attend because the hearings are not criminal proceedings, she said.

Lieutenant Fracasso said that currently there were three Americans in military custody in Iraq. The military does not identify detainees.

Mr. Vance and Mr. Ertel had separate hearings. They said their requests to be each other’s personal representative had been denied.

....

On May 7, the Camp Cropper detention board met again, without either man present, and determined that Mr. Ertel was “an innocent civilian,” according to the spokeswoman for detention operations. It took authorities 18 more days to release him.

....

The military has never explained why it continued to consider Mr. Vance a security threat, except to say that officials decided to release him after further review of his case.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:03 AM   #359
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General John Abazaid just had a very important testimony before congress a few weeks ago where he defended the current strategy and mentioned he had just recently discussed the issue with ALL the divisional commanders in Iraq. Gates has yet to consult them, but has said their views will play the biggest role in his recomendations to the president. These are not 2004 assements, a year I might add that saw the insurgency at its peak, and US casaulty levels at their highest.



and then we have this ...



[q]White House, Joint Chiefs At Odds on Adding Troops
By Robin Wright and Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A01

The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.

Sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eight months is one of the central proposals on the table of the White House policy review to reverse the steady deterioration in Iraq. The option is being discussed as an element in a range of bigger packages, the officials said.

But the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House review is not public.

The chiefs have taken a firm stand, the sources say, because they believe the strategy review will be the most important decision on Iraq to be made since the March 2003 invasion.

At regular interagency meetings and in briefing President Bush last week, the Pentagon has warned that any short-term mission may only set up the United States for bigger problems when it ends. The service chiefs have warned that a short-term mission could give an enormous edge to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq -- including al-Qaeda's foreign fighters, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias -- without giving an enduring boost to the U.S military mission or to the Iraqi army, the officials said.

The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops, the officials said.

The informal but well-armed Shiite militias, the Joint Chiefs have also warned, may simply melt back into society during a U.S. surge and wait until the troops are withdrawn -- then reemerge and retake the streets of Baghdad and other cities.

Even the announcement of a time frame and mission -- such as for six months to try to secure volatile Baghdad -- could play to armed factions by allowing them to game out the new U.S. strategy, the chiefs have warned the White House.

The idea of a much larger military deployment for a longer mission is virtually off the table, at least so far, mainly for logistics reasons, say officials familiar with the debate. Any deployment of 40,000 to 50,000 would force the Pentagon to redeploy troops who were scheduled to go home.[/q]
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:05 AM   #360
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[q]Pentagon Cites Success Of Anti-U.S. Forces in Iraq
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A01

The Pentagon said yesterday that violence in Iraq soared this fall to its highest level on record and acknowledged that anti-U.S. fighters have achieved a "strategic success" by unleashing a spiral of sectarian killings by Sunni and Shiite death squads that threatens Iraq's political institutions.

In its most pessimistic report yet on progress in Iraq, the Pentagon described a nation listing toward civil war, with violence at record highs of 959 attacks per week, declining public confidence in government and "little progress" toward political reconciliation.

"The violence has escalated at an unbelievably rapid pace," said Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, director of strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who briefed journalists on the report. "We have to get ahead of that violent cycle, break that continuous chain of sectarian violence. . . . That is the premier challenge facing us now."

The rapid spread of violence this year has thrown the government's future into jeopardy, Pentagon officials said.

"The tragedy of Iraq is that in February in Samarra, the insurgents achieved what one could call a partial strategic success -- namely, to trigger what we've been dealing with ever since, which is a cycle of sectarian violence, that indeed is shaking the institutions," Peter W. Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said at the briefing.

He was referring to the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya mosque, a holy Shiite shrine, in the ethnically mixed city of Samarra north of Baghdad.

Rodman said insurgent efforts to derail the political process, which he called "the strategic prize," had previously failed. But in 2006, he said, insurgents succeeded in hampering the new government from "getting on its feet."

The 50-page Pentagon report, mandated quarterly by Congress, also stated for the first time that the Shiite militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has replaced al-Qaeda as "the most dangerous" force propelling Iraq toward civil war, as Shiite militants kill more civilians than do terrorists.

And this report, unlike the prior one, omitted any explicit statement that Iraq is not in a civil war. Sunni and Shiite militias, aided at times by government forces, are gaining legitimacy by protecting neighborhoods and providing relief supplies, it said.

"The situation in Iraq is far more complex than the term 'civil war' implies," said the report, titled "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq." "Conditions that could lead to civil war do exist," it said, but added that the Iraqi government, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, "could mitigate further movement toward civil war and curb sectarian violence."

Driven by sectarian fighting, and a Ramadan surge, attack levels in Iraq hit record highs in all categories nationwide as the number of U.S. and coalition casualties surged 32 percent from mid-August to mid-November, compared with the previous three months, the report said. Over the same period, the number of attacks per week rose 22 percent, from 784 to 959.

Iraqi civilian casualties also increased, "almost entirely the result of murders and executions," the report said. Since January, before the mosque bombing, ethno-sectarian executions rose from 180 to 1,028 in October; ethno-sectarian incidents rose from 63 to 996 over the same period.

The escalation of violence in Iraq comes despite increased troop levels -- including a higher-than-anticipated U.S. force level of 140,000 troops and a growing contingent of Iraqi security forces, which this month are projected to reach the goal of 325,000 trained and equipped.

The report noted problems with Iraqi forces, however, saying the number of soldiers and police actually "present for duty" is far lower than the number trained and equipped.

Subtracting those Iraqi forces killed and wounded, and those who have quit the force, only 280,000 are "available for duty," Sattler said. About 30 percent of that number are "on leave" at a time, he said, leaving fewer than 196,000 on the job.

Iraqi police forces in particular are increasingly corrupt, according to the report, which says that some police in Baghdad have supported Shiite death squads. The police "facilitated freedom of movement and provided advance warning of upcoming operations," it said. "This is a major reason for the increased levels of murders and executions."

As a result of mass defections or police units being pulled off duty, the number of Iraqi police battalions rated as having "lead responsibility" in their areas fell from six to two, the report said, although officials said that number has since increased.

The Iraqi army has steadily increased the number of its battalions in the lead, from 57 in May to 91 in November, although some units have experienced high attrition when ordered to deploy to different regions of Iraq, such as Baghdad and Anbar.

Sattler implied that no number of U.S. or Iraqi troops would be great enough to quash the revenge killings. "I don't know how many forces you could push into a country, either U.S. or coalition or Iraqi forces, that could cover the entire country, where these death squads wouldn't find somebody," he said.

Indeed, the report documented that major U.S. and Iraqi military operations in the fall did not quell sectarian violence in Baghdad. Attacks dipped in August, but rebounded strongly in September after death squads adapted to the increased U.S. and Iraqi presence.

Asked in light of that whether they supported a surge of thousands of U.S. troops into Baghdad, one of several options under consideration by a White House review of Iraq strategy, Sattler and Rodman declined to offer an opinion. The report said the U.S. military plans to steadily pull out of cities and consolidate its bases. Meanwhile, the remaining 16 of Iraq's 18 provinces are expected to be placed under Iraqi government control in 2007.

At the same time, Iraqi public concern about a civil war has grown, while confidence in the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has dropped significantly as his efforts at political reconciliation have shown "little progress," the report said.

Nationwide, 60 percent of Iraqi people expressed a perception of worsening security conditions.

The sectarian violence has also led to an increasing number of internal refugees, as about 460,000 people have been displaced since February, the report said, citing Iraqi statistics. The United Nations estimates that more than 3,000 Iraqis are leaving the country each day.[/q]
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