This broke at 4PM today!
The Washington post reports (9/11/06)
Situation Called Dire in West Iraq
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.
The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.
One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost."
The "very pessimistic" statement, as one Marine officer called it, was dated Aug. 16 and sent to Washington shortly after that, and has been discussed across the Pentagon and elsewhere in national security circles.
"I don't know if it is a shock wave, but it's made people uncomfortable," said a Defense Department official who has read the report. Like others interviewed about the report, he spoke on the condition that he not be identified by name because of the document's sensitivity.
The Marine intelligence officer offers a series of reasons for the situation, including
- a lack of U.S. and Iraqi troops, a problem that has dogged commanders since the fall of Baghdad more than three years ago, said people who have read it.
- These people said he reported that not only are military operations facing a stalemate, as they are
- unable to extend and sustain security beyond the perimeters of their bases, but also
- local governments in the province have collapsed and the weak central government has almost no presence.
Those conclusions are striking because, even after four years of fighting an unexpectedly difficult war in Iraq, the U.S. military has tended to maintain an optimistic view: that its mission is difficult, but that progress is being made. Although CIA station chiefs in Baghdad have filed negative classified reports over the past several years, military intelligence officials have consistently been more positive, both in public statements and in internal reports.
Call me a mind READER... ButI said (in APRIL of this year(here) that...
- ...snip...George Bush will be forced to admit that he needs to bring back the DRAFT in the US because recruiting rates are so low!
- (What I'd like to see, but likely won't:) 500,000 troops in IRAQ by end of 2006.