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Ear to the Ground

Marines’ Intel Chief: West Iraq Situation Dire

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Posted on Sep 11, 2006

The chief of intelligence for the Marines in Iraq, a man known for straight-shooting, wrote in a secret report that there is almost nothing U.S. forces can do to prevent the western section of Iraq from descending into total lawlessness.


Washington Post:

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.”

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By demanding accountability from our generals, September 13, 2006 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/12/dobbs.Sept13/index.html


Dobbs: Patience favors the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan


By Lou Dobbs
CNN
NEW YORK (CNN)—While American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting some of the most intense battles of the war against radical Islamic terrorists, our national debate on the future of the conflict has descended to platitudes of campaign rhetoric and a pathological, partisan refusal on both sides of that debate to acknowledge the harsh realities and difficult choices that confront us.

Five years after the September 11 attacks, President Bush told the nation in his televised address, “If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons.” Whether right or wrong, President Bush did not tell us how we will defeat these unspecified and unnamed enemies, nor when.

In response to the president’s address, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, “The American people deserved better last night. They deserved a chance to reclaim that sense of unity, purpose and patriotism that swept through our country five years ago.”

But like President Bush, Sen. Reid had no recommendations for defeating our enemies in this conflict. Sen. Reid is right that the American people deserve better. They deserve better from both political parties and our national leadership.

Nearly 140,000 of our troops are in combat to eradicate a steadfast insurgency in Iraq, while 20,000 of our brave men and women fight to defeat the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. Nearly 2,700 of our troops have been killed in Iraq and almost 300 of our troops have been killed in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban is strengthening every day and adopting the Iraqi insurgency’s tactics. The Taliban has begun using suicide bombs, roadside bombs and other tactics seldom seen in Afghanistan. Suicide bombings, for example, were once very rare in Afghanistan, but so far this year there have been some 70 suicide attacks, and NATO says today those attacks have killed more than 170 people. The commander of British forces in Afghanistan says that the intensity of the fighting there is greater than that in Iraq.

In Iraq, the insurgency is intensifying: violence is worsening, not lessening. And on average, two of our troops are killed each and every day.

Last week, the Senate voted unanimously to spend $63 billion more to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That brings the total amount appropriated to conduct both wars to more than $469 billion. That’s more than twice the Bush administration’s original estimate of $100 - $200 billion for the war in Iraq, but far less than the estimate from Nobel Laureate economist and Columbia professor Joseph Stiglitz. Along with Harvard professor Linda Bilmes, Stiglitz projects the war in Iraq will cost more than $1 trillion.

Neither the Bush administration nor the loyal Democratic opposition is speaking to the American people about how these wars will be won and at what cost. After almost five years in Afghanistan and more than three years in Iraq, I believe the American people, and certainly our men and women in uniform, deserve more than partisan rancor and false choices.

The American people cannot be reasonably asked by this president or this secretary of defense to “stay the course” without evidence of a strategy to successfully prosecute the war and defeat the radical Islamist enemy. Otherwise, why are we there? The loyal opposition on Capitol Hill cannot reasonably ask the American people to elect them without articulating a clear new direction and offering a concrete plan for victory. Otherwise, why do we even have a loyal opposition?

Both the White House and Congress should be demanding accountability from our generals who have failed so far to succeed in destroying our enemies.

*********************************************
Not a single general has been fired for failing to lead our men and women to victory against the insurgencies of Iraq and Afghanistan.
**********************************************


I believe it is time for all Americans—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—to demand such accountability.

I, for one, do not want to hear another of our generals urge the American people to be patient. Patience favors the enemy. And our generals have the responsibility to our brave troops and this nation to deliver certain victory, and that responsibility rests first and foremost with the commander in chief.

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By Controls & Progress in Anbar, September 13, 2006 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” dire state of Anbar “

Most deaths of soldiers are from that area of which is 1/3 of IRAQ’s land mass:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/iraq_pol_2004.jpg

http://icasualties.org/oif/Details.aspx

 

2906 09/12/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Army Multi-National Division – Baghdad Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Baghdad Not reported yet Not reported yet Not


  2905 09/11/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Army Soldier assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire Al Anbar Province Not reported yet Not reported yet US


  2904 09/10/06 Jordan, Alexander Specialist 31 U.S. Army 4th BN, 23rd Infantry Reg, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire Baghdad Miami Florida US


  2903 09/09/06 Benson, Johnathan Corporal 21 U.S. Marine 3rd BN, 5th Marine Reg, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Brooke Army Med Center, TX North Branch Minnesota US


  2902 09/09/06 Seig, Anthony P. Private 1st Class 19 U.S. Army 118th Military Police Company, 519th Military Police BN, 16th Military Poli Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire Baghdad Sunman Indiana US


  2901 09/08/06 Gordon, David W. Sergeant 23 U.S. Army 3rd BN, 16th Field Artillery Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th INF DIV Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Baghdad (south of) Williamsfield Ohio US


  2900 09/07/06 Montes, Luis A. Sergeant 22 U.S. Army 1st BN, 22nd INF REG, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th INF DIV Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Brooke Army Med Center, TX El Centro California US


  2899 09/07/06 Frassetto, Vincent M. Private 1st Class 21 U.S. Marine 1st BN, 10th Marine Reg, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force Hostile - hostile fire Al Anbar Province Toms River New Jersey US


  2898 09/07/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   British Army 12th regiment of the Royal Artillery Hostile - hostile fire Al Qurna Not reported yet Not reported yet UK


  2897 09/06/06 Shank, Jeremy R. Private 1st Class 18 U.S. Army 2nd BN, 27th INF REG, 3rd Brigade, 25th INF DIV Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire Hawijah (died in Balad) Jackson Missouri US


  2896 09/06/06 Carroll, John A. Sergeant 26 U.S. Army 1st BN, 6th INF REG, 1st Armored Division Hostile - hostile fire Ramadi Ponca City Oklahoma US


  2895 09/06/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Marine 1st Marine Logistics Group Hostile - hostile fire Al Anbar Province Not reported yet Not reported yet US


  2894 09/04/06 Gutierrez, Marshall A. Lieutenant Colonel 41 U.S. Army Area Support Group Non-hostile Camp Virginia Not reported yet New Mexico US


  2893 09/04/06 Debro, Germaine L. Sergeant 33 U.S. Army National Guard 1st Squadron, 167th Cavalry Regiment Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Balad Omaha Nebraska US


  2892 09/04/06 Walsh, Christopher Petty Officer 2nd Class 30 U.S. Naval Reserve 3rd BN, 24th Reg, 4th Marine Division Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Fallujah St. Louis Missouri US


  2891 09/04/06 Valdepenas, Eric P. Lance Corporal 21 U.S. Marine Reserve 1st BN, 25th Marine Reg, 4th Marine Division Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Fallujah Seekonk Massachusetts US


  2890 09/04/06 Vanua, Samuela Gunner 27 British Army 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire, IED Ad Dayr Suva Fiji UK


  2889 09/04/06 Gunterman, Hannah L. Private 1st Class 20 U.S. Army 542nd Maintenance Company, 44th Corps Support BN Non-hostile Taji Redlands California US


  2888 09/04/06 Shoemaker, Jared M. Corporal 29 U.S. Marine Reserve 1st BN, 25th Marine Reg, 4th Marine Division Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack Fallujah Tulsa Oklahoma US


  2887 09/04/06 Wright, Stephen Gunner 20 British Army 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery

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