Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 12, 2006; Page A19
"The Pentagon is taking "very seriously" a classified intelligence report concluding that the U.S. military has fought to a stalemate in Iraq’s western Anbar province as political conditions also worsen in the "epicenter" of the country’s Sunni insurgency, a senior defense official said yesterday.
In congressional testimony on security in Iraq, Pentagon officials also said the rise of "ethno-sectarian violence" has laid the conditions for civil war, aborting plans by U.S. commanders to begin withdrawing U.S. troops. Gaps in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces leave open the prospect that U.S. forces may have to stay in the country for as many as five or more years, they said. " Washpost
"has laid the conditions for civil war" Who do these people think they are kidding? How many angels will have to dance on pinheads for these people to force themselves to use the "CW" words? Clearly the administration believes that the use of those two words will trigger a dispute, debate and massive revulsion on the part of the American public at the thought that their armed forces are mixed up in someone else’s Civil War. This is inherently dishonest and the longer the administration keeps doing this, the less confidence and trust the people will place in them.
"stalemate in Iraq’s western Anbar province" Stalemate? To quote "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. "We got the hell beaten out of us.." He was talking about Burma in WW2. So far as I know, no American units have been defeated in Anbar, although this is becoming a possibility, but the USA has taken a real "beating" in our failure to pacify the huge western province of Iraq.
In fact, the virulence of the Islamist presence in Anbar threatens to make the province into a "redoubt area" in which AQ in Iraq is the strongest player in spite of the small numbers of foreign fighters on the ground there.
The repeated attempts by coalition and Iraqi forces to pacify Baghdad, itself, has exacerbated the scarcity of military resources available for Anbar.
There have never been enough troops in Iraq. This continues to be true. Bremer’s decree abolishing an army that could have been reformed into something useful to the coalition is largely responsible for this situation. But, then, as he is reputed to have said of that decree, "I have my instructions…"