"…his bottom line is that the U.S. military is in "strategic peril" — a sharp contrast to his previous views. In 2005, he concluded in a similar report that "momentum is now clearly with the Iraqi government and coalition security forces." In a 2006 assessment, he wrote: "It was very encouraging for me to see the progress achieved in the past year."
The retired general, who on his latest visit also interviewed a U.S. intelligence official and some Iraqi officers, is especially critical of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It is "despised" by the Sunnis, he writes, is seen as "untrustworthy and incompetent" by the Kurds, and now enjoys "little credibility among the Shia populations from which it emerged."
The government lacks dominance in every province, he added. One result is that "no Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat, reporter, foreign NGO [nongovernmental organization], nor contractor can walk the streets of Baghdad, nor Mosul, nor Kirkuk, nor Basra, nor Tikrit, nor Najaf, nor Ramadi, without heavily armed protection."
Militias and armed bands are "in some ways more capable of independent operations" than the Iraqi army, he added." McCaffery
It is late in "the game" for Mccaffery to "get religion" but it is welcome news that this well respected (if not liked) soldier has finally gotten past the psychological barrier that causes so many senior officers to insult the public’s intelligence by indulging themselves in the boosterism and "rah!-rah!" talk that evidently makes them feel that they are still "on the team." (and likely to continue to be "consulted") This man is highly intelligent and skilled. It took him all this time to figure out the god-awful mess that US policy has made of Iraq and the Middle East? I hope his students at USMA will take note of both the accuracy of his present analysis and the egregious crap that he has been shoveling until now. Perhaps a few more officers need to "examine their conscience" about this matter. pl