Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Brawling for al Anbar province

The Washington Post and the New York Times have reported on a dire intelligence analysis by a Marine colonel concerning al Anbar province. The Times reported that the colonel requested about 16,000 additional troops to combat the insurgency. This from NBC (my emphasis):
The Marine intelligence report says there were never enough American troops in al-Anbar from the beginning. In fact, one senior military official tells NBC News it would take 50,000-60,000 more U.S. ground forces to secure al-Anbar, and that's not going to happen.
The present strength in al Anbar is 30,000 troops.

The Los Angeles Times reports on Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer's reaction to the classified report. He noted that the report was not intended to analyze the entire province -- which would include rebuilding efforts, but rather was an analysis of the insurgency. The Times recounts:
The general acknowledged that two key objectives — training Iraqi forces and establishing a functioning local government — lagged in the vast, strategically vital province.

The general was called in to rebut reports, first published this week in the Washington Post, that a secret Marine intelligence assessment last month had concluded that the prospects for securing Al Anbar were dim. The province covers nearly one-third of Iraq.
Pay very close attention to this quote (my emphasis):
Zilmer did not dispute the intelligence appraisal: "I have seen that report, and I do concur with that assessment." But he argued that it had been misinterpreted in media accounts.

"It was not intended to address the positive effects coalition and Iraqi forces have achieved on the security environment over the past years," the general said in a statement released Tuesday.
He concurs with the assessment, yet does not see a need for more troops?

There is also this from The Australian:
SUNNI leaders in al-Anbar province, long a bastion of resistance to the American presence in Iraq, are urging the American military to arm tribes against al-Qa'ida, which is viewed as the most powerful force in the area.

They believe that this is now the best way to bring peace to the province that includes the violence-plagued cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

In March 2003, the only (relatively) secular regime of the Middle-East was deliberately destroyed by Bushmert, and replaced by a “democratic” government controlled by two ultra-fundamentalist Shiite terrorist groups armed and trained by Iran:

1) The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (known by its less aggressive acronym of SCIRI)

2) The Da’awa Party (The “Party of Islamic Predication and Holy War” in Arabic)

In the past 3 years, government-backed Shiite death squads have proceeded to massacre thousands of Sunni and Christian civilians across Iraq, while US troops just sat back and watched…

The civil war has already started…
And I’m afraid you can’t blame the Sunnis of Anbar, Tickrit and Mossoul for this terrible tragedy.

11:38 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

We've unleashed hell.

What do you think of Senator Graham's speech this week? He's hardly prone to bombastic partinsanship.

11:56 AM  

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