on the political uses of intelligence, or our lack thereof...,
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plus good intentions makes it America!...,
Sweet, sweet confirmation of my previously stated bias ("an insignificant, meaningless, chair-shuffling-on-the-titanic 20,000 troop increase"):
"Don't let the quiet fool you," a senior defense official says. "There's still a huge chasm between how the White House views Iraq and how we [in the Pentagon] view Iraq. The White House would like to have you believe the 'surge' has worked, that we somehow defeated the insurgency. That's just ludicrous. There's increasing quiet in Iraq, but that's happened because of our shift in strategy - the 'surge' had nothing to do with it."
As a senior Pentagon official now relates: "The Sunni leader literally picked up the telephone one day and called the ranking colonel at the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF)and pleaded with him, 'I need help and I need it now. Al-Qaeda is killing my tribe'." The marine colonel in question was John Coleman, the chief of staff to the same unit that had gone into Fallujah to fight the insurgency after the killing of four US security contractors in April of 2004.
"Rice was just enraged with Coleman and with the marines," a senior Pentagon officials say. ... The marine commanders in the 1st MEF were under no illusions, a Pentagon official now says - they were "engaged in talks with the insurgents, people who had been killing American soldiers since the fall of Baghdad".
On that last point, you'll remember that everybody in Washington was incoherently vengeful about any such amnesty for insurgents, not just Condi Rice.
I don't, from what I've seen, think it's anymore "quiet" than it was in 2005, which isn't very impressive, for all the military's bare modicum of sanity in negotiating with the insurgency.
:: posted by buermann @ 2008-01-23 14:46:32 CST |