Friday 2nd of December 2022

capt'n turd blossom & mate .....

capt'n turd blossom & mate .....

US report slams security in Iraq

There has been another sobering assessment about Iraq, with a new report saying the country's security forces will not be able to operate on their own within the next 18 months.

The independent study was done by 20 retired senior military officers and chiefs of police at the request of the US Congress.

It says while the Iraqi Army shows promise, it will not be able to take over security on its own within the next 12 to 18 months.

The leaked review also says the Iraqi national police are ill-equipped and infiltrated by militia members and it recommends disbanding the force and starting over.

But the most anticipated assessment of the Iraq war will come next week, when the top US Commander, General David Petraeus, testifies before Congress.

General Petraeus has suggested he would recommend a cut in US troop numbers around March when he delivers his testimony.

He said it was still very dangerous in Iraq, but President George W Bush's deployment of 30,000 extra soldiers this year had produced an "initiative in general against Al Qaeda, which is a change and that is an important change".

In Sydney for the APEC summit, Mr Bush said he saw signs of progress in Iraq on both the military and political fronts and again held out the possibility of a cut in troop numbers from the current 160,000.

US Report Slams Security In Iraq

kickin' ass .....

Last week, General David Betrayus alleged a 75 percent reduction in "sectarian violence" in Iraq and is expected to say the same before Congress. In contrast, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recently reported that daily attacks in Iraq have "remained unchanged" throughout the escalation.

The Washington Post reports today that national security analysts are questioning the military's statistics. National Intelligence Estimate authors, Iraq Study Group members, intelligence officials, and academics now "accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators." Brookings Institution analyst Michael O'Hanlon, however, attacked the GAO and lauded the Pentagon's distortions. In an analysis only he could offer, O'Hanlon rips the GAO report for being both "overly rigorous" and "flat-out sloppy." Ironically, while O'Hanlon bashes the GAO when he doesn't like what it says, his very own Iraq Index borrows heavily from GAO research to report on the situation on the ground. A senior military intelligence official attributed the Pentagon's citation of the drastic reduction in violence "to a desire to provide Petraeus with ammunition for his congressional testimony."

Though General Betrayus has told bushit that: “he wants to maintain heightened troop levels in Iraq well into next year," a senior U.S. official says the general is willing to consider a slight drawdown of "between 3,500 and 4,500 U.S. troops from Iraq early next year."

bushit's custer .....

General David Betrayus, the commander of US forces in Iraq, has always shown exceptional skill in impressing American politicians and journalists with his military abilities. On Monday he will be listened to with immense respect in Congress as he reports on how far the "surge" – the increase in the number of US troops in Iraq by 30,000 – has positively affected the war in Iraq.

It is a measure of Betrayus's political skills that he was promoted to his present position despite being responsible in part for two of the greatest debacles of the Iraq war. In 2003/4 it was Betrayus who was in charge of securing Mosul, the third largest Iraqi city, from the insurgents, and his strategy of conciliating the Sunni and former Baath party members was lauded by the US media. But nine months after he left, the insurgents captured Mosul; the police appointed by Betrayus fled or changed sides, and $41m worth of weapons were lost.

In the same year Betrayus was given the crucial job of overseeing the training and expansion of Iraq's new army, and again he produced glowing reports of progress. But three years later the army he was charged with turning into an effective fighting force is notoriously incapable and corrupt. In addition, Betrayus failed to observe that almost the entire Iraqi procurement budget of $1.2bn was being embezzled, and Iraqi soldiers were forced to rely on obsolete and inadequate weaponry.

It is the discrepancy between General Betrayus's performance as a general in Iraq (he had seen no combat before 2003) and his rapid elevation to overall US commander that has led his critics to portray him as a courtier-soldier whose victories are won in TV interviews or in Washington.

David Petraeus: General Surge

you say APEC and ...

Masters and commanders

Japan's Floundering Abe Fights for Floating Gas Station
Refueling Operation Is Vulnerable to Domestic Power Plays

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, September 8, 2007; A09

TOKYO, Sept. 7 -- For the election-battered, scandal-plagued and competence-challenged government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it has come down to this: If he cannot keep a floating gas station open in the Indian Ocean, Abe may be finished as the leader of Japan.

The high-seas refueling operation has been Japan's principal contribution to the war in Afghanistan. Over the past six years, Japanese military tanker ships cruising far from home have pumped more than 127 million gallons of fuel, free of charge, much of it into U.S. warships hunting for terrorists and smugglers.

Yet in recent weeks the gas station has become a political cudgel. Emboldened by polls showing that about half of the Japanese public wants the fueling operation stopped, a surging opposition party has seized on the issue as a way of felling Abe, who has been in office less than a year.

The Democratic Party of Japan clobbered the prime minister's ruling party in a July election and took control of the upper house of the legislature. Forcing Abe to halt fuel deliveries would be a highly visible way for the opposition to demonstrate the prime minister's political infirmity to a public that, according to polls, already doubts his judgment on appointees and his administrative competence.

As they try to fight back, Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are hobbled by low poll numbers and prickly domestic problems of their own creation.

A champion of strong ties between Japan and the United States, Abe argues that giving fuel to Americans and other allies shows the world that Japan is a reliable partner in fighting terrorism. "We must do everything we can to somehow continue this operation that is regarded highly by the international community," he said this week.

These are bumpy times, though, for Japan's traditionally close relationship with the United States. Polls show the growing unpopularity of the Bush administration, of its war in Iraq and of a U.S.-Japan tie that is widely perceived as one of master and servant.

Political inconvenience...

Iraq war was about oil: Greenspan  

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his new book, says the US went to war in Iraq motivated largely by oil.

Greenspan said: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

--------------------

Gus: see cartoon at the head of this line of blogs...