One thing that sticks out in this article is the quote at the bottom of the post: "... insurgents (and terrorists) were those who cannot be changed, who cannot be influenced..." This paints a very hopeless picture when viewed in light of another quote from Chiarelli (not in this article) that "for every one I kill or capture, I create another ten insurgents." So we create ten insurgents for every one that we kill and we cannot change or influence them once they become insurgents? One of the two quotes has got to be wrong or we're totally screwed.
Have you read the article? It doesn't sound all that down and out to me.
We are currently winning in Iraq right now. Problem is thanks to the Junk Media and the Treason of the Democrat Party Leadership most Americans have no clue how well the mission is actually going.
It is incredibly odd how Democrats, via their mouthpieces in the Junk Media, demand a level of perfection in Military operations that NO Journalist or Politician could ever live up to in their own professional spheres. ODD how Americans, who expect a very high level of incompetent in their government, their media, themselves are so surprised and scotched to discover war does work the way their two hour Hollywood action movies told them it did. So they get "war weary" rapidly. It is one of the biggest Achilles heels of US Foreign Policy. Our foes count on us getting bored with it all and going home. I guess we could call it the American Publics Policy Attention Deficit Disorder.
Counter Terrorism (or Counter Insurgency) is as much about politics as it is about war. Conventional Military often find them incredibly frustrating because they are usually a case of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, pause, repeat. Conventional Military people think in terms of go there, kill them, wreck their stuff, make them stop pissing us off. Counter Insurgency does not work that way. Counter Insurgency works by making the local political structure strong enough to contain or beak the Insurgency. THAT is a slow painful process.
It is made a lot hard in Iraq by the hyper negative Media coverage and excessive nonsense spewed out by Domestic Politicians using the war because they think it will help them politically. I suspect that if we win Nov 7th, the Iraq mission is won. By 2009 the Iraqis political structure will be strong enough to stand on its own with minimal US support. Probably Iraq security forces stiffened with US SOF support teams.
Here is a respond I wrote about Woodward's latest attempt to be the new Kitty Kelly. The data applies here fits this thread
Here is the raw data on Iraq. Seems Bob Woodward latest work is simply a regurgitation of every falsehood, half truth and exaggeration present by the Junk Media on Iraq since 2003.
In a vain attempt to falsely validate preconceived notions, Mr Woodward demonstrated how the Left has managed to be wrong on every aspect of the Iraq War. Mr Woodward's central thesis is that attacks are "as high as they have ever been". Perhaps that is true. Even if true those attacks are getting less and less effective. If conditions are worsening why were the Iraqis taking higher monthly casualties in 2004 and 2005 with a smaller force?
Simply put BW, like the rest of the American Political Left is full of it. They have had their minds made up about Iraq from even before the war started. In his latest work it is clear Mr Woodward simply went to find people who would say what he wanted to hear. It is also becoming apparent that when he did not hear what he wanted, Mr Woodward simply misquoting the source to put his Democrat Party Masters spin on the data. Apparently this current book is his act of atonement to the DC Establishment for writing a fairly balanced book on President Bush last time.
If you chart the data at the sources above, you see a base line of violence. While the violence ebbs and flows the base line is steady at 65 Coalition casualties a month. The Iraqis are averaging a steady 200 casualties a month. No sustained rise in baseline casualties to validate the "Iraq is heading for Civil War" Democrat Media Machine spin.
What is particularly significant about the Iraqi Security Forces casualties is they are averaging the same casualty levels with a much larger force. As of Aug 2006 there is a 300,000 Iraqi security force in the field with about 5,000 being added a month. By the end of the year the Iraqi Security Forces will be complete fielded. Right now out of 18 provinces in Iraq only 2 are considered "not ready" for transition to Iraqi control. Of course the two provinces are Anbar, the province along the Syrian border and Basrah the Shi'a stronghold along the border with Iran. Yet even in both those areas significant progress has been made just in September 2006 alone.
In Anbar the Iraqi tribes have entered into an agreement to work with the Iraqi Government to root out the foreign terrorist groups. In Basrah, the British and Iraqi forces just started operations to crack down on the Shi'a militias.
Iraq: British, Iraq troops begin Basra mission http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1709154/posts
Most Tribes in Anbar Agree to Unite Against Insurgents (The NY Times is deeply saddened)
This data totally undercuts the spin presented by Bob Woodward, and other Democrat Party propagandists, that Iraq is "heading for Civil War" or is "spinning out of control". What Woodward et all seem to fixate on is Iraqi Civilian casualties. What they forget is a terrorist or a militia member killed in intra tribal gang warfare is considered "an Iraqi civilian casualty". So when you hear a news story that says "40 bodies discovered around Baghdad" MOST of them are probably casualties from gang on gang violence. While that violence is an on growing crises we and the Iraqis will have to deal with, it is not a fundamental threat to the long term survival of the Iraqi Government.
Obviously the immediate counter the Leftist propagandists will claim is that ;We are not making fast enough progress" That is nonsense.
look at the data on Iraqi security forces. More and more of the job is being taken up by Iraqi forces. 2 of 18 Providence have been turned over to complete Iraqi control. Out of 18 Iraqi provinces all but 2 are at least partially under Iraqi control All the progress in the war is on our side. The enemy is making no progress. Time is on our side, not theirs.
Another factor on Iraq the Leftists fails to grasp is how the war in Iraq has fundamentally changed in the last 6 months. Because the external Terrorist threat has been significantly reduced, we are able to focus on other lesser threats. Witness what the British down south, and the US in the Baghdad region, are doing. They are working with the Iraqis to weed out the gangs and militia that sprung up in the wake of Saddam's fall.
Counter Insurgency is slow, painful work. But the progress is all on our side. The "Insurgents" has demonstrated no ability to politically or militarily evolve. Guerrilla war strategy consists of 3 phases.
1. Stage one: very small unit harassment actions.
2. Stage two: continuation of state one with an evolution to large units actions. Development of larger and large geographic areas fully under Guerrilla control.
3. Stage three: conventional warfare between large units.
The Terrorists are still stuck in stage one of Guerrilla Warfare. They can wreck stuff and kill people they cannot grow. They cannot take and hold ground or engage in anything beyond small scale hit and run attacks.
Their failure to develop a shadow political structure to act as a polar opposite to the Iraqi Government is their fatal flaw. They simply lack the structure or local support network needed to move beyond state one
The claims and assumptions stated as "fact" by Mr Woodward on Iraq are fraudulent. Considering he has got just about everything on Iraq completely wrong in his recent public statements, one has to wonder just what else he make up for this book?
In this war (and I'm talking globally) the object is not to change the minds of the terrorists, as that's not gonna happen, at least not for the hardcore terrorists. The object is to marginalize them in whatever nation we're talking about.
(Note: that's not to say we don't kill them whenever possible)
Contrary to what John Murtha, Dick Durbin, Kerry and the New York Times suggest, neither our soldiers nor their leaders want to harm innocent civilians (even when it appears that some of the civilians may not be too darn "innocent"). The military chiefs also don't want to leave a residue of bitterness against this country amongst the Iraqis that will last a century (although in the Arab world I suspect that may already be a lost cause, through failings on the part of that culture much moreso than our own).