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The Devlin Report was outdated by the time it was leaked late last year.
Last week the WaPo began their coverage of the Devlin report with this:So we had August's news in December, and now we have December's news in April. At least the four month lag is consistent.The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report......but shortly after acknowledged a key point (without explaining why it was key):The Marines' August memo, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, is far bleaker than some officials suggested when they described it in late summer.Of course, in the months between the writing of the report and its publication in the Post, the formation of the Anbar Salvation Council and its declaration of war on al Qaeda and its allies gained the group support from the Iraqi government and coalition forces. This had changed the Anbar situation fundamentally and significantly - to the point where the Devlin memo was without current significance. ("Overcome by events" - or simply "OBE" as we say in the military.)
But since the WaPo has never seen fit to report any of that news, the Devlin report may have seemed like news to them.
I was tipped early to the Anbar Salvation Council by following stories on the group in the Arab media last September, and had detailed the groups development at Mudville in early October. I think the Arabs have a leg up on the Western press - the Arabs are interested in what goes on in Iraq, and aren't willing to commit national suicide just to spite George Bush. While individually they may or may not like the guy, they aren't obsessed with him the way western reporters are, and their coverage of Iraq is often actually not about George Bush.
There are a handfull of western reporters free of BDS, too - they'll be labelled as Bushbots (or something similar) by their afflicted comrades.
It's so much easier for us to cover this as a political horse race. It's on the cover of "The New York Times" today, what this means for the '08 election. But we're not asking the central national security question, because it seems that if as a reporter you do ask the national security question, all of a sudden you're carrying Bush's water. There are national security questions at stake, and we're ignoring them and the country is getting screwed.On a related note, whenever you read a "quote" from a general in the media, you'd be advised to check the full comment in it's original context. For recent examples, try this and this.
Still, on his visit (ed Marine Gen)Conway was told by numerous American commanders throughout Anbar that the tide had shifted against the extremist group al-Qaida in Iraq when Sunni tribal sheiks who previously opposed U.S. forces decided to start cooperating instead.
If Conway's upbeat interpretation of recent developments in Anbar proves correct it will raise questions about the intelligence assessments last summer and fall of Col. Peter Devlin, who was the top intelligence officer at Marine headquarters in Anbar. Devlin reported that the political and security situation was grim and getting worse, and he said there was almost nothing the U.S. military could do to stop the insurgency.
Well Mr Burns...you obviously have never negotiated so much as a taxi ride in the Middle East.
Let me explain it in simple terms...Winning is Losing...Losing is Winning. Nothing is as it appears on the surface.
You also missed this little tidbit from June 2006
Branigan stressed that Americans will not win the war on the insurgents; Iraqis will win that war, he said.
Or this tidbit from May 2005
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said..."In the end, it is going to have to be the Iraqis that win this," he said.
If one can not understand the semantic(Culturally enormous) difference between the Americas winning with Iraqi help and the Iraqis winning with American help then one should restrict ones analysis of Defense Matters to $70 hammers and $300 toilet seats.All done!
Late last month the NYT floated a narrative trial balloon regarding the Army. The new narrative was that desertions in the Army had risen slightly due to to stresses of deployment and was hitting particularly hard those soldiers facing second or third deployments.
How come nobody ever quotes me? Here we have an entire article in the NYT in which several "Army lawyers" are quoted anonymously, and am I one of them? No! Of course, they probably didn't ask because I'd have told them their whole premise is horsepucky. But I digress...
But since apparently nobody at the NYT reads this blog, the NYT decided to run again with this latest manufactured meme, but with some slight revisions.
We start with a goody:
The increased prosecutions are meant to serve as a deterrent to a growing number of soldiers who are ambivalent about heading — or heading back — to Iraq and may be looking for a way out, several Army lawyers said in interviews. Using courts-martial for these violations, which before 2002 were treated mostly as unpunished nuisances, is a sign that active-duty forces are being stretched to their limits, military lawyers and mental health experts said.
So prosecuting expressly military offenses like AWOL or desertion is now proof that the active-duty force is being stretched thin? So is prosecuting things like insubordination also evidence of an overstretched Army? Might it be that commanders in wartime take a slightly dimmer view of those that avoid duty during wartime?
So let's get this straight: PROSECUTING deserters (and hence, seeking their punitive discharge) is evidence that the Army is stretched too thin. Yet when desertions (or more appropriately AWOLs) occurred during peacetime and was punished less, that meant the Army was ubermondo strong? Huh?
Now, I'll still go on to fisk the rest of this piece o' garbage article, but all you really need to know is this:
The Army prosecuted desertion far less often in the late 1990s, when desertions were more frequent, than it does now, when there are comparatively fewer.
More desertions + unpunished = strength.
Fewer desertions + punished = overstretched.
Got that? Me neither.
But hey, you want data? We got data!
From 2002 through 2006, the average annual rate of Army prosecutions of desertion tripled compared with the five-year period from 1997 to 2001, to roughly 6 percent of deserters, from 2 percent, Army data shows.
Between these two five-year spans — one prewar and one during wartime — prosecutions for similar crimes, like absence without leave or failing to appear for unit missions, have more than doubled, to an average of 390 per year from an average of 180 per year, Army data shows.
In an Army of over 1 million bodies (roughly 500K of which are active duty), a grand total of less than 1/10th of 1% are prosecuted. BROKEN! And remember folks--desertions are down from the salad days of "strength."
You want more bone-chilling numbers?
Most deserters list dissatisfaction with Army life or family problems as primary reasons for their absence, and most go AWOL in the United States. But since 2003, 109 soldiers have been convicted of going AWOL or deserting war zones in Iraq or Afghanistan, usually during their scheduled two-week leaves in the United States, Army officials said.
As Keanu might say...All done!
Seriously, is anyone really surprised by this?:
The U.S. chief nuclear envoy Christopher Hill has admitted that it is improbable North Korea will shut down its nuclear facilities by a mid-April deadline due to the delayed transfer of assets frozen in the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia, AP reported. A Feb. 13 agreement reached in six-nation talks in Beijing requires the North to shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon by April 14 in return for a first shipment of energy aid.
Keep in mind that the funds in question were frozen by the Chinese bank at the US’s request due to being linked to counterfeiting and money laundering of US currency. Also keep in mind that the return of the money was never part of the Agreed Framework 2.0 that was agreed upon in February during the six party talks. The return of the money is something that North Korea has decided on their own to add to the agreement.
You can read more about the latest North Korea reneging at One Free Korea.
The freeze ray is a great idea. Since it has to be a joint civil-military agency, though, we wouldn't make it a command as such. I'd say we should call it the Climate Re-Adjustment Program. For the orbiting freeze ray, I favor the name Shivering High Order Ordinance Transmitter.
I'm sure Operation CRAP-SHOOT will work at least as well as the "ban everything" approach. Plus it should secure the budgets of both the Air Force and CIA's DST forever.