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AMMAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday his government's forces would be able to take over security command from U.S. troops by June 2007 -- a move which could allow the United States to start withdrawing.
"I cannot answer on behalf of the U.S. administration but I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready by June 2007," Maliki told ABC television after meeting U.S. President George W. Bush in Jordan.
First, let us qualify "take over security command". It would mean carrying out the daily manpower intensive tasks of patrolling and searching. The US would still provide Mitts, Logistics Support and Quick Reaction Forces.
Has al-Maliki taken one two many hits from the crack pipe, or does he know something the MSM doesn't...let's see.
A standard ratio of security forces to population is 3-5/1000. Three being London, Five being NYC.
If the level of "help" Iraq needed was in the range of 1 coalition soldier/1000 residents we would need 27,000 ground troops in Iraq.
Ten Iraqi provinces of Ninewa,Dohuk,Irbil,Sulaymaniyah,Wasit,Karbala,Najaf, Qadisiyah,Muthana and DhiQar are already at or below 1 coalition troop/1000 residents threshold. With the exception of Ninewa, they are all also below 1 security incident/day per million residents.
The QRF forces for Najaf and Karbala are located in Babil province, otherwise Babil gets to be in the 1 coalition troop/1000 residents club.
The UK has already announced turning over Maysan province in January.
That makes 12 of 18 provinces that are pretty close to "sure things" to be turned over by June 2007.
The final six provinces -
Tamin - depending on the outcome of the oil law and referendum on the status of Kirkuk this province could become a problem or a model of good governance.
Basra - UK plans to turn over to Iraqi forces by summer.
Salahadin - The 4th Iraqi Army Division is already under Iraqi Command.
Diyali - Baquba is still a trouble spot. The 5th IAD is making progress.
AlAnbar - The 1st IAD has assummed the lead in most of its battlespace, unfortunately, it has also suffered a lot of attrition. Requires a concerted effort to 'fatten up" the ranks. The 7th IAD is just begninng to go in the 'lead". June would be somewhat "rushed". "Beggining" a gradual drawdown in June might be feasable. Something along the lines of 1 battalion every 3 months.
Then we have Baghdad. Big cities offer anonimity. As the security in the rest of the country improves, it pushes violent factions into Baghdad. June 2007 isn't realistic IMHO. Baghdad needs 35,000 regular police to "maintain" the peace. It probably needs 4 Iraqi Army Divisions to "establish" the peace. Adding 2 Divisions and 10,000 police in 6 months is a Tall order.
Last I checked, they had 22,000 regular police, they need 35,000. They have 2 Iraqi Army divisions, but as long as there is significant violent pressures, they probably need 4.
I think it is going to be worse than we thought. Cliff May was an advisor, and he has put out a War Warning about what is waiting.
I’ve been a member of the “expert” advisory group of the Baker/Hamilton panel. The frustration I and a few others faced: We thought our task was to develop options to move forward in Iraq. Most of our colleagues thought the task was to develop options to move out of Iraq.I hope his report is wrong - but I doubt it. Sigh.
They were unconvinced by the case that I and a few others were making: That if the U.S. mission in Iraq sinks, it won’t just be Captain Bush and his neo-con crew that will drown. America will have a lost a key battle in a serious global conflict.
"The bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached a consensus on Wednesday."
It's a big turn. In fact, the new direction in Iraq looks like it's going to be 360 degrees off from the one we've been going in - that's as big a turn as you can make.
As Army Lawyer noted below, the UN concurs.
There’s a new website poking fun at the Navy from the inside called GearAdrift. I guess you could say this is our version of the Air Forces Chairforce only most of the stuff isn’t written by a cranky Airman called Joe the Fat.
Check them out, I think the site has some good potential.
Plus check out their plans on refurbishing our carrier fleet!
Will the real Ramadi please stand up?His answer at the link.
"The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq [Al Anbar Province] or counter al Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report," began a front-page article in yesterday's Washington Post by Dafna Linzer and Thomas E. Ricks. It concerned the so-called "Devlin Report," a five-page document allegedly filled with gloom and doom. It contrasts completely with my article Return to Ramadi, in the Nov. 27 Weekly Standard, in which I write that the largest city in the province is slowly being reclaimed from al Qaeda. By coincidence, the day my article hit the stands the Times of London published an extensive article coming to the same conclusion as mine. But for the timing, you'd practically think one of us had plagiarized the other.
Why such different conclusions between our articles and the Post's and whom to believe?
You know that guy Jesse MacBeth? Allah does...just scroll to the bottom past the four hundred pound fake Marine...
Just saw John Kerry on Larry KIng (transcript not yet available as of this posting) claim that our own generals are saying that our military presence in Iraq is making the situation worse. I've heard numerous generals state the exact opposite - that our presence is the only thing keeping it from becoming worse, but I'm not sure which generals Mr Kerry is quoting here, and he didn't provide names.
Anyone have some specific quotes? These would have to be actual quotes - not claims made by others about what generals said. Otherwise, looks like deja vu all over again.
Update: Here it is:
KING: You met with the Iraq Study Group, I believe, on Monday.
Any inclination as to what they're going to say?
KERRY: I think it's important for them to say what they're going to say and I don't want to violate that.
But I will tell you point blank, I said to them what I have been saying publicly consistently, which is that the American presence, according to our own generals and to our best experts, is making the situation worse.