R.L. Schreadley: The unfinished business of Iraq needs airing by candidates

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey currently is an adjunct professor of international affairs at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). In December, he visited Iraq and Kuwait and was briefed by military commanders, including Adm. William Fallon (Commander Central Command), Gen. David Petraeus (Commanding General Multi-National Corps Iraq), and dozens of other flag officers and senior U.S. embassy officials in Baghdad. He also conferred with Iraqi army and police officers. He visited army training centers, markets, and other sites, including in Baghdad and Ramadi.

The purpose of his visit was to assess current "strategic and operational security operations in Iraq." After returning to the U.S., he filed an "after action report," dated Dec. 18, 2007, to the head of the academy's department of social sciences. A copy of this report was forwarded to me by a flag officer and friend. What follows is a brief summary of what Gen. McCaffrey wrote:

--The struggle for stability in the Iraqi civil war has entered a new phase with dramatically reduced levels of civilian sectarian violence, political assassinations, abductions, and small arms/indirect fire and improvised explosive device attacks on U.S. and Iraqi police and army forces.

--The senior leaders of AQI [al-Qaida in Iraq] have become walking dead men because of the enormous number of civilian intelligence tips coming directly to U.S. forces.

--The Iraqi security forces are now beginning to take a major and independently successful role in the war. ... The previously grossly ineffective and corrupt Iraqi police has been forcefully re-trained and re-equipped.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsIraq WarUS Presidential Election 2008

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Posted January 26, 2008 at 5:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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