Coming from the President’s favorite intel shop, this is not encouraging news.
One day after Bush unveiled a plan to send more than 21,000 additional troops to work alongside Iraqi troops in an increasingly violent war, the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency said Iraqi forces could not combat the insurgency there.
Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples said Iraqi security forces have been thoroughly infiltrated by Shiite militias and “are presently unable to stand alone against Sunni insurgents, al-Qaeda in Iraq” or the militias themselves. Negroponte, who was ambassador to Iraq in 2004-05, said sectarian violence had become the greatest problem inside the country.
All you needed to see was the Sadrist chants at Saddam’s hanging. After that display, this recognition that violent militias and the Iraqi security forces are essentially one and the same strikes me as a belated acknowledgment of the obvious. Separating the two is about as productive as splitting the Hydrogen atom. Pointless. Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but doesn’t that make the idea of fighting alongside, and being led by, the same bloodthirsty savages who we want to uproot sound a bit schizophrenic?
Also note this from our current intel czar:
Negroponte said stability in Iraq will depend in part on persuading Iran and Syria “to stop the flow of militants and munitions across their borders.”
Unless ‘persuading’ picked up a new meaning since the last time I checked, the President’s intel chief and future deputy Secretary of State is basically saying that our refusal to meet Iran in good faith is wrecking Iraq. That era of lockstep message discipline seems like just yesterday…
I was being a bit cute with that last part. Regarding diplomacy I think that this is literally the only form of “persuasion” that George Bush knows or understands. Sadly it seems to me that the idea of violent subjugation as the singular means of imposing our will internationally, the Neoconservative Doctrine if you will, is a defining character point for the President’s dwindling base.